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 (pronunciation /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 Evelyn Observer was a weekly newspaper published from 1873 to 1942. It had various titles over the years. Digitsed copies can be accessed for various dates via Trove.[9] Other local newspapers have included Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate (1917-1922)[10] and Eltham and Whittlesea Shire Advertiser (1940-1942)[11] These papers can also be accessed via Trove.

The Eltham Hotel was established in 1867 and continues to be in business.[12]

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

A war memorial in the form of an obelisk of granite was unveiled 3 August 1919 in what was then the centre of the township.[13] In the 1960s it was relocated to the front of the Eltham RSL sub branch. It was moved again in 2010 in front of the Eltham War Memorial Building Complex.[14] The Eltham War Memorial Building Complex recognises those who served and died in World War 2. The community complex originally featured an infant welfare centre, war memorial gates and a wrought iron arch, memorial garden, pre-school and children's library.[15]

Eltham Presbyterian Church opened in 1958.[16]

The Eltham Magistrates' Court closed on 1 February 1985.[17]

The Eltham Refugee Housing and Support Project was delivered in partnership with St Vincent's Health Australia and CatholicCare to provide accommodation and settlement support to newly arrived refugees from Syria and Iraq. From November 2016 to October 2018, refugees were provided with affordable accommodation in refurbished units on the site of St Vincent's Care Services Eltham Aged Care facility. During this time, CatholicCare provided tenancy and settlement support.[18]

Leader Community Newspapers published the Diamond Valley Leader for some years before it ceased publication in June 2020.[19]

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.[20]

Aside from the Montsalvat artist community, Eltham has also been home to artists such as Walter Withers[21] and Neil Douglas,[21] as well as to writers such as Alan Marshall[22] and Mervyn Skipper.[23]


Primary schools include Eltham Primary School which was established in Little Eltham in July 1855,[24] 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 railway station is located on the Hurstbridge Line.

Eltham is a key connection point of bus services across the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne, including the Route 902 orbital service. Eltham Railway Station services as a local hub for buses to locations including Warrandyte, Diamond Creek, Greensborough, Doncaster and local services.


World champions Emma Carney (triathlete) and Cadel Evans (racing cyclist) are both Eltham residents.

The suburb is home to the Eltham Wildcats Basketball Club which is the largest basketball club in Australia,[25] Eltham Redbacks Football Club and Eltham Cricket Club.

Eltham Old Collegians Football Club compete in the VAFA.

Eltham Football Club, known as the Panthers[26] is an Australian Rules Club competing in the Northern Football League.[27] 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, Eltham Netball Club and Eltham Bowling Club (which has both grass and synthetic greens), and Eltham Lacrosse Club.

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.

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.[28] It was built as part of the extension of the Hurstbridge Railway line from Heidelberg to Hurstbridge which opened in 1912.[29]


Eltham Library

The Diamond Creek trail passes through Eltham.

Eltham Cemetery[30]

Eltham Farmers' Market[31]

Eltham Library is operated by Yarra Plenty Regional Library.

Eltham Leisure Centre features the Platinum Pool Program which meets the gold standard by Life Saving Victoria.[32]

The Senior Citizen's Centre was completed in 1967.[33]


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 specialised in mud brick. The park is located on Main Road near the central Eltham shopping strip.[34] The Eltham Library is located nearby.[35] The kids playground is found within the open and lightly wooded forest.[36] Facilities include an old wooden playground, toilets, barbecues, a duck pond, and a sculpture.[35]

Alan Marshall Reserve is located on the corner of Main Road and Leane Drive.[37] It was named for the author who lived part of his life locally. The park has been there since at least 2007.[38]

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.[39]

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]

  • 1st Eltham Scouts[40]
  • 2nd Eltham Sea Scouts[41]
  • Eltham Child Care Cooperative[42]
  • Eltham Community Action Group are active in the community and work to maintain Eltham's character.[43]
  • Eltham District Historical Society collects, preserves and share stories about the local history of the Eltham district.
  • Eltham Toy Library provides an environment for children to learn, grow and play.[44]
  • Rotary Club of Eltham[45]
  • Welcome to Eltham supports refugees and people seeking asylum settling in Eltham.[46]

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. ^ "Postcode for Eltham, Victoria (Near Melbourne) - Postcodes Australia".
  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. ^ Phoenix Auctions History, Post Office List, retrieved 8 April 2021
  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. ^ "Evelyn Observer, and South and East Bourke Record (Vic. : 1882 - 1902)". Trove. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate (Vic. : 1917 - 1922)". Trove. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser (Vic.: 1940–1942)". Trove. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  12. ^ "Eltham Hotel, Eltham, VIC". Eltham Hotel, Eltham, VIC. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  13. ^ "ELTHAM MEMORIAL TO FALLEN SOLDIERS". Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate (Vic. : 1917 - 1922). 8 August 1919. p. 3. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Virtual War Memorial Australia. Eltham War Memorial". Virtual War Memorial Australia. Retrieved 4 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Eltham War Memorial Building Complex, Eltham". wwiiathome.com.au. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Our History". Eltham Presbyterian Church. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Special Report No. 4 - Court Closures in Victoria" (PDF). Auditor-General of Victoria. 1986. p. 79. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  18. ^ "A Place to called home". CatholicCare. Retrieved 6 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ "News Corp cuts: Is your local newspaper affected?". www.abc.net.au. 28 May 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Montsalvat at Eltham, Victoria, a haven for artists, craftspeople and performers". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 September 2006. Retrieved 23 October 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ "Eltham Wildcats key metrics" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ http://www.elthamfc.com.au/
  27. ^ Full Points Footy, Eltham, archived from the original on 20 April 2009, retrieved 15 April 2009
  28. ^ http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/search/nattrust_result_detail/66300
  29. ^ Marshall, Marguerite (2008). Nillumbik now and then. King, Alan. Research, Vic.: MPrint Publications. ISBN 9780646491226. OCLC 298631366.
  30. ^ Price, Matthew. "Eltham Cemetery Trust: Established 1858: Burial Grounds: Mount Pleasant Road, Eltham, Victoria, Australia". www.elthamcemetery.com. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  31. ^ "Eltham Farmers' Market | Local Food Connect". localfoodconnect.org.au. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  32. ^ "Aligned Leisure-managed Eltham Leisure Centre recognised for safety excellence - Australasian Leisure Management". www.ausleisure.com.au. 17 August 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ "Eltham War Memorial Building Complex, Eltham". wwiiathome.com.au. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  34. ^ "Alistair Knox Park, Main Road, Eltham." Melbourne Playgrounds. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  35. ^ a b "Alistair Knox Park." Archived 21 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine Playground Finder. N.p., 30 April 2011. Web. 6 August 2013.
  36. ^ "Alistair Knox Park." Playful Possum. web. 2014
  37. ^ "Alan Marshall Reserve". www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  38. ^ "21 Sep 2007 - Eltham (Alan Marshall Reserve / Main Road) Profile | Metlink... - Archived Website". Trove. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  39. ^ "Notice of Registration of Geograohic Names" (PDF). Victorian Government Gazette. 15 April 2004. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  40. ^ "Home Scouts Victoria | Australia". Scouts Victoria | Australia. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  41. ^ "Home Scouts Victoria | Australia". Scouts Victoria | Australia. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  42. ^ "Home | Eltham Child Care Cooperative". ECCC website. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  43. ^ "About Us". Eltham Community Action Group. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  44. ^ "Eltham Toy Library". Eltham Toy Library. Retrieved 4 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  45. ^ "Rotary Club of Eltham". Rotary Club of Eltham. Retrieved 6 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  46. ^ Welcome to Eltham, retrieved 4 June 2021

External links[edit]