SUBURB SPOTLIGHT ON… STRATHDALE
By Amy Doak
Enjoying spacious blocks and within close proximity to the city centre, Strathdale emerged in the 1970s as the place to build your dream home in Bendigo. Today, the tightly-held suburb is as popular as ever.
Despite sitting just 3km east of Bendigo’s CBD, Strathdale was actually part of the Shire of Strathfieldsaye until 1994. Thanks to municipal amalgamation, it then became a part of Greater Bendigo city – although if you speak to the locals, they will tell you they’ve always been a part of Bendigo’s heart.
In the centre of Strathdale is a spacious parkland and nature reserve, running south from McIvor Highway, down to Kennington Reservoir. The north of the reserve, now named Strathdale Park and home to cricket, soccer, playgrounds and weekend barbeques, was originally a water reserve – one of two constructed by the government in the early 1860s along Grassy Flat Creek. Kennington Reservoir, or ‘Kenny Res’ as it’s known locally, was the other, and the two were set up to provide a reliable water source for gold mining activities, market gardens and stock. The lower reservoir failed (but now makes a fantastic space for sporting activities) however Kenny Res is still enjoyed by the public as a place to enjoy plenty of local flora and fauna.
In the 1970s, Strathfieldsaye Shire replaced a derelict community hall on the edge of Strathdale Park with their new offices, and urbanisation quickly followed. Spacious allotments allowed room for large, modern homes and attractive gardens, ensuring that the area soon became a suburb to be coveted. The Golden Drive-In ran from 1955 to 1985 in Crook Street, and the fancy Persian Room extended to Fortunes Tabaret (and is now the nine-acre motel, gaming and conference centre, the All Seasons), offering quality facilities to those who built in the area. In December 1987, Strath Village opened and with Kennington Primary School relocating to the old St Aidan’s Orphanage site, Kennington Village was established in 2014.
Today, being bordered by the family-friendly Strathfieldsaye; La Trobe University and the facilities of Flora Hill; Kennington; and East Bendigo, Strathdale continues to offer a practical location within easy reach of all amenities. An easy walk to the city centre, but with expansive nature reserves at its heart, this is a suburb that offers continued appeal to local residents.