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Which is one reason I love this walk along what real estate agents love to call The Golden Mile as they rub their hands together in expectant glee.
The Golden Mile is the streetscape that extends along Mont Albert Road, from Burke Road to Balwyn Road, although to see the most beautiful homes you need to detour down Monomeath Ave. When you get to the end you hit Canterbury Road; swing left and return to Mont Albert Road along Victoria Ave.
These two avenues are the most beautiful tree lined streets in Melbourne. The foliage from the old gnarled plane trees form a Gothic arched cathedral ceiling above your head. In summer it is verdant green, in autumn orange and fire-red, and in winter the bare branches make you it seem as if you are moving under an archway of swords.
Victoria Avenue image from Wikepedia - considered one of the most beautiful streets in Melbourne
There are a number of architectural styles in the area including federation, art deco and Tudor but as the older homes are pulled down they are replaced with huge faux French provincial homes or even Tuscan villas. All the money in the world it seems can not buy good taste.
The most striking property on Mont Albert Road is Frognall on Mont Albert Road. With its huge white frontage and Italianate you won't miss it. Built in 1888-9 it was what the Victorian gentry aspired to.
Most of the homes are set well back from the street and are sometimes completely hidden from view behind huge gates, walls and vast hedges. Some properties even have cameras on their gates so don't forget to smile.
In Monomeath Ave they don't have common street lights but beautiful ornate London lamp posts, like from Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Houses in Monomeath cost anywhere between 3 to 8 million dollars. Past and present residents have included Lady (Susan) Renouf when she was married to Andrew Peacock, Premier Sir Rupert Hamer, former NAB managing director Frank Cicutto, Craig Saddler Chairman of Boeing and Kylie and Dannii Minogue's parents. It was reported in 2002, the girls spent $2.43 million on buying their parents an unrenovated 1940s six-bedroom house, Hallwood Halton, with a tennis court and heated pool.But they were not being miserly as it has since been renovated.
The Jellis Craig clip below might give you a feel for the area because unfortunately this is as close as most of us are going to get to entering one of these mansions.
My suggested Golden Mile walk is about five kilometres and takes around one hour and thirty minutes. There is no coffee pit-stop along the way but if you are new to the area take a detour to the charming Maling Road shopping precinct as it is a lovely olde worlde shopping strip. You might just be able to afford a cup of coffee.
Or another option is to walk further down Mont Albert Road and there is a good cafe on the left called Red Cup.
When:Any time of year but autumn is particularly stunning
Where:You can start either at Balwyn end of Mont Albert Road or at Burke Road end. There is a tram stop in Burke Road. To feel the full glow of the golden mile you should vere down Monomeath and Victoria Avenues
This is perhaps the most beautiful part of Melbourne. Canterbury, in my opinion, does not require the full attention coming from an exclusive Brighton or Toorak address. The entire streetscape stretching from Mont Albert Road speaks for itself. I walked down both Victoria & Monomeath Avenue last year- my, oh my. So many superlatives can be thrown! Leafy trees and grand ornate mansions in the vicinity of 2-5 million for Victoria avenue and from 3-10 million for Monomeath avenue.
Not for the faint hearted, Canterbury and its corresponding avenues connecting along Mont Albert Road are for the truely wealthy whom would much rather be discreet about their wealth in contrast to the Keep up the Joneses/Kardashians frivolous spending and lavish lifestyles that reign within Melbourne's traditional power suburbs of Brighton & Toorak.
Also the house prices whilst expensive along Victoria & Monomeath avenue are value for money compared to what you pay for in Brighton & Toorak. $15-30 million for a mansion in B or T. I'll take the understated Canterbury pad for a price worth 3 times less thankyou very much :)