Waurn Ponds, Victoria
View of the suburb south from Rossack Drive
|LGA(s)||City of Greater Geelong|
The town was named after the Waurn chain of ponds, a watercourse that flows from Mount Moriac over 30 km into the Barwon River. Two early hotels - the Victoria Inn (1845–60) and the Waurn Ponds Inn (1856) were located on the Princes Highway serving travellers on the road. The Albert and Victoria vineyards, owned by David Pettavel, began growing grapes in 1848 and the area was better known as Pettavel in the 1860s. The Pettavel Post Office opened on 12 January 1865 and remained open until 1952. The Waurn Ponds Post Office opened on 1 December 1871 and closed in 1968.
A quarry for limestone was opened in the 1840s, with quarrying continuing from 1964 to today at the nearby Blue Circle Southern cement works. Kilns for making mortar lime operated until the 1970s.
Waurn Ponds started to become part of the outer suburbs of Geelong from the 1970s, with the opening of the Deakin University campus and the Waurn Ponds Hotel on the highway. Major development did not begin until the early 1990s, based around Ghazeepore Road. The intervening years have seen housing developments spread across the hillside towards Grovedale.
As of 2007, it is low on water and is no more than 1 meter deep in most sections. It has a large weed problem which makes the creek look uninhabitable. The creek is home to species of fish (many introduced) including Carp, Redfin, Roach, Tench, Australian Grayling and short finned eels. The creek also is a large habitat of native birds including the pacific black duck. Increase in annual rain will bring the creek back to its original status.
Waurn Ponds is located on the Princes Highway that links the suburb the centre of Geelong. It is also the southern endpoint of Geelong Ring Road completed 2009. Anglesea Road heads south through the suburb linking the area to Torquay and Anglesea. Pioneer Road links the region west to Grovedale, the road not being completed eastward across the Waurn Ponds Creek until the mid-1990s.
Public transport to the area is provided by buses operated by Benders Buslines and McHarry's Buslines, on routes to the Geelong city centre travelling via the university, Belmont, Highton and Grovedale.
The 2003–04 Victorian State Budget saw funding made available for an extension of rail services on the line between Melbourne and Geelong southwards to Grovedale. A number of options were examined, among them a new railway station at Waurn Ponds. Marshall station was opened in 2005 in nearby Marshall on the site of a closed station.
The Deakin University campus at Waurn Ponds had the beginnings in the Gordon Institute of TAFE, who purchased land there in 1969. A building for the Applied Sciences was first built, followed by a library and student lodgings in 1975. In 1976 the Gordon Institute was divided into two parts, with academic courses becoming part of the newly formed Deakin University based at the Waurn Ponds campus.
Deakin enrolled its first students at its Waurn Ponds campus in 1977. Today the university is located on a 365 hectare site, has over 1,000 staff and over 4000 on-campus students.
Deakin offers many social groups for students to join, The main Association is DUSA, followed closely by the Deakin Students' Commerce Society Deakin University Student Association#Deakin Commerce Students' Society
Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre
The Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre was opened in adjacent Grovedale in around 1985 on the corner of the Princes Highway and Pioneer Road. Opened as the 'Town and Country' shopping centre, the initial tenants included Woolworths supermarket which remain today, a Franklins supermarket and a Mitre 10 hardware store on the current Coles supermarket site, a now demolished plant nursery, and a number of smaller independent stores. The stores were arranged around a central open air carpark. The first major changes was the closure of the hardware store, followed by the expansion of Franklins into the empty space.
The late 1990s saw the first refurbishment, and saw the expansion of the centre to the east with the opening of a Target department store. A number of smaller stores were also built linking it to the rest of the complex. They were later followed by the 8 screen Readings cinema complex. The early 2000s also saw the closure of the Franklins supermarket and the opening of a Coles supermarket in its place.
A third expansion cost $35 million. The Target department store was expanded, 36 new speciality shops opened including OPSM, and vehicle and pedestrian access was improved. Floorspace at the centre increased by one-third to 21,000sqm.
In 2013, another long anticipated expansion commenced to the south of the existing centre, with the first phase expected to be completed in mid-2014. The $65 million project to the south is to include a Coles Supermarket, K-Mart, Officeworks, an unnamed Liquor Store, a rumoured Hungry Jacks and retail space extended to 35,000sqm.
Geelong Homemaker Centre
The Geelong Homemaker Centre opened in mid-2005 and is located on the Princes Highway. It is the home of Bunnings Warehouse and Harvey Norman stores, as well as a number of smaller stores including Supercheap Auto, Beacon Lighting, Snooze, Ray's Outdoors and most recently JB-Hi-Fi.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Waurn Ponds (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- Waurn Ponds Revegetation Project
- City of Greater Geelong: Waurn Ponds
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- Rail Geelong: Waurn Ponds cement works
- Gregory's 1982-83 Melbourne Street Directory
- Department of Infrastructure: Marshall Railway Station
- Rail Geelong: Marshall Station
- Gordon Institute of TAFE: History 1941 - Today
- Deakin University: Waurn Ponds campus
- Geelong Investment News Vol 1, May 2007