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The Firehouse Ringwood
Photograph: Andrei Tenche/Supplied

A local's guide to Ringwood

Find restaurants, cafés, shops and things to do in Ringwood with this local's guide to the suburb

By Samantha Allemann
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Located in Melbourne’s east, Ringwood is a great spot to indulge in retail therapy or enjoy the free delights of its lake and parks.

What’s Ringwood known for?

Eastland Shopping Centre and Ringwood Lake are most likely to spring to mind, both offering some R&R in the suburb. With lots of great schools in the area, Ringwood is a family-orientated suburb that has lots to offer in sporting clubs and facilities. There are also many fantastic eateries, pubs and bars to choose from.

Why do the locals love it?

Melanie Briant from café Mister Fox says there’s lots to do in Eastland. “Holey Moley Mini Golf there is great, and Ringwood Town Square [dining precinct] is really nice,” she says. “Mister Fox is connected to Ringwood Golf Course which has been voted one of the best public golf courses in Victoria, and Aquanation is also popular.”

How do I get to Ringwood?

Ringwood is well served by public transport, with three train stations. Ringwood station stands directly opposite Eastland, with Heatherdale station and the smaller Ringwood East station close by. Both the Belgrave and Lilydale lines will get you to Ringwood station and Heatherdale station, while only the Lilydale service stops at Ringwood East. There are lots of bus routes too and it's very easy to reach the suburb by car.

What’s nearby?

Mitcham and Nunawading are neighbouring suburbs to the west, while Wantirna and Heathmont are below. Croydon is also nearby, and if you go north you’ll soon be in Warrandyte.

Map of Ringwood

If you only do one thing...

On a nice day, lap up the sunshine at Ringwood Lake Park. Pack a picnic or bring something for the barbecue (on weekends the park gets pretty busy, so get there early if you want to snag one!)

Miss Fox Ringwood café
Miss Fox Ringwood café
Photograph: Supplied

Food and coffee

Located inside the grounds of Ringwood Golf, Mister Fox (352 Canterbury Rd) is worth a visit even if you don’t know a birdie from a bogey. With an extensive menu that includes several vegan and gluten-free options, there’s also an enviable range for kids and great beer offerings, too.

Fingers Crossed Café (64 Maroondah Hwy) is another great eatery known for its coffee and cute courtyard. You’ll get a decent feed here as well – try the chilli scrambled eggs with goat cheese or the brioche French toast on the all-day menu.

The Younger Brother (6 Railway Ave) is just a five-minute stroll from Ringwood East station. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, you can be virtuous with their detox brunch salad or go hard with the brownie waffles.

The Firehouse Ringwood
The Firehouse Ringwood
Photograph: Andrei Tenche/Supplied

Drink

You can’t miss the Firehouse Hotel (253 Maroondah Hwy), housed in a – you guessed it – fire station. Built in the late 1920s, the building is now home to a pub, beer garden and bottle shop. Wash your dinner down with a selection from the wine list or one of the Firehouse’s cocktails such as the Fairy Floss for sweet tooths, or the Nitro Martini for something a bit fancy.

The Budgie Smuggler (1/166 Maroondah Hwy) is a spacious cocktail bar, serving up an impressive range of drinks. There’s Budgie’s signature series of cocktails, bartender's choice, premium classics and other favourites, as well as mocktails.

For a wide variety of beers, head up the road to the Bungalow (Lvl 1, 123–127 Maroondah Hwy). With 34 beer taps, you won’t have to just decide between Carlton and VB. There’s also a bottomless brunch on Saturdays at 11am, which gives you two hours of limitless cocktails and wine along with a three-course meal.

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Ringwood Golf course
Ringwood Golf course
Photograph: Supplied

Things to do

Mullum Mullum Creek Trail (58–60 Mullum Mullum Rd) is a 5.5km trail that leads from Sherbrook Park to Highland Avenue in Croydon. If you don’t feel up to that walk, run or cycle, there’s a short 800m Cultural Heritage Trail loop you can do instead.

Ringwood Lake (Maroondah Hwy) is a popular spot for families and those wanting a ‘Serenity Now’ moment in nature. There’s a short walking circuit and picnic spots, as well as a playground the kids will love.

Ringwood Golf Course (352 Canterbury Rd) is considered one of the best public golf courses around town, making it a very popular recreation spot. The venue offers golf coaching as well, so don’t worry if you haven’t got the swing of the sport just yet.

Aquanation Leisure Centre (Corner Greenwood Ave and Reilly St) has a gym and pool facilities, including a 50m lap pool, a learn-to-swim pool, dive pool, aquatics playground for the kids and a warm water pool.

Eastland Shopping Centre
Eastland Shopping Centre
Photograph: Griffin Simm/Supplied

Shopping

Shopping in Ringwood largely revolves around mega shopping centre Eastland (175 Maroondah Hwy). It’s been a must-stop destination in the area since the late 1960s, but it had a major facelift in the last decade, with an expansion and the creation of its outdoor restaurant precinct, Ringwood Town Square. You’ll find all of Australia’s major retailers in Eastland as well as plenty of dining options.

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