When returning your rental vehicle to one of our locations please ensure to refuel your hire car to the agreed level.
You can certainly pack a lot into your stay at Pakenham! This little urban dynamo lives at the heart of a rapidly expanding, yet well-established precinct, in the outer growth corridor of south-eastern Melbourne. As a major hub in the Cardinia Shire, this thriving suburb borders a ‘green wedge’ of traditional farmland leading on to the rural West Gippsland region. Pakenham marks the end of Melbourne’s suburban rail network and lies 53-kilometres from the CBD. But there’s never a feeling of being remote here; Pakenham is more like an evolving satellite centre within the greater metropolis of five-million Melburnians.
Rich in recreation, leisure and pleasure, Pakenham offers plenty to do in the way of arts, eateries, markets, wineries, parklands and stunning gardens – all serving the area wonderfully, along with Cardinia Life’s mega sports and aquatic facilities, and a good range of shopping and retail at Pakenham Place. Getting around couldn’t be easier; Pakenham is well-catered for with a suite of major roads, including Princes Highway and the Princes Freeway, allowing for a great flow of traffic. Arranging a hire car to explore and entertain yourself around Pakenham is the ultimate convenience for your visit. You’ll enjoy getting around to Pakenham’s beautiful green spaces, visiting local artisan makers, checking out its tasty cafes, or popping along to some vibrant cultural events. Discover the best of this burgeoning outskirts suburb with a few great secrets up its sleeve.
The lifestyle is relaxed around Pakenham, and you’ll be able to recharge with a few resident favourites. If you’re looking for some beautiful giftware, you’ll want to check out Robert Gordon Pottery and Kitchen on Mulcahy Road. Here you can purchase top quality Australian-made ceramics at the retail outlet from a renowned maker, with all collections crafted on site. Run and owned over three generations by a highly skilled artisan family, you can attend a pottery workshop at the studio and reward yourself at the café afterwards.
A great way to meet the locals and join a friendly weekend vibe, is to head to the markets in and around Pakenham. Sample the fresh produce on Sundays at the Akoonah Park Market near the Berwick showgrounds, just after the pretty township of Beaconsfield. Browse the 350 market stalls brimming with bric-a-brac, handicrafts, artworks, plants, flowers, eco products, clothes, and delicious artisan fare, making them a delight for the foodie in you. Stay for a pony ride or indulge in some traditional fresh scones with jam and cream. A smaller monthly event is the Pakenham Rotary Farmers’ Market which features fresh goods from specialist local producers.
While you’re soaking in the local flavours, why not head to the nearby wineries (led by your responsible driving companion)? A few minutes from the heart of Pakenham and you’ll be among 10-acres of vineyards at the D’Angelo Estate in Officer. This family-owned winery is known for producing a premium drop and serves up delicious bites at their lively tapas bar and great live music from professional Melbourne musicians. For more good grapes just 20-minutes away, try Carlei Green Vineyards for a natural ‘terroir’ organic biodynamic wine, hand-crafted the old fashioned way. Hang out at the cellar door and the authentic Italian pizzeria, and enjoy the good food and picturesque views to the rolling hills.
If you’re looking for some entertainment with local flair, Cardinia Cultural Centre offers arts, creative programs, and performances from both touring and community artists. A little further afield, but still nearby in Narre Warren, Bunjil Place is an exciting cultural precinct that is a treasure trove of theatre, multi-purpose studio, gallery, outdoor community plaza, library, cafe and function centre. Housed in striking architecture, Bunjil is a combination of singular spaces that brings the arts and the community together in a vibrant atmosphere.
If you’ve been behind the wheel for a while and are looking to stretch your legs, Pakenham offers a profusion of delightful natural spaces and outdoor recreation and playgrounds to jog, stroll, bike, play, or just listen to bird song. From the wetland walking tracks and picnic facilities at Casey Fields, the scenic Cardinia Creek Parklands near the Cardinia Reservoir, to simply watching the sunsets and sailboats on the calm waters of Lakeside Recreation Reserve.
If you want to dial up the beauty and wonder, the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne is just a 35-minute drive away. This award-winning garden offers the experience of natural bush, a lookout tower, kilometres of walking and cycling tracks, picnic spots and pavilions, alongside a contemporary botanic garden design featuring 1,700 Australian plants from the south-eastern ecosystem. The highlight is the Great Southern Land Walk, an impressive red earth wonderland dotted with circular motifs that feels like you’ve stepped into the outback. There’s another world waiting for you when you visit downtown Pakenham and its lively surroundings.