Carrum Downs, Victoria

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Carrum Downs
Carrum Downs is located in Melbourne
Carrum Downs
Carrum Downs
Coordinates38°05′46″S 145°10′41″E / 38.096°S 145.178°E / -38.096; 145.178Coordinates: 38°05′46″S 145°10′41″E / 38.096°S 145.178°E / -38.096; 145.178
Population20,711 (2016)[1]
 • Density1,062.1/km2 (2,751/sq mi)
Area19.5 km2 (7.5 sq mi)
LGA(s)City of Frankston
State electorate(s)Carrum
Federal division(s)Dunkley
Suburbs around Carrum Downs:
Patterson Lakes Sandhurst Lyndhurst
Seaford Carrum Downs Skye
Seaford Frankston North Langwarrin
Views of the Dandenong Ranges from Carrum Downs.

Carrum Downs is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 36 km south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Frankston local government area. Carrum Downs recorded a population of 20,711 at the 2016 Census.

Prior to December 1994 the majority of Carrum Downs was within the City of Cranbourne. However, following statewide local government reform, the suburb was moved to be part of a new, larger City of Frankston.

In late 2006, RealEstatesource compiled a list of the top ten performing suburbs in Melbourne, Carrum Downs was ranked fourth with property showing a 94.4% median value increase since the real estate market's 'peak' of 2001.[2] In January 2008, the 'Your Investment Property' periodical published an article on Carrum Downs, predicting an increased demand for residential and commercial property in the area,[3] following the completion of the Eastlink project in June 2008.


Karrum Karrum[edit]

Before European settlers arrived at Port Phillip, Aborigines resting after the stiff climb of Oliver's Hill, Frankston, and looking north along the bay would have viewed a long ribbon of sandy beach shaped vaguely like a boomerang. The area was called Karrum Karrum, or as some of the early squatters interpreted it, Garem Gam, meaning "Boomerang". The swampy marshland behind the sand dunes was a rich hunting ground teeming with wildlife.[4]

Carrum Swamp[edit]

The Carrum Swamp measured approximately 15 km from north to south, and averaged about 5 km across from east to west. It was up to 8 km wide at the northern end. The high lands visible in the swamp were the Isles of Wannarkladdin, now Chelsea Heights. The swampland with its dense growth of swamp tea-tree and other vegetation was covered for the most part by the waters from the Dandenong, Eumemmerring, and other smaller creeks, with a total catchment area of approximately 430 km2, with the present townships of Langwarrin, Cranbourne, Berwick, Belgrave, Ferntree Gully, Olinda, Lilydale, Croydon and Ringwood forming its perimeter. Some of the waters eventually flowed through marshy country to the Mordialloc Creek or through to the Kananook Creek which flowed into the bay at Frankston.[4][5]

The Carrum Swamp together with the larger Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp made a formidable barrier against the early explorers and land seekers in the early days.

The birth of Carrum - allotments on the Long Beach[edit]

The first survey of the Carrum swamp was made by T. E. Rawlinson, and completed by 2 January 1866. The only sign of European habitation reported by Rawlinson was a fisherman's cottage occupied by John Watkins and his family near the present Watkins Grove, Aspendale. The survey between the swamp and the sea resulted in Mr Callinan, the State's assistant surveyor, dividing the area into 18 allotments stretching from the Mordialloc Creek to the present Keast Park, Seaford. The land was referred to as the "Allotments on the Long Beach", the first sales taking place at Semmell McCaul & Co's Auction Rooms at Collins Street, Melbourne, on 22 December 1865. The upset price was $6 per acre. Most of the land sold went to investors, but some development did take place near the already established fishing village of Mordialloc. Carrum Downs Post Office finally opened on 1 November 1909.[6]

The land sold on the swamp side was bought by Hugh Brown who built his home "Pine Vale" near the site of the Mordialloc High School which was part of his property. He was 40 years a Councillor of the Shire of Dandenong and served as President of the Shire. He was famous for his "Carrum" potatoes which were sent to several States. When Hugh Brown started farming there were still wild cattle roaming the swamplands from the original squatting days of the later 1830s to the 1850s.[4]

The first settlement[edit]

During the Great Depression, the Brotherhood of St Laurence built a settlement at Carrum Downs to provide food and shelter to suffering families. After World War II, the suburb was gradually redeveloped as a Village for aged persons.[7]

Botany Park and the redevelopment of Botany Bush[edit]

A small section of Carrum Downs is sometimes referred to by locals as "Botany Park", based on the name of a housing estate built during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the first major development of its type in the area, land was subdivided into generous lots between the southern and northern perimeters of Ballarto and Hall Roads. The generous land allotments, affordability and proximity to Frankston attracted families to the suburb. Development was conducted by AV Jennings, which financed and built prominent signage reading 'Botany Park' on the corner of Ballarto Road and Lyrebird Drive. The signage remains, although weather degradation and graffiti have degraded its appearance. During the early 1990s, the South Western quarter between Ballarto and Frankston-Dandenong Roads was known as 'Botany Bush'. The area was redeveloped into housing during the late 1990s.


The suburb is a mixture of modern low scale dwellings with generous garden frontage and low scale fencing. During the 1990s, a large catchment of land remained as public park space, although this has subsequently been developed into housing. Housing construction continues in the suburb.

Retail areas[edit]

The Carrum Downs Regional Shopping Centre

Carrum Downs is serviced by three shopping precincts, with a fourth bordering the suburb in neighbouring Seaford. The Carrum Downs Regional Shopping Centre is located on Hall Road in the centre of the suburb and is home to banks, a Woolworths Supermarket, a post office, chemist, newsagency plus 40 other shops including liquor shops, clothing stores, fast food outlets, restaurants and real estate agents. During 2014 a smaller format Bunnings store has opened to combat the opening of Masters just down the road while a full Bunnings Warehouse is under construction nearby to open during 2015. In early 2015 development began at the eastern end of the shopping centre of a substantial extension housing a KMart speciality store.

During October and November 2014 a McDonald's store was being constructed on a section of the car park fronting Hall Road.

The Local Village @ Carrum Downs is located on the Dandenong-Frankston Road and comprises approximately 12 shops including an IGA supermarket, restaurant, bakery, fast food shops, doctors office and pharmacy. Directly opposite the precinct is another small retail / business park.

The third shopping precinct which opened in 2008 and remains partially vacant, is located on the corner of McCormicks Road and Ballarto Road in the south of the suburb and includes 22 specialty shops as well as a Coles supermarket.


  • There are four preschools in Carrum Downs at Botany Park, Bowerbird, Rowellyn and Banyan Fields.
  • Primary school education is provided at Banyan Fields Primary School (previously Carrum Downs Primary), Rowellyn Park Primary, Skye, St Joachim's primary (a catholic faith school) and Flinders Christian College (a non-denominational Christian school).
  • Secondary education is provided at Carrum Downs Secondary College (a government school), Flinders Christian College (a non-denominational Christian school).
  • Tertiary level training can be undertaken at the Monash University Peninsula campus, Institute of TAFE in nearby Frankston.

Health services[edit]

Carrum Downs is serviced by three medical centres, two dental clinics, three pharmacies and a physiotherapy clinic. Hospital facilities are provided at nearby Frankston, about 10 minutes away.

The first large-scale General Practice medical service, the Carrum Downs Medical Centre, opened operations in Hall Rd in 1989. The medical centre moved into a substantial new 1000 m2 facility in December 2014. The site on which the medical centre operates is newly named the Carrum Downs Health Precinct, and comprises pathology and radiology services, retail pharmacy, dental services, a multi- disciplinary allied health service incorporating physiotherapy and a retail gymnasium, and a primary care skin cancer medical service in addition to the preexisting large general medical practice.


  • Rail: Carrum Downs has no direct access to rail services. The closest rail links are the Kananook and Seaford stations on the Frankston line, both approximately 12 minutes (by car) from the centre of Carrum Downs, or the Merinda Park and Cranbourne stations on the Cranbourne line, both approximately 16 minutes away.
  • Bus: Carrum Downs is serviced by 3 local bus routes - 760, 833 and 832 - and one smart bus service - 901 - which runs approximately once every 15 minutes Monday to Friday from Melbourne Airport to Frankston, passing through Carrum Downs via Dandenong-Frankston road.
  • Road: Carrum Downs provides easy access to two major arterial roads. To the East of Carrum Downs, the Western Port Highway provides connectivity to Melbourne City in the north (via the South Gippsland Freeway and the Monash Freeway). In a southerly direction, the Western Port Highway leads to the Port of Hastings. To the West of Carrum Downs is the Nepean Highway, which runs south from Melbourne city to Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula, along the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay. Also to the west is the Frankston Freeway, which travels from Chelsea Heights in the north to the Mornington Peninsula in the south. Carrum Downs is also close to the Eastlink Tollway, which opened on 29 June 2008. This runs from Rutherford Road in Carrum Downs (with travel further south provided by the Frankston Freeway) to Donvale in Melbourne's north east. Eastlink connects with the Monash Freeway and should reduce travelling time and distance to the City of Melbourne. Development of EastLink has led to strong commercial and industrial growth in Carrum Downs alongside the route of the EastLink.[8] Peninsula Link provides a freeway from the Eastlink/Frankston Freeway interchange, through Carrum Downs and then south to link with the Mornington Peninsula Freeway at Mount Martha. Since opening, Peninsula link has shortened travel times from Carrum Downs to Safety Beach on the Peninsula by about 20 minutes.

Community services[edit]

  • The Lyrebird Community Centre is located in Carrum Downs. The Carrum Downs Community Centre was established in 1988 and was located in the GK Tucker Village as part of the Brotherhood of St Laurence. The centre consisted of two small cottages: one for child minding activities and the other housing the Centre Manager. In 1994, the Centre amalgamated to become the Lyrebird Community Centre and moved to its current location in Lyrebird Drive. During 2003, the centre was renovated into a large modern complex.[9]
  • Carrum Downs offers Library Services via the Carrum Downs Library.[10]
  • A local branch of the Salvation Army operates within Carrum Downs.[11]
  • The 1st Carrum Downs Scout Group are based at the Recreation Reserve and run Cub Scouts, Joey Scouts, Scouts and Venturers.
  • The Rotary Club of Seaford-Carrum Downs meets Tuesdays, 7.00pm, at The Grand Hotel, cnr Nepean Highway and Daveys Street, Frankston.

Parks and Reserves[edit]

The Rotary Park at Carrum Downs

Carrum Downs has access to five public parks:

  • Banyan Reserve, which includes a sports oval and a children's playground.
  • Rotary Park, which includes barbecue facilities and a children's playground.
  • Sandfield Reserve, which includes a children's playground, and skate park facilities.
  • Carrum Downs Reserve, on Wedge Road, includes playground, barbecue facilities, two large sports ovals, cricket nets, and tennis courts.
  • Carrum Woods Reserve, on Carrum Woods Drive, includes wooded areas and large grassy areas, basketball hoop, and small playground.

In addition, there are several other wooded reserve areas which the public are allowed to walk through, and many of the housing developments feature public grassed areas and children's play facilities.

Sport and fitness[edit]

Tennis courts at the Recreation Reserve

Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple[edit]

The Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple at Carrum Downs
Carving on the doors of Shiva Vishnu Temple

The Shri Shiva Vishnu Hindu Temple is located in this suburb. This temple is the largest Hindu temple in Victoria. Worship at the temple is centred around Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, the presiding deities of two dominant streams in the Hindu ritualistic tradition. The temple attempts to bring the two streams together and provide a synthesis. Many Hindus residing in Melbourne worship there and is most popularly known for holding the annual Hindu festivals of Holi and Diwali.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2013, Carrum Downs became world-famous[citation needed] for the location of the viral video "I'm Just Waiting for My Mate". The video was filmed in the carpark of the local Coles Supermarket, and was first shown in 2008 on the Australian reality TV show Highway Patrol.

State Politics[edit]

Since the state election on 29 November 2014, the suburb of Carrum Downs has been represented by Labor MP Sonya Kilkenny in Victoria's Legislative Assembly. Carrum Downs falls within the Electoral district of Carrum.

Members for Carrum:

Member Party Term
  Ian Cathie Labor 1976–1988
  Mal Sandon Labor 1988–1996
  David Lean Liberal 1996–1999
  Jenny Lindell Labor 1999–2010
  Donna Bauer Liberal 2010–2014
  Sonya Kilkenny Labor 2014–present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Carrums Downs (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 21 September 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Your Investment Property - The numbers on Carrum Downs". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2008.]
  4. ^ a b c City of Kingston Historical Website. "Carrum Swamp: Swamped with History". Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Carrum Swamp, Victoria". 2 March 2000. Archived from the original on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  6. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 11 April 2008.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 August 2006. Retrieved 12 September 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Media Release from the Office of the Victorian Premier". Carrum Downs Eastlink. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
  9. ^
  10. ^ [1] Archived 25 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Carrum Downs Corps". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  12. ^ "The Kumars of Carrum Downs make their mark". The Age. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 23 November 2013.

External links[edit]