Balwyn, Victoria

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Balwyn is located in Melbourne
Coordinates 37°48′32″S 145°4′44″E / 37.80889°S 145.07889°E / -37.80889; 145.07889Coordinates: 37°48′32″S 145°4′44″E / 37.80889°S 145.07889°E / -37.80889; 145.07889
Population 12,944 (2011)[1]
 • Density 2,311/km2 (5,990/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 3103
Area 5.6 km2 (2.2 sq mi)
Location 10 km (6 mi) from Melbourne
LGA(s) City of Boroondara
State electorate(s) Kew, Box Hill
Federal Division(s) Kooyong
Suburbs around Balwyn:
Kew East Balwyn North Mont Albert North
Kew Balwyn Mont Albert North
Deepdene Canterbury Mont Albert

Balwyn is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 10 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Boroondara. At the 2011 Census, Balwyn had a population of 12,944.

Well known for its high quality family lifestyle and many leafy streets, Balwyn is among Melbourne's most exclusive and desirable suburbs.

Balwyn in the north is separated from Balwyn North by Belmore Road, bounded in the west by Burke Road, in the south by an irregular line along Mont Albert Road, Northcote Avenue and Whitehorse Road and in the east by a line some distance to the east of Union Road.[2]

Whitehorse Road runs east-west along the ridgeline through the centre of Balwyn. Balwyn Road runs north-south from Koonung Creek Reserve (adjacent to the Eastern Freeway) to Canterbury Road.

The south west part of the Balwyn was excised as the suburb of Deepdene in 2010.


Balwyn was part of Henry Elgar's Special Survey of 8 square miles (21 km2) in 1841, which was subdivided into small farms and grazing runs.

In the late 1850s Andrew Murray, commercial editor and political writer for The Argus newspaper, bought land on the hill overlooking Canterbury Gardens. He named his house Balwyn from the Gaelic bal and the Saxon wyn, meaning 'the home of the vine'. Balwyn Road and the district were named after it.[3] The house was located on the site that is now part of Fintona Girls' School.

In 1868 the Balwyn Primary School was opened in Balwyn Road, about 100 metres north of Whitehorse Road. It was moved to the present site, south of Whitehorse Road, in 1880, opposite Murray's property. Balwyn's first town centre was near the intersection of Balwyn and Whitehorse Roads, containing a few shops, a blacksmith and the athenaeum or mechanics' institute. Anglican services began in 1868 and the St. Barnabas church, Balwyn Road, was opened in 1872.[4]

Balwyn Post Office first opened on 26 August 1874, in a rural area, closed in 1894, then reopened in 1920.[5] It will face a second closure on 11 February 2011 due to hardships in renewing rental agreement and relocating to nearby locations.[6]

The Outer Circle railway line, with a station at Deepdene, opened in 1891, was closed in 1893, re-opened in 1900 then finally closed to passenger traffic in 1927.

The electric tram system was extended along Cotham Road to terminate at Burke Road, Deepdene, on 30 May 1913. The line was extended along Whitehorse Road, through Balwyn to terminate at Union Road, Mont Albert, on 30 September 1916.[7]

The Balwyn Cinema, currently operated by Palace Cinemas, first opened as a single screen theatre in 1930. It was later converted into a multiplex in the 1990s, but the foyer was recently restored, uncovering the original 1930's tiled floor. It currently also serves as the head office of Palace Cinemas.[8]

Balwyn's status as an affluent suburb has seen middle to upper-middle-class families from suburbs such as Kew and Brighton transfer to the area to take advantage of the suburb's relatively large block sizes and proximity to some of Victoria's best private schools including those in the neighbouring suburbs of Canterbury and Kew. Some of the initial development of the suburb occurred along the Whitehorse Road tramline, along which the Wade handbag and the Jarvis Walker fishing rod factories were once located. The suburb's main shopping area is located around the intersection of Whitehorse Road and Balwyn Road.

Apart from the significant religious establishments of the suburb, a considerable number of local, almost village churches, sprang up post World War II, one example of which was the Deepdene Methodist Church. Now defunct, the church was adopted by the Rev Dr A. H. Wood upon his retirement as Principal of the Methodist Ladies' College in Kew. Wood made an indelible contribution to the suburb through his role at the church.[citation needed]


Balwyn is consistently ranked as one of Melbourne's 10 most exclusive suburbs. The heritage-protected Reid Estate[9]is especially noted - an area of Balwyn between Mont Albert Road and Whitehorse Road developed in the interwar period and graced with numerous mansions, many of which are of architectural significance. Balwyn is also home to the exquisite Maranoa Gardens, a native garden developed by citizens. The suburb has been immortalised by the Skyhooks single named after the suburb, 'Balwyn Calling', while The Age newspaper once described the suburb as "arguably Melbourne's most loved".[10]


The suburb has an Australian Rules football team, The Balwyn Tigers, competing in the Eastern Football League.[11] . It also has a cricket team the Balwyn Cricket Club[12]

Notable residents[edit]

  • David Askew – principal of the architectural firm Twentyman and Askew.[13]
  • Steve Hooker – world-famous pole vaulter, grew up in Balwyn.[14]
  • Belle Bruce Reid – Australia's first female veterinarian, established the Balwyn Veterinary Surgery.[15]
  • Gary Young – drummer of Daddy Cool, lived in Balwyn.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Balwyn (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  2. ^ Land Victoria, Locality Names and Boundaries (Maps by Municipality), archived from the original on 22 July 2008, retrieved 2009-03-17 
  3. ^ Camfield, D. (1974). "Murray, Andrew (1813–1880)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 5. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Balwyn & Balwyn North, Victoria, archived from the original on 2004-10-13, retrieved 2010-09-16 
  5. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11 
  6. ^ Balwyn Post Office Closure, retrieved 2011-01-24 
  7. ^ "1911 - 1920", 100 Years of Electric Trams - Tram History - Milestones (Yarra Trams), retrieved 2010-09-16 
  8. ^ "Balwyn Cinema", Cinema History Around The World (Cinematour), retrieved 2012-03-11 
  9. ^ "Reid Estate, Balwyn, Heritage Overlay HO192". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 2014-11-30. 
  10. ^ Dubecki, Larissa (21 February 2008), "Balwyn Sailing", The Age (Melbourne), retrieved 2008-03-03 
  11. ^ Full Point Footy, Eastern Football League, retrieved 2008-10-21 
  12. ^ .Balwyn Cricket Club, retrieved 2013-11-29 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Sharwood, Anthony (2009-10-24). "Under the radar". The Weekend Australian Magazine. pp. 14–20. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  15. ^ Wirth, Hugh J. (2002). "Reid, Isabelle Bruce (Belle) (1883–1945)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 16. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 

External links[edit]