Eltham, Victoria

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Eltham aerial.jpg
Aerial photo of Eltham from the south-east
Eltham is located in Melbourne
Location in metropolitan Melbourne
Coordinates37°42′54″S 145°09′29″E / 37.715°S 145.158°E / -37.715; 145.158Coordinates: 37°42′54″S 145°09′29″E / 37.715°S 145.158°E / -37.715; 145.158
Population18,314 (2016)[1]
 • Density1,387/km2 (3,593/sq mi)
Area13.2 km2 (5.1 sq mi)
Location20 km (12 mi) from Melbourne
LGA(s)Shire of Nillumbik
State electorate(s)Eltham
Federal Division(s)
Suburbs around Eltham:
Briar Hill Eltham North Research
Montmorency Eltham Research
Lower Plenty Templestowe Warrandyte

Eltham (About this soundpronunciation /ˈɛl.θəm/  ) is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 20 km north-east of the Central Business District.[2] Its local government area is the Shire of Nillumbik. At the 2016 Census, Eltham had a population of 18,314.

Eltham is one of the 'green wedge' areas that provide relatively undeveloped, accessible environments within the Melbourne suburban region. These green wedge areas are under constant pressure from developments such as road and freeway expansions, but Eltham has managed to retain many tree-lined streets and leafy reserves. However, the character of the suburb is changing rapidly, with increased road traffic and higher-density housing becoming more common.[3]

Eltham's tourist attractions include the artists colony Montsalvat and the Diamond Valley Railway, the largest ridable miniature railway in Australia.


A reserve for a village at the junction of the Diamond Creek and Yarra River is shown on maps around 1848. By 1851 the first Crown allotments were being subdivided and sold,[4] along with a private subdivision developed by J. M. Holloway, known as Little Eltham. At this time, the town's centre was located around the intersection of Pitt Street and Main Road. An early settler was Henry Dendy who operated a flour mill.[5]

Eltham Post Office opened on 1 February 1854.[6]

The first Eltham Cemetery Trust was appointed in February 1860.[7]

St Margaret's Church commenced construction in 1861 at 10 John St Eltham.[8]

The arrival of the railway line in 1902 drew business further north along Main Road to the current town centre.

The Eltham Magistrates' Court closed on 1 February 1985.[9]

Appeal to artists[edit]

Buildings at the Montsalvat artists' colony, Eltham, Victoria

Eltham is famous for the Montsalvat artist community, which built a rustic set of medieval-style buildings in the 1930s.[10]

Aside from the Montsalvat artist community, Eltham has also been home to artists such as Walter Withers[11] and Neil Douglas,[11] as well as to writers such as Alan Marshall[12] and Mervyn Skipper.[13]


Primary schools include Eltham Primary School which was established in Little Eltham in July 1855.[14]

Other primary schools include Our Lady Help of Christians Primary, Eltham East Primary and Eltham North Primary School.

Eltham encompasses the state secondary school, Eltham High School, as well as a private girls secondary school, Catholic Ladies College, Eltham. Another private secondary school, Eltham College of Education, takes its name from Eltham, but is located in nearby Research. There are various childcare and early learning centres available. Several schools are also located in the exclusive connecting area of Eltham North, including St. Helena Secondary College, Plenty Valley International Montessori School, Holy Trinity Primary School, Glen Katherine Primary School and near Eltham College there is Research Primary.


Eltham has a local train station, Eltham Station, located on the Hurstbridge Line.

Eltham also has local buses, that go up to Warrandyte and Diamond Creek, one also goes around the back streets of Eltham. The Eltham Railway Station serves as a local hub for bus services.


World Champions Emma Carney & Cadel Evans are both Eltham residents.

The suburb is home to the Eltham Wildcats Basketball Club which is the biggest basketball club in the southern hemisphere,[citation needed] Eltham Eagles Soccer Club, Eltham Redbacks Soccer Club and Eltham Cricket Club.

Eltham Old Collegians Football Club competing in the VAFA

Eltham Football Club, known as the Panthers[15] is an Australian Rules Club competing in the Northern Football League.[16] Eltham Rugby Union Football Club is centrally located in Bridge St with teams for all groups including Masters.

The suburb is home to the Eltham Tennis Club, one of the largest tennis clubs in the Nillumbik Shire.

Eltham Little Athletics Club is one of the largest of the eight clubs competing weekly at the Diamond Valley Little Athletics Centre at Willinda Park, Greensborough.

Eltham is home to the Eltham Bowling Club. The club has both grass and synthetic greens.

Eltham Netball club

Historic Trestle Bridge[edit]

Eltham is home to a historic wooden railway trestle bridge. The bridge was built in 1902 and is the only wooden trestle bridge still in use in Melbourne's electric railway network. It is also one of few wooden trestle bridges in use in Victoria[17] It was built as part of the extension of the Hurstbridge Railway line from Heidelberg to Hurstbridge which opened in 1912.[18]


Eltham Library

The Diamond Creek trail passes through Eltham.

Eltham Library is operated by Yarra Plenty Regional Library.

The Eltham Leisure Centre is home to plenty of people all over the globe.


Alistair Knox Park(37°43′07″S 145°08′40″E / 37.7187°S 145.1445°E / -37.7187; 145.1445) is named after Alistair Knox, a famous local landscape architect who specialized in mud brick. The park is located on Main Road near the central Eltham shopping strip.[19] The Eltham Library is located nearby.[20] The kids playground is found within the open and lightly wooded forest.[21] Facilities include an old wooden playground, toilets, barbecues, a duck pond, and a sculpture.[20]

Alan Marshall Reserve is located on the corner of Main Road and Leane Drive.[22] It was named for the author who lived parat of his life locally. The park has been there since at least 2007.[23]

Barak Bushlands are at the location previously known as Falkiner Street Reserve, located to the west of Wingrove Park along the Diamond Creek. They were named for Indigenous leader William Barak by Nillumbik Shire Council in 2004.[24]

Laughing Waters park is a bushland named after the sound of the kookaburras, and the water running over the rocks in the nearby waterhole, which is a busy spot for tourists. It was a popular spot for the artists of Montsalvat to live and paint. Closer to the Yarra River, it is riparian forest, inland it is damp dry open forest.

Community Groups[edit]

Eltham District Historical Society collects, preserves and share stories about the local history of the Eltham district.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Eltham copper, a subspecies of butterfly particular to, and named after Eltham
  • Shire of Diamond Valley - Parts of Eltham were previously within this former local government area.
  • Shire of Eltham - Parts of Eltham were previously within this former local government area.


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Eltham (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ http://www.postcodes-australia.com/areas/vic/north+west+melbourne/eltham
  3. ^ Traffic choking Eltham because of infrastructure neglect Graeme Hammond From: Sunday Herald Sun 9 July 2010
  4. ^ "Advertising". The Argus. 15 March 1851. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  5. ^ Bate, Weston, "Dendy, Henry (1800–1881)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 24 May 2020
  6. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
  7. ^ "Victoria Government Gazette – Online Archive – 1860, p275". gazette.slv.vic.gov.au. 10 February 1860. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  8. ^ "St Margaret's Church". Victorian Heritage Council. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Special Report No. 4 - Court Closures in Victoria" (PDF). Auditor-General of Victoria. 1986. p. 79. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Montsalvat at Eltham, Victoria, a haven for artists, craftspeople and performers". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 September 2006. Retrieved 23 October 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Marshall, Alan (1971). Pioneers & painters; one hundred years of Eltham and its Shire. [Melbourne]: Thomas Nelson (Australia). p. 65. ISBN 0-17-001948-9. OCLC 216337.
  15. ^ http://www.elthamfc.com.au/
  16. ^ Full Points Footy, Eltham, archived from the original on 20 April 2009, retrieved 15 April 2009
  17. ^ http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/search/nattrust_result_detail/66300
  18. ^ Marshall, Marguerite (2008). Nillumbik now and then. King, Alan. Research, Vic.: MPrint Publications. ISBN 9780646491226. OCLC 298631366.
  19. ^ "Alistair Knox Park, Main Road, Eltham." Melbourne Playgrounds. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Alistair Knox Park." Archived 21 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine Playground Finder. N.p., 30 April 2011. Web. 6 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Alistair Knox Park." Playful Possum. web. 2014
  22. ^ "Alan Marshall Reserve". www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  23. ^ "21 Sep 2007 - Eltham (Alan Marshall Reserve / Main Road) Profile | Metlink... - Archived Website". Trove. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  24. ^ "Notice of Registration of Geograohic Names" (PDF). Victorian Government Gazette. 15 April 2004. Retrieved 24 May 2020.

External links[edit]