Surprisingly for a city which regards itself as the horse-racing capital of Australia and a name steeped in racing tradition, neither Doncaster nor its neighbouring Melbourne suburb of Donvale has the remotest link with the sport of kings.
The name traces back to the Yorkshire town of early settler John Robert Wilson who, naturally enough, named his pub on the track through the stringybark forest to the Warrandyte gold diggings the Doncaster Arms Inn. The track later became Doncaster Road.
Most of the early settlers, including a significant German sector, were orchardists and the region remained largely rural until sub-division began shortly before World War II.
These days the Doncaster-Donvale-Bulleen precinct of Manningham City is a densely populated residential area served by Westfield’s Doncaster Shopping Town.
Its 110,000 residents, however, have the best of both worlds - proximity to the heart of Melbourne plus 1100ha of open space ranging from small playgrounds to parks of regional, national, botanic and zoological significance.