Situated at the northern end of Boroondara, Balwyn is one of Boroondara’s most popular neighbourhood centres and will soon have a population of 20,000. Located along Whitehorse Road, traversing both sides of the intersection with Balwyn Road, it has an immensely long strip shopping centre which is a focus of daily life, a place where the community comes together to dine and enjoy recreational facilities. The south west part of the suburb is known as Deepdene. It got its name from Andrew Murray who worked for the old Argus newspaper. He bought a farm in the late 1850s and named it ‘Balwyn’ from the Gaelic Bal and the Saxon ‘Wyn’ meaning ‘Home of the vine’! First to grow vines there, he made wine and won prizes at the Geelong National Show of 1866 for both his white and red wines. The post World War II boom saw rapid development as a mixture of families took up residence along the tram lines of this ‘outer suburb’. Teachers and professionals chose the wooded northern slopes. In 1901 the famous Maranoa native garden was developed next to Beckett Park and is renowned for its native specious of wildlife. The suburb has been immortalised by the Skyhooks single 'Balwyn Calling' -named after the suburb which also has an Australian Rules football team - The Balwyn Tigers - competing in the Eastern Football League. Other sports in the area are Balwyn Bowls Club, Rotary Club and Judo Club – something for all ages. To achieve economic, social and environmental objectives the Boroondara Council has a structure plan to guide major changes in any land use, building and public spaces. Many fine schools are easily accessed from the main thoroughfare, as are libraries, medical facilities, recreational, sporting and entertainment venues. They provide vibrant lifestyle for those who reside in the area. It is a beautiful place to spend time with family & friends.
Balwyn North 11 km east from Melbourne's central business district has well over 20,000 of a population in an area of about 9 square kilometres. The North West part of the suburb is known as Bellevue and the South East part is Greythorn (which is home to the Greythorn Shopping Centre on Doncaster Road). There are several schools – famously Balwyn High School on Buchanan Avenue and many other fine schools such as Greythorn, Balwyn North, Bellevue, Boroondara Park, St Bridget's and St. Bede's. The main shopping strip is 'The Village' on Doncaster Road, east of the intersection with Bulleen Road. Bicycle tracks connect with the Main Yarra Trail, along the Yarra River and the Eastern Freeway. Tram route 48 passes through Balwyn North, running along Doncaster Road and terminating at the intersection with Balwyn Road, although proposals have been made to extend it as far as Doncaster Shoppingtown. A number of bus routes connect Balwyn North with suburbs such as Box Hill, Doncaster and Templestowe. Also, a number of freeway bus services have stops at the entrance of the Eastern Freeway on the northern edge of the suburb. Balwyn North (commonly known as 'North Balwyn') was one of the first Melbourne suburbs to be developed according to the pattern of post-war suburbia, with expansive, quiet residential areas designed as family homes and relatively few business districts.
Camberwell is one of 26 Principal Activity Centres in the Melbourne 2030 Metropolitan Strategy. The character of the suburb has grown from its years as a ‘Dry’ suburb – not a shortage of rain but an absence of hotels or pubs selling alcohol! The people and the homes they live in are best described with words such as consistency, modesty, taste, comfort and security. In the 1920s home designs moved away from the historical days of early settlement of the 1880s. Instead they found many ways of representing ‘modernity’ - as art deco used to be called. In the oldest part of the suburb – the Prospect Hill area - you can find homes from the ‘Boom’ period of the 1890s as well as Victorian, Edwardian and ‘Art deco’ residences – with 21st Century homes nearby.
All the homes built on top of the hill have views of the city skyline. You are never far from a train station around here – this suburb has 4 of them! Camberwell station is the main one and a major attraction on the retail precinct of Burke Road - which leads to the market and supermarket on Camberwell Junction – where three tram routes converge. There is almost no industrial land in Camberwell, and commercial uses are concentrated near the Burke Road precinct, which has long been one of the busiest in suburban Melbourne. House prices in Boroondara are well-above the metropolitan median and those in the Prospect Hill precinct are several times the Boroondara median. Fine educational facilities are all around and so easily reached by public transport. Two of the more famous are Camberwell Grammar School on Mont Albert Road and Siena College on Riversdale Road.
Canterbury starts at Burke Road where trams run from one end of the vibrant shopping precinct to the other. To the North it takes in Mont Albert Road, arguably Melbourne’s most attractive tree-lined street. To the south lies the Riversdale Road tram line and in the east, the leafy undulations of Surrey Hills take over. In between, you will find beautiful Victorian and Edwardian dwellings built shortly after the 1880s when they extended the railway up from Hawthorn. The 1920s also saw some of Melbourne’s finest homes constructed in this area and after 1945 the modern homes of the time flourished aplenty. The median real estate price in the suburb was over one million dollars in 1996 and the typical increase in real estate values was generally regarded as 10% p.a. One of the star attractions in this leafy suburb is Maling Road which in 1899 was named after John Butler Maling - three times Mayor of the Shire of Boroondara. Even then it consisted of a row of two-storey shops, a theatre and hall – and because of its close proximity to Canterbury railway station, it eventually became a more important shopping centre than Canterbury Road. The area is now recognised and protected by Council as an important tourist precinct. Presentation, personalised service, individual and hand-made quality are the features of this unique street. Other major attractions to residents of this esteemed suburb is the famous Camberwell Grammar School, Canterbury Girls Secondary College, Canterbury Gardens, Canterbury sports ground and Boroondara Park.
Hawthorn is only 6 km from Melbourne's central business district with the main thoroughfare being the vibrant Glenferrie Road. This retail precinct is one of the 82 Major Activity Centres in the Melbourne 2030 Metropolitan Strategy – and is filled with numerous boutiques, speciality stores, fresh fruit, two supermarkets and banks. Other shopping centres can be found in Burwood Road, Power Street, Church Street, Riversdale and Auburn Roads. The suburb is also known for its restaurants. Situated on the south east corner of The Yarra River, it was given the name Hawthorn (in 1840 ‘Hawthorne’) because Charles La Trobe is said to have commented that the native shrubs looked like flowering Hawthorn bushes! Here you will find the home of the Hawthorn Football Club plus Swinburne University and a number of private schools such as Erasmus School, St. Josephs Primary and Scotch College, the latter being one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the state. There are also good state schools: Glenferrie Primary and Hawthorn West Primary and nearby are Hawthorn Secondary College, Auburn and Auburn South primary schools.
There are abundant public recreation areas, parks, barbecue areas, infant welfare centres and youth clubs, three train stations - and trams run the entire length of the suburb to the city. It’s a vibrant happening suburb for the young – and areas with large homes for the young at heart.
Hawthorn East started in 1880 and was originally a brick-making area. Many of its parks are on the sites of former quarries which were filled-in by them becoming tips and then parkland.
The largest park in Hawthorn East is the Fritsch Holzer Park named after the brothers who formed the Upper Hawthorn Brick Company in 1883 - employed 50 people and produced 250,000 bricks per week! The Hawthorn brick is still the most popular style of brick all over Melbourne. The suburb has a large selection of government and private schools. Primary and secondary schools and nearby are Alia College, Auburn and Auburn South primary schools and Hawthorn Secondary College. The many bus, tram and train stations make it easy to access a further sixteen schools and colleges within 4 km radius! The suburb is roughly bounded by Barkers Road to the north, Burke Road to the east, Toorak Road and the Monash Freeway to the south, and Auburn Road to the west. The Tower Hotel and the heritage Rivoli cinema are both landmarks of the area but you will also find seven parks/reserves, five playgrounds, bowls club, Aus kick, and scouts for this small suburb which only has about 13 or 14,000 of a population and house prices around the million dollar mark.
Kew is one of Melbourne’s most affluent suburbs with a plethora of Victorian and Art Deco mansions on large tracts of land graced by stunning gardens set back from wide, leafy boulevards. There is also abundant parkland in the suburb including Yarra Bend and Studley parks. Public transport is plentiful with tram lines running all the way to the city and the freeway is the way to drive to the CBD and the airport. The famous Kew Junction is a very popular venue for shopping, recreation and entertainment – with all these lifestyle features it is no wonder the price of a home in Kew is more than twice the metropolitan Melbourne average. Some allotments have been redeveloped into townhouses or duplexes which appeal to a newer demographic (primarily dual-income parents with one or more children), keen to be close not only to the Melbourne CBD but also the excellent schooling facilities available nearby. Streets within the Sackville Ward (bounded by Barkers, Burke, Cotham and Glenferrie Roads) such as Alfred, Rowland, Wellington, Grange and Sackville have some exceptional examples of Edwardian, Victorian and contemporary architecture. There has also been a recent trend towards the development of larger retirement-living complexes aimed principally at downsizing couples wishing to remain in the area. Sport and leisure loom large in this suburb, you’ll find volleyball, tennis, footsal, lawn bowls, golf, football and cricket plus water sports on the Yarra and ‘Fun Fit’ junior fitness. It’s a lifestyle thing, residential, education, sport, entertainment and recreation with the best part of the Yarra River flowing through parkland to separate you from the city only 5 km away – no more than a fun run!
Bounded by Burke Road; the Yarra River, Willsmere Road and Rattan Avenue, Kew East is bright open and spacious with many parklands namely - Willsmere-Chandler Park, Kew Billabong Park, Hays Paddock, Harrison Park and Stradbroke Park. Kew Golf Club and Green Acres Golf Club are to the north of the Eastern Freeway which runs across the centre of the suburb from east to west. The High Street tram which runs through the Junction and onto Richmond and the CBD is the alternative public transport to buses which connect the suburb to surrounding areas and utilise the freeway to reach the city. There are two co-educational government schools located in Kew East — Kew High School, a secondary college located on Burke Road and Kew East Primary School on Kitchener Street. St Anne’s Catholic School is located on Beresford Street. The main shopping area, ‘Harp Village’ is located on High Street near the intersection with Harp Road. A small local centre, Belford Court Shopping Centre, is located on Belford Road. The Main Yarra Trail, a shared bicycle and pedestrian path, runs along the north side of the freeway. Belford Road bridges the freeway, providing a link to the northern part of the suburb. Wining, dining and entertaining are popular in this small suburb of about 7,000 with restaurants specialising in Greek, International, Irish, Chinese and Italian, as well as casual eateries.
This is a ‘Green Belt’ suburb with a mixture of housing styles many dating from the post war boom. It tends to be overshadowed by its big brother Kew but with property prices about half of that found only a few kilometres away.
Mont Albert train station and the Village shopping centre are at the heart of this small select suburb of only about 5,000 residents with a typical house and land value of $900,000. A small suburb known for the most part to be home to one of the loveliest streets in Melbourne – Mont Albert Road. The road runs through the middle of the suburb - and trams run along Whitehorse Road on the northern boundary. The suburb really took off in 1916 when the tram line was extended up to Union Road – shops and services soon followed. Mont Albert Road runs in a straight line mostly under a canopy of trees that reach out from either side of the road to form a crown. Starting from Elgar Road – a stone’s throw from the TAFE College, the bustling Whitehorse shopping plaza and Box Hill train station - the road runs in a westerly direction through three suburbs and terminates at the bustling Burke Road retail precinct. So there is activity at both ends – and tranquillity in the middle. The typical Mont Albert residence is set well back from the road on a large allotment. Mostly they are well-maintained homes of 50 or 100 years old and some from the 19th century. You will find original features of timber, leadlight glass and ornate plaster ceilings in rooms with high ceilings in homes of solid brick. Mont Albert Primary State School and Our Holy Redeemer Catholic Primary School are within the suburb and Camberwell Grammar School is further down Mont Albert Road. One of the loveliest suburbs to live in and have access to freeway, train, bus and tram lines.
In the 1880s, as the population grew in surrounding districts and the railway extended its line from Camberwell to Lilydale - real estate developers carved up the land known as ‘Surrey Hills’. Housing estates were laid out and streets were given impressive names such as Balmoral, Leopold, Windsor and Albert Crescents, but the area was considered too distant from the nearest shopping districts in Camberwell and Box Hill – how things have changed! With street names like Durham, Kent, Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk it’s no wonder the area between Canterbury and Riversdale Roads is called the ‘English Counties Estate’. During the 1990s depression the last bank closed in Union Road but local residents mustered together and on 24 February 2003, the Surrey Hills Community Bank (a community bank branch of Bendigo Bank) opened for business. The Union Road shopping precinct comprised at last count of five cafes, two bakers, two chemists, neighbourhood centre, community Bank, a post office and a large bottle shop! Shops, train station and primary school are grouped together – Chatham Station is further along the line through the trees and leafy surrounds of the area. Parks and gardens flourish in Surrey Hills – especially Surrey Gardens and South Surrey Park – plus across the Riversdale Road lies the large grounds of Wattle Park. The local footy team - The Surrey Park Panthers – is in the Eastern Football League. This is a leafy and select suburb that has managed to keep itself to itself and neither expand not merge with the surrounding areas.