s Maps 2C, 2D, 2G, 2H, 44
Local Government: City of Yarra
State electorate: Richmond
Federal electorate: Melbourne
Abbotsford is a small inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, nestled in between Collingwood, Richmond, Clifton Hill and seperated from Kew by the meandering Yarra River. The Collingwood Town Hall is located in Abbotsford, and along with Clifton Hill and Collingwood the suburb was a part of the City of Collingwood until former State premier Jeff Kennett conducted a wholesale merger of local govenment areas in the early 1990s. It is now part of the City of Yarra.
Abbotsford is home to Carlton and United Breweries, the company which produces Victoria Bitter and Foster's Lager. The malt smell of brewing often fills the surrounding area, and is quite pleasant. A tour can be taken of the factory for a small fee, upon completion of which the visitor recieves a free beer.
Collingwood Childrens Farm was established in the 1970s by some hippies on the grounds of the abandoned St Helier's convent near the river. It is a fully fuctioning traditional farm, with animals, gardens and the rest. Fresh milk and eggs are for sale, and visitors are encouraged to help with farm work. The convent itself was home to a campus of La Trobe University for a while, but is now set to be developed for both commercial and for community use after protracted negotioations between the developers and Yarra Council. Dights Falls, where the Merri Creek and Yarra River join is a short walk from the farm and is a favourite spot for kayakers and picnicers.
The enourmous Studley Park, which merges with the even more massive Yarra Bend Park, is just across the river from the farm and falls and features a golf course, sports grounds and small forests. In some parts of Abbotsford it is hard to believe that you are right in the middle of a huge city.
Tram no. 109 (Port Melbourne/Mont Albert) runs down Victoria Street and trams no. 78/79 terminate at the corner of Church Street (Chapel Street) and Victoria (technically in Richmond). Collingwood and Victoria Park train stations, on the Epping line, are located in Abbotsford. Victoria Park is the home ground of the Collingwood Football Club (see Collingwood), although AFL matches are no longer played there.
The City, the MCG and Melbourne's most popular drinking, eating and entertainment places are withing walking distance of Abbotsford, as well as to be found in the suburb itself - for example Victoria Street is home to the biggest and best selection of Vietnamese food in Melbourne. The originally working class area long had a reputation for heroin and crime, but it is now prime real estate, rapidly becoming gentrified. Originally the area was home to many Irish, mostly factory workers, and until the construction of Melbourne's sewerage and drainage systems was regularly flooded by the Yarra River. Since World War II the area has become very multiculural, with many Greeks, Italians, Vietnamese, Chinese and more recently Arabs and Africans making it their home. Property values have skyrocketed in recent years and now the yuppies (the great majority of whom are WASPs) are moving in.
A map of the suburb can be found at http://www.street-directory.com.au/victoria/vic_map.cgi?ismap=1&x=2499919&y=4410521&level=5?233,180
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