Moonee Ponds is a well-established inner north-western suburb of Melbourne, surrounded by the neighbouring suburbs of Brunswick, Essendon and Ascot Vale.
Originally a semi-rural district, Moonee Ponds began developing into a populous suburb during the late 1800s, with a large collection of historic buildings remaining today as a legacy of its past. Examples of this include the Anglican Church which was opened in 1859 and the former town hall complex (now the Clocktower Centre) which was originally built in 1880, both of which are located close to the junction of Mt Alexander Road and Pascoe Vale Road.
The commercial heart of Moonee Ponds can be found along colourful Puckle Street which is characterised by many historic and ornate building facades. Puckle Street includes a collection cosmopolitan shops and a variety of cafes and restaurants, many with seating outside on the footpath. Just to the north is the Moonee Ponds Central Shopping Centre, offering a retail complex all under one roof. Extending south-east along Mt Alexander Road and into Ascot Vale is an extensive shopping strip lined with restaurants and retail outlets.
Mt Alexander Road north of Puckle Street opens up into a grand boulevard with rows of established trees, gardens and monuments along the wide central strip. The central section in front of the Clocktower Centre features a series of formal circular gardens with hedges, pavement and seating.
Moonee Ponds is characterised by its its historic mansions and parkland. Queens Park, with its lawns, established trees, lake, garden beds and monuments, is the site from which explorers Burke and Wills first stopped on their epic journey in 1860 through the inland of Australia.
The Maribyrnong River forms much of the western boundary of Moonee Ponds. Its wide, sweeping curves though Moonee Ponds and neighbouring suburbs are lined with parkland, sporting facilities and pathways. On the eastern bank of the river, just upstream from Maribyrnong Road, is a cafe overlooking the majestic waterway, a playground, band rotunda and mooring facilities for boats.
The Moonee Valley Racecourse is a significant part of Melbourne's horse racing scene, having officially staged its first meeting in 1883. It features a regular racing circuit, a shorter harness racing track and grandstands with function rooms. It hosts the prestigious Cox Plate thoroughbred horse race, which has been run annually since 1922, and a number of other events throughout the year.