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Carnegie isn’t home to any famous sporting venues and is too far inland to be walking distance from a beach.
But it’s a short drive to almost everything from Chadstone to Caulfield Racecourse, making it one of the best kept secrets in Melbourne’s southeast.
Just 12 kilometres from the CBD, it is conveniently wedged between Caulfield and Murrumbeena.
Here’s why I love to call Carnegie home.
1. Easy to travel everywhere
There are plenty of options for public transport when you live in Carnegie. Hop on the 67 tram for a direct route to Federation Square, or jump on the express train to the city loop.
Carnegie sits on both the Pakenham and Cranbourne railway lines, so you never have to wait too long for a train during peak hours.
And what’s even better? Carnegie station is set to be rebuilt with the level crossing removed, so the nightmare of crossing the railway line during peak hours should finally come to an end by 2018.
The suburb has all the popular outlets on the main shopping strip, Koornang Road (You can’t miss the entry via Dandenong Road because it’s flagged by a big Spotlight sign and a huge balloon). There are also your necessary services including schools, a medical centre, banks, hair and beauty salons, mortgage brokers and a library.
Carnegie Swim Centre, with its four heated outdoor pools, electric barbecues and a beach volleyball court, is also popular with locals.
2. Chadstone on your doorstep
Koornang Road features Chinese and Korean grocery shops.Photo: Chris Pritchard
The largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere, Chadstone, is a few minutes’ drive away on Dandenong Road. It’s self-proclaimed as “Australia’s fashion capital” with over 500 stores.
For me, the bonus is the next-generation Target with its own T-shirt printing station and clothing alteration service.
Downside? There’s only a few change rooms for men.
3. Blossoming cafe culture
Spilt Milk in Carnegie, one of our favourite cafes.Photo: Christina Zhou
There are a handful of cafes coffee lovers would be happy to sit around and hang in on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
One of the favourites is Spilt Milk, which features in The Specialty Coffee Book.
It’s tucked around the corner from Koornang Road, on Neerim Road, featuring plenty of wooden furnishings and bare brick walls.
There’s also a funky cafe and bar joint opposite Carnegie station named “Platform 3” (a play on the fact the railway station has two platforms).
4. It’s multicultural
Carnegie’s Asian grocery store. Photo: Christina Zhou
When the 2011 Census was conducted, more than 47 per cent of residents in Carnegie were born overseas, with 55 per cent of locals having both parents born in another country. Ancestry in the area includes India, China, England and Ukraine.
This means there is a range of different cultures and cuisines, which is great news if you’re a foodie. If you’re thinking of eating out, there’s Malaysian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Indian, just to name a few.
Chinese and Korean grocery shops can alo be found on Koornang Road.
5. Gorgeous period homes I want to call my own
The charming period homes in Carnegie.Photo: Chris Pritchard
Carnegie is home to some of Melbourne’s most charming period houses, and most don’t cost a fortune compared with neighbouring Malvern and Caulfield.
There’s everything from enchanting Edwardians to double-fronted Victorians and California bungalows behind a white picket fence. It’s generally streets after streets of beautiful homes, which adds to the appeal of the neighbourhood.
It’s also nestled in the City of Glen Eira, where 78 per cent of the municipality is protected by a two-storey limit. This means it’s unlikely the area would ever become particularly dense.
For those on a tight budget, a one-bedroom unit can be leased for about $260 a week.
6. Dotted with parks and community amenities
One of Carnegie’s many green spaces. Photo: Chris Pritchard
There’s a park on almost every corner, or at least within walking distance.
First, there’s Packer Park on Leila Road which has a playground for children and paths that meander through the parkland. There is a velodrome for cyclists, and lawn bowls and bocce if you’re looking for something to do. It is also, of course, fine just to sit on a bench with a good book.
Nearby Duncan Mackinnon Reserve in Murrumbeena is a popular destination for joggers and walkers throughout the day. The reserve, bounded by North Road, Murrumbeena Road and Crosbie Road, has recreation and sporting facilities.
7. Not actually too far from the beach
It is a convenient 15 minute drive to Elwood beach and 18 minutes to Brighton beach, so it’s easy to enjoy the water at weekends without the huge price tag of either of the suburbs.
Swim, surf or just walk along the beach, hand in hand with your loved one to the backdrop of a glorious sunset.