Frankston, Victoria

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This article is about the Melbourne suburb. For the encompassing local government area, see City of Frankston.
Frankston from Olivers Hill.jpg
Frankston CBD viewed from Olivers Hill
Frankston is located in Melbourne
Coordinates 38°09′29″S 145°08′06″E / 38.158°S 145.135°E / -38.158; 145.135Coordinates: 38°09′29″S 145°08′06″E / 38.158°S 145.135°E / -38.158; 145.135
Population 34,457 (2006 census)[1]
 • Density 1,657/km2 (4,291/sq mi)
Established 1853
Postcode(s) 3199
Area 20.8 km2 (8.0 sq mi)
LGA(s) Frankston City
State electorate(s) Frankston
Federal Division(s) Dunkley
Suburbs around Frankston:
Port Phillip Seaford Frankston North
Port Phillip Frankston Langwarrin
Port Phillip Frankston South Langwarrin South

Frankston is a seaside suburb of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, located in the local government area of City of Frankston. It is 41 km south of the Melbourne City Centre, near to the northernmost point of the Mornington Peninsula. Due to its geographic location, it is often referred to as "the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula".[2][3]

European settlement of Frankston began immediately after the foundation of Melbourne in 1835, as an unofficial fishing village serving the early Melbourne township.[4] Prior to its settlement, the Frankston area was populated primarily by the Mayone-bulluk clan of the Bunurong people of the Kulin nations. A new village at Frankston was officially established after formal land sales took place in 1853, and was named following a survey of the area in early 1854.[4][5] It became a part of the metropolitan area of Melbourne, as a result of the urban agglomeration of the metropolis, during the 1940s.[6] Today, Frankston lends its name to the broader local government area of Frankston City and serves as its major activity and administrative centre.

Situated on the eastern shoreline of Port Phillip, Frankston has been a popular seaside destination of Melbourne since the early 1880s.[2] Today, Frankston Beach is still one of the most popular in Victoria,[7] and is recognised as one of the cleanest in Australia.[8][9] It also plays host to the largest annual exhibition of sand sculpting in the Southern Hemisphere.[10][11]

Localities and neighbourhoods within the suburb include: Frankston Central Business District (CBD), Frankston East, Frankston Heights, Karingal, Long Island, Mount Erin and Olivers Hill. The independent suburb of Frankston South also shares the same postcode as Frankston. According to the 2006 Australian census, the suburb of Frankston had a population of 34, 457.[1] The demonym for someone from Frankston is a Frankstonian.[12]



The origins of the name Frankston have been subject to conjecture. One enduring theory is that it was named after Frank Liardet, the son of early Melbourne pioneer Wilbraham Liardet, who built the first brick house in Frankston at his Ballam Park estate in 1855 (in what is now the Frankston locality of Karingal).[4]

However, a letter to the editor of The Argus newspaper from a member of the Liardet family (published on May 30, 1916) stated that was in fact not the case.[5] Included in the letter were excerpts of correspondence between the family and the Victorian Department of Lands and Survey which also refuted the theory that Frankston was named after Frank Liardet.[5] Alternatively, according to the correspondence, the Chief Draftsman of the department states that Frankston was named after the early Melbourne settler Charles Franks who was killed by Aboriginals.[5] It is also states that the name was used from the first survey of the area in early 1854, a year before Liardet constructed his homestead.[5]

The settler Charles Franks arrived in Melbourne in 1836 and took up a land holding on the western side of Port Phillip near Mount Cottrel (west of what is today the suburb of Werribee).[5] Franks' land holding neighboured that of the explorer and surveyor John Helder Wedge, one of the original settlers of Melbourne. Helder Wedge's nephew, the surveyor Charles Wedge (after whose descendent Wedge Road in what is now the suburb of Carrum Downs is named), managed his uncle's land before taking up his own holding in the Frankston area.[5] In the excerpts of correspondence published in the letter to editor of The Argus the Chief Draftsman of the Department of Lands and Survey surmises that, at the time of surveying the area, the name Frankston was probably suggested to honour the Wedges' deceased former neighbour.[5]

Another popular theory—which has entered into local folklore—is that Frankston was named after a pub called Frank Stone's Hotel. In 1929, the later author Don Charlwood (a student at Frankston High School at the time) compiled a history of Frankston using living sources and local records supporting this theory. Charlwood's history was published over several weeks in the Frankston and Somerville Standard newspaper the following year.[13]

According to Charlwood, the pub was one of the earliest permanent buildings in the area and was originally called the Kananook Hotel. Located on the north-west corner of Bay Street (now Nepean Highway) and Davey Street (the site of the present day Grand Hotel), the pub had a number of owners under that name until it was purchased by a "Mr. Stone".[13] After the birth of his son, named Frank, Stone then renamed the pub Frank Stone's Hotel.[13] Charlwood implies that the town developed around the pub and that its name was adapted from it in 1854.[13]

However, according to the local historian Michael Jones, in his book Frankston: Resort to City, Frankston is actually named after the British army general Sir Thomas Harte Franks.[14] Jones' theory is strengthened by the fact that a number of other towns in the area, such as: Cranbourne, Hastings, Lyndhurst, Mornington and Pakenham, also had their names derived from that of British generals and statesmen. Jones suggests that Andrew Clarke, the Surveyor-General of the Port Phillip District from 1853 till 1858, and who had briefly served under Franks in India, named all of these towns.[14]


Prior to European discovery, the Frankston area was populated by Indigenous Australians known as the Kulin people. Specifically, inhabitants in the Frankston area were from the Bunurong language group, of the Mayone-bulluk clan. Europeans first set foot in Frankston as early as 30 January 1803, thirty two years before the founding of Melbourne (the first major European settlement in the then Port Phillip District).[14] A commemorative plaque near the mouth of Kananook Creek marks the location of where Captain Charles Grimes and his party went ashore searching for fresh water, and met with around 30 local inhabitants.

European settlement[edit]

Lithograph of the seaside resort town in 1888 showing Mark Youngs Pier Hotel, Young's Baths and the Colonial Bank of Australasia

After the settlement of Melbourne in 1835, James Davey took up a large land holding in 1846, which extended from Olivers Hill to (what is now his namesake) Daveys Bay. Olivers Hill was named after local fisherman, James Oliver, who built a cottage atop the hill from where he kept an eye out for fish in the waters below.[14] The first official land sales in the area were held in 1853, and Frank Liardet (the eldest son of prominent settler, hotelier and descendant of French nobility, Wilbraham Liardet), established the "Ballam Ballam" estate in 1854.[14][15] The estate was the earliest officially recorded settlement in Frankston, and was located to the east of Port Phillip, in what is now known as the locality of Karingal.[14] Liardet's original homestead "Ballam Park" remains today, and is now heritage-listed. In the 1910s, C. Evelyn Liardet, grandson of Wilbraham Liardet, wrote to The Argus newspaper to correct a suggestion that Frankston's name in any way derived from his uncle Frank Liardet.[5]

Frankston's early development was hampered by poor soils, distance from the Melbourne city centre, and the existence of a major swamp occupying much of the area between Mordialloc and Seaford.[14] Thomas McComb, who arrived in Frankston in 1852, also purchased much land in the area (over what is now the Frankston central business district) and did much to develop the local fishing industry. A pier was completed in 1857 and, between the 1850s and the arrival of the Melbourne railway in the 1880s, the area developed as a small fishing community.[2][14]

An Anglican church and school were built in 1855, with the first Frankston post office opening on 1 September 1857[16] and a pottery established in 1859.[14] During the 1860s, there were estimated to be around 30 people living in Frankston, with about 200 others living in the surrounding area. In 1874, a state school was built in Frankston as well as a Mechanics' Institute.

A free library was opened in 1880. The first savings bank opened in 1881, and two brickworks factories and a cordial manufacturer were operating by the 1880s.[14] The Melbourne railway came on 1 August 1882, which saw Frankston develop into a seaside resort.[14]


Gregory Peck in front of the former Frankston railway station building, in the film On the Beach (1959).

Frankston's lure as a holiday destination increased particularly after the electrification of the railway service on 27 August 1922, which reduced average journey times from 90 to 62 minutes. Between these years, the area developed into a regional centre for the Mornington Peninsula and a playground for Melbourne's affluent.[2][14]

It was the site of the first Australian Scout Jamboree in 1935.[14] It was the only jamboree in Australia to be attended by the founder of the Scouting movement, Sir Robert Baden-Powell. Several streets in the locality of Frankston South are named after the event (Baden Powell Drive being the most prominent). The original grandstand used for the jamboree remained a historic landmark at Frankston Park for 72 years, until it was destroyed by fire on 12 February 2008.[17]

The population of Frankston boomed during and after World War II, increasing from 12,000 in 1947 to 82,000 by 1982 (referring to the old town zoning system when Frankston and its surrounds were all part of the former "Shire of Frankston and Hastings"). This was due to the establishment of small government housing estates in the area, to house the families of Australian Defence Force personnel stationed at the nearby Balcombe Army Camp in Mount Martha and the Flinders Naval Depot near Hastings.[14]

In 1959, the Hollywood film, On the Beach, starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner, was partly filmed in Frankston, at its railway station and in the surrounding area. The original novel of On the Beach was written by novelist Nevil Shute, who lived in Frankston's south-east, in what is now the Frankston suburb of Langwarrin.

On 2 September 2004, Frankston was nominated for the Bursary Award in the Livcom International Awards for Livable Communities. In October 2004, it received a Bronze Award for "management of environment and enhancement of quality of life". It won this award for "C Category Cities" (cities with populations between 75,001 – 200,000).

On 24 March 2007, Frankston won two awards in the Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria's clean beach challenge. It won the award for "Friendliest Beach in Victoria", and also the "Natural Heritage Award" for the maintenance of Frankston Beach and the provision of facilities. On 2 June 2008, Frankston was named Victoria's most sustainable city in the Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria's Sustainable Cities Awards.[18]


View of Olivers Hill from the Frankston Boardwalk
Granite rock formation in the Sweetwater Creek Nature Reserve
Landmark Bridge over Kananook Creek at the Frankston Waterfront

The suburb of Frankston (not to be confused with the multi-suburb government area known as the City of Frankston of which the suburb of Frankston is a part) covers a wide geographic area in comparison with other suburbs of Melbourne. It also encompasses localities (not to be confused with being independent suburbs) which include: Karingal, Olivers Hill, Frankston Heights, Frankston East, Mount Erin and Long Island.

The suburb is bounded to the west by Port Phillip; the north by Skye Road and Overton Road (bordering the City of Frankston suburbs of Frankston North and Seaford); the east by McClelland Drive and the Moorooduc Highway (bordering the City of Frankston suburb of Langwarrin); and the south by Humphries Road, Robinsons Road and Golflinks Road (bordering the Shire of Mornington Peninsula suburbs of Mount Eliza and Baxter).[19]


Frankston is at the southern end of a stretch of beaches that run from Beaumaris south to near Olivers Hill, unbroken except by Patterson River, Mordialloc Creek and Kananook Creek. Kananook Creek also runs close to the shores of Port Phillip, creating a long "island" effect, giving the locality the name "Long Island". The area is not technically an island, as the creek does not flow into the bay at any point other than its mouth near Frankston Beach. However, the creek was joined to the Patterson Lakes via an underground aqueduct in 1983, when a pumping station was built to improve water quality in the creek.[20]

The central and northern areas of the suburb are generally flat, but the suburb rises gradually towards the east, then rises sharply at Olivers Hill in the south of the suburb. Also at Olivers Hill, where Sweetwater Creek meets Port Phillip, the beaches give way to weathered bluffs of sandstone and siltstone, with the odd sandy cove at Daveys Bay and again at Canadian Bay.

The southern uplands are at the northern end of an uplift area in a Horst-Graben structure that extends down the Mornington Peninsula. Similar plutonic intrusive uplifts occur on the Mornington Peninsula at Mount Martha and Arthurs Seat. The fault zones are currently inactive, though minor tremors have historically been experienced.


Frankston is generally a leafy suburb, with some natural heritage elements. A number of large informal nature reserves exist in the suburb including: Bunarong Park, Casuarina Reserve, Paratea Flora and Fauna Reserve and Sweetwater Creek Nature Reserve. All reserves have formal walking paths and contain a broad range of Australian native flora and fauna, with hundreds of species indigenous to the Frankston area, including over 20 species of orchid. Large, formally designed parks in the area include: Beauty Park (converted from a swamp in the early 20th century) and the George Pentland Botanical Gardens (converted from a golf course in the mid 20th Century).

The Frankston foreshore area has also retained much of its natural element. Consecutive Frankston City Council's have sought to protect the native flora and sand dunes along the beaches. An extensive raised timber walking path called the "Frankston Boardwalk" winds through this section of the foreshore in order to protect the area, whilst also allowing it to be enjoyed by visitors. Only a small section of the foreshore remains developed, near the mouth of Kananook Creek and the 500 m Frankston Pier, called "Frankston Waterfront". The waterfront features extensive landscaping, a themed playground, car parking, a restaurant with bay views and a million dollar Visitor Information Centre.


Frankston has a temperate climate similar to that of Melbourne; however, it is usually around 2 °C cooler than the Melbourne city centre. In many cases, Frankston is one of the last areas of the greater Melbourne area to feel the effect of the cool change weather effect that occurs during the summer season.

At one of the widest points of Port Phillip, Frankston's seaside residents have an unobstructed view of oncoming westerly weather patterns. On rare days of severe storms with gale force westerly winds, Frankston briefly becomes one of the few places on Port Phillip with wave swell of a size that allows surfing.


The Peninsula Centre, constructed in 1973 at 435 Nepean Highway is Frankston's tallest and most visible building at 12 storeys. However it is also controversial. Celebrity Barry Humphries declared it Australia's worst building in reference to its brutalist aesthetic.[21] As a result, and due to it having been vacant for many years, it had been the subject of numerous redevelopment proposals in recent decades[22] before Asian Pacific Group redeveloped the building into 'Peninsula on the Bay' luxury residential and serviced apartments and serviced offices in April 2013.[23][24]

An arched pedestrian bridge over Kananook Creek was erected between 2002 and 2003 was part of the redevelopment of the foreshore and immediately became one of the city's most striking landmarks.[25]

Frankston Pier is considered an iconic landmark.[26] It was originally built in 1857 so fishermen could ship their catches to Melbourne. It has been extended and repaired over the decades. It is popular with fishermen and boaters, and summer weekends will find children diving off the pier in contravention of local by-laws.



According to the 2006 census, 69% of Frankston residents are born in Australia, with the most common overseas places of birth being: England (7.2%), New Zealand (2.5%), Scotland (1.5%), Germany (0.8%) and India (0.7%).[1]

An aging population in the suburb of Frankston is balanced by several new housing developments in neighbouring suburbs within the City of Frankston. The median age in the suburb of Frankston is 38, with 22.8% of the population over the age of 55, and 17.4% of the population under the age of 14.[1]


The most common religions in the suburb are: Catholic (22%), Anglican (18.7%), Uniting Church (4%), Presbyterian and Reformed (3.4%).[1] 25.5% of Frankston residents claim not to be religious.[1]


The dominant suburban nature of the area means it is not as diverse as residential areas closer to the Melbourne city centre, and the area has little multi-story development. However, due to its position as a gateway to the Mornington Peninsula, Frankston has been designated a "transit city" and a "principal activity centre" in accordance with the Victorian Government's Melbourne 2030 urban integration policy.[27] The policy aims to increase a focus on multi-story residential development in the Frankston central business district (CBD).[27]

Being one of the southern-most suburbs of the metropolitan area of Melbourne, Frankston is one its most affordable. As of March 2014, the median house price is $362,500 AUD.[28] In contrast, the median house price for the overall metropolitan area of Melbourne is $610,000 AUD.[29] Frankston consist mostly of traditional quarter-acre blocks (colloquially known as the "Australian Dream"). However, some apartments and flats are also centred in areas close to the Frankston central business district (CBD).

The locality of Olivers Hill boasts imposing bay and city views, and is home to the most expensive real estate property in the entire City of Frankston. It also overlooks Frankston Beach and the Frankston Waterfront. Known locally as "The Hill", some properties have been sold for in excess of $2 million, when the 2005 median price for a house in Frankston was only $228,000.[30]

According to the 2011 Australian census, 28.6% of residents own their property; 30.1% are purchasing their property; and 37.94% are renting their property. Of all residents, 77.2% live in a house; 15.5% live in an apartment, flat or unit, and 7.3% live in a semi-detached house, terrace house or townhouse.[31]


The foodcourt of Bayside Shopping Centre, the largest shopping mall on the Mornington Peninsula part of a retail economy that serves the large suburban population.

As a primarily residential area, the economy is primarily a tertiary with a heavy retail and service focus. The Frankston CBD (spanning the area between Nepean Highway and the railway station) contains a retail core, including the major regional shopping complex as well as street shopping, restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs.

Since 2003, the City of Frankston has invested in Frankston as a tourism destination. The city's first tourism marketing strategy was adopted in 2003, with a focus on the Frankston Beach and the waterfront precinct, retail core and surrounding heritage sites.

Bayside Shopping Centre, the largest shopping complex on the Mornington Peninsula, is located in the Frankston central business district. It features major department stores such as Myer, Target and Kmart; two supermarket chains Coles and Safeway, and over 250 smaller specialty stores and food outlets, located over three interlocking malls. The centre also contains a small entertainment precinct with restaurants, bars, and a 12-screen Hoyts Cinema complex.

The second-largest shopping complex is Centro Karingal, located in the locality of Karingal, around 5 km from the Frankston central business district. It features two Safeway supermarkets, a Big W department store, and 120 specialty stores. Like its central business district counterpart, the centre also contains an entertainment precinct, called "StarZone Karingal", with restaurants, a pub, a gym and a 12-screen Village Cinemas complex. StarZone Karingal is also home to one of the three V Max "super screens" in Australia. The Frankston Mitre 10 Home & Trade is located next to the Centro Karingal shopping centre.

There are at least 14 nightclubs in the Frankston central business district alone (mainly along the Nepean Highway and near the shopping complex). Restaurants from many cuisines including Italian, Greek, French, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian and Fijian cuisine operate in the CBD, a number of which have been listed in The Age's "Good Food Guide".[which?]

Major automotive dealerships of Holden, Ford, Chrysler (also retailing Dodge and Jeep), Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Suzuki and Hyundai (also retailing Kia) operate along Dandenong Road, in the suburb's north-west, as well as a light industrial area mostly involving the automotive repair industry. The area also spills over into the neighbouring suburb of Seaford, and centres on Hartnett Drive. The Seaford industrial area also contains some bulk retail and cash-and-carry outlets.



Further information: Frankston Hospital

Frankston has advanced health care facilities, and the suburb is a regional centre for the health care industry in the metropolitan area of Melbourne. According to the 2006 Australian census, 4% of Frankston residents are employed in the health care industry, making it the most common industry of employment in the suburb.[1] Three hospitals operate in the suburb of Frankston and service the greater City of Frankston and Mornington Peninsula.

The largest hospital in the suburb is the public Frankston Hospital,[32] which is the major provider of acute secondary and tertiary hospital services in the City of Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula,[32] and is part of the Peninsula Health Care network.[32] It opened as Frankston Community Hospital in 1941,[33] and is located on Hastings Road in Frankston. It is also a major teaching hospital, and is affiliated with nearby Monash University as well as Deakin University.[32]

The second largest hospital in the suburb is the Peninsula Private Hospital, which is part of the Ramsay Health Care network.[34] The hospital opened in 1964,[35] and was previously located at 255–265 Cranbourne Road in Karingal.[36] It moved to its present location at 525 McClelland Drive in Karingal in 1999.[35] The private Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital, which is part of the St John of God Health Care network,[37] took over the former Peninsula Private Hospital site in 2000. It is the largest private rehabilitation hospital in the south-east of Melbourne.[37]

A concentration of smaller health care providers are located close to Frankston Hospital. The large private outpatient surgery Frankston Private Day Surgery and the Peninsula campus of Monash University, which has focuses in health and human development,[38][39] are also located near Frankston Hospital.[40]


The suburb of Frankston has early childhood, primary, secondary, TAFE (vocational) and tertiary education facilities. It is a major vocational and tertiary educational centre for the City of Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula, and is home to the Peninsula campus of Monash University and the largest campus of Chisholm Institute.[41][42]

There are 12 primary schools in the suburb; eight of which are government schools (including Frankston East Primary School, Frankston Primary School and Frankston Heights Primary School) and four of which are private schools. Three of the private primary schools are Catholic-aligned and the fourth is the junior campus of the independent K-12 Woodleigh School (its senior campus is located in the City of Frankston suburb of Langwarrin South).[43] The four secondary schools in the suburb are Frankston High School,[44] McClelland College and Mount Erin College,[45][46] which are government schools, and John Paul College,[47] which is a Catholic-aligned private school. The oldest private school in the suburb is the Woodleigh School, which was established in 1856.[48] The oldest government school in the suburb is Frankston Primary School which was established in 1874.[49] The original Frankston Primary schoolhouse is now operated as a museum.[50]

Frankston High School has an excellent academic record attained through a range of extension programs including for high-achieving students as well as non-academic programs.[51] It is considered to be one of the most successful government schools in the state of Victoria.[51] Admittance to Frankston High School is based on residing in the designated student catchment zone of the school. Real estate agents often market properties in the suburbs of Frankston and Frankston South as being in the "Frankston High School zone" to entice buyers who wish to send their children to the school.[citation needed]

The Peninsula campus of Monash University has a teaching and research focus in commerce, economics, education, health and human development,[38][39] and is affiliated with the nearby Frankston Hospital.[32] The Peninsula campus is located on the former site of the Frankston Teachers' College, on McMahons Road in Frankston, which was founded in 1959.[52][53] It then became the State College of Victoria in 1974,[52][54] and later the Chisholm Institute of Technology in 1982.[52][55] It became a campus of Monash University in 1990, after the university merged with the Chisholm Institute of Technology.[52][56] Prior to becoming an educational facility, the campus was originally a residential property known as "Struan".[53] An Arts and Crafts style house on the property was built in 1924,[53] and serves today as the campus' postgraduate centre.[52]

Chisholm Institute in Frankston was one of the first vocational and technical schools in Victoria, and was founded at the turn of the 20th century.[57][58] It was originally known as Frankston Technical College,[58] before becoming the Frankston College of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) in 1974.[57] It merged with a number of other technical schools in the south-east of Melbourne to become the Chisholm Institute in 1998.[57] It takes its name from the former Chisholm Institute of Technology, which existed in Frankston before merging with Monash University in 1990, as well as the 19th century humanitarian Caroline Chisholm.[57] It is located on Fletcher Road in the Frankston central business district (CBD). Other large vocational training organisations in Frankston are Evocca College,[59] Pragmatic Training and SkillsPlus.[60][61]


Further information: EastLink, Melbourne and Peninsula Link
Frankston railway station

Frankston is one of the southern-most suburbs of the metropolitan area of Melbourne, as well as the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula. As such, it is well serviced by both road and rail. The suburb is connected to the rest of the metropolitan area of Melbourne by the EastLink tollway and Nepean Highway, and is connected to the rest of the Mornington Peninsula by the Moorooduc Highway, Nepean Highway and Peninsula Link.

The suburb is connected directly to the Melbourne city centre by the Frankston railway line from Frankston railway station. Local bus services run throughout the City of Frankston and also connect it to its neighbouring cities of Dandenong, Casey and Kingston. Regional bus services connect the south-western Mornington Peninsula, and the south-eastern Mornington Peninsula is connected by the Stony Point railway line from Frankston railway station as well as Leawarra railway station. The major transport terminus for the suburb is located on Young Street in the Frankston CBD.

Peninsula Link is an AU$759 million freeway that opened on 18 January 2013.[62] It connects to the EastLink tollway at the City of Frankston suburb of Seaford in the north, and ends at Mount Martha on the Mornington Peninsula in the south. Peninsula Link has a partnership with Frankston's McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park to place semi-permanent public artworks along the freeway.[63] New artworks are commissioned every two years and existing sculptures are transferred to McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park.[63] The freeway also includes a 25 km shared walking and cycling trail that begins at Patterson Lakes in the north and ends at Moorooduc in the south.[64] It takes in wetlands, parklands and natural bushlands.[64]

Eastlink is an AU$2.5 billion tolled section of the Eastern Freeway that opened on 29 June 2008.[65][66] It connects the City of Frankston with the neighbouring city of Dandenong as well as the cities of Maroondah and Whitehorse. The tollway also has large permanent public artworks placed along it; by prominent Australian artists Callum Morton, Emily Floyd, James Angus and Simeon Nelson.[67]


Arts and heritage[edit]

The suburb of Frankston is the major regional cultural hub for the greater City of Frankston and Mornington Peninsula. The area is home to a number of performance venues, performing arts companies, art galleries, heritage properties as well as parks and gardens. A driving tour called the Frankston Cultural Drive takes in a number of these places is signposted as Route 12.[68] A walking tour called the Frankston Coastal Arts Discovery Trail covers the artistic and architectural history of Frankston's beach and waterfront, as well as a variety of public art installations.[69] The trail can be accessed along the Frankston Boardwalk.

Performing arts:

Frankston Arts Centre is one of the largest performance venues outside of the Melbourne city centre in Victoria,[70] and is the largest in the City of Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula.[70] The centre is also one of the largest performance venues of an outer-metropolitan area in Australia.[70] It opened in 1995 and was designed by architect Daryl Jackson.[70] The main theatre of the Frankston Arts Centre seats 800 and its "Cube37" creative space also seats 192.[70] It serves over a quarter of a million patrons annually,[70] and is a tour venue for premier performing arts companies and festivals; such as the Australian Ballet, Australian Opera, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Victorian Opera.[71][72] The centre is located on the corner of Davey Street and Young Street in the Frankston central business district (CBD).

The George Jenkins Theatre is the second largest performance venue in Frankston and seats 426.[73] It is located at the Peninsula campus of Monash University on McMahons Road in Frankston.[73] It is one of the three performance venues in Monash University's Academy of Performing Arts' network. It opened in 1973 and was named after the former President of the State College of Victoria in Frankston (antecedent to the present Peninsula campus of Monash University).[54] Frankston City Council also operates a number of smaller community venues suitable for performing arts.

Frankston is home to a number of amateur and professional music organisations, including: choirs, concert bands and orchestras. The largest music group in the suburb is the Frankston Music Society, which was founded by concert pianist Vera Bradford in 1967.[74] The society consists of the Frankston Symphony Orchestra, which was established in 1968,[74] and the Mornington Peninsula Chorale, which was established in 1979.[74] The oldest music group in the suburb is the Frankston City Band, which was founded in 1949.[75] Frankston is also home to the national Australian Welsh Male Choir, which was founded in the suburb in 1973.[76]

The suburb also has a number of amateur theatre companies. Peninsula Light Operatic Society (PLOS) and Panorama Theatre Company present musical theatre productions, and were founded in 1960 and 1979 respectively.[77][78] The oldest theatre company in the suburb is Frankston Theatre Group, which presents dramatic theatre productions, and was founded in 1942.[79] People's Playhouse presents youth theatre productions and was founded in 1995.[80] The Little Theatre presents contemporary theatre productions and was founded by actor Kaarin Fairfax in 2009.[81] Frankston Ballet Company was founded in 1998 and performs throughout the year.[82]

Galleries and public art:

McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park

The major public art gallery in the area is the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, located in the nearby City of Frankston suburb of Langwarrin. The gallery opened in 1971,[83] and is renowned for its sculpture park which showcases 100 artworks by prominent Australian sculptors, including: Inge King, Lenton Parr, Clement Meadmore and Norma Redpath.[83][84] It was founded by siblings Annie (Nan) and Harry McClelland, who were at the centre an artists' group located in the suburb of Frankston locality of Long Island during the 1920s.[83] The sculpture park is set in 16 hectares of parklands,[84][85] and the gallery houses a number of permanent indoor collections.[86] It is located at 390 McClelland Drive in Langwarrin. Since 2003, the gallery has also commissioned the McClelland Sculpture Survey.[87] The survey awards AU$100,000 to an emerging Australian sculptor and is considered to be one of Australia's most prestigious prizes for sculpture.[87][88]

Other public galleries in Frankston include those of Frankston Arts Centre and its "Cube37" creative space, which host regular temporary exhibitions.[89][90] Notable private galleries in the area include Brialyn Boathouse Gallery and the gallery of maritime artist Richard Linton.[91][92] The major artists' group in the suburb is the Peninsula Arts Society which was founded in 1954.[93]

The suburb of Frankston also has over 50 public art installations.[94] Most are placed around the Frankston CBD as well as the beach and waterfront precincts. Recent public art additions in the suburb include: "Sentinel", a five metre tall wooden sculpture of a native sea eagle by sculptor Bruce Armstrong; "Power of Community" by mosaic artist Deborah Halpern; "Sightlines" (along the Frankston Pier) by Louise Laverack, which consists of 22 poles with nautical flag themed weather vanes and light panels which reflect the movement of the waves below;[95] and a lifesize bronze sculpture of former resident and philanthropist Dame Elisabeth Murdoch by Peter Corlett in the foyer of the Frankston Arts Centre.[96]

Heritage properties:

Ballam Park was an 8000-acre property owned by Frank Liardet, the son of early Melbourne pioneer Wilbraham Liardet.,[97] located in what is today the Frankston locality of Karingal. The Liardet's homestead at the property is in the French Colonial farmhouse style, and dates from 1855.[97] The homestead was believed to be designed by the artistic Wilbraham Liardet,[97] and was built by Thomas Cogger Allchin.[97] The homestead is constructed of brick and rendered to look like English stone,[97] and was the first brick house in Frankston.[97] Much of the original property was subdivided over time to create the locality of Karingal, including a large park and recreation reserve (named Ballam Park after the former property) which neighbours the remaining site of the homestead.[98] It is located on Cranbourne Road in Karingal.

Frankston Historical Society was founded in 1964 and is based at the Ballam Park homestead site.[97] The society operates a pioneer museum at the site, and gives guided tours of the homestead.[99] The Old Primary School in the Frankston CBD also operates as a museum.[50] Built in 1874, the schoolhouse has been preserved in its pre-20th century condition.[50] It is located on Davey Street in Frankston.

Located in the City of Frankston suburb of Langwarrin South is the National Trust property Mulberry Hill.[100] The modest mansion was home to artist and National Gallery director Sir Daryl Lindsay and his author wife Lady Joan.[100] The Lindsays were members of Nan and Harry McClelland's Long Island artists' group.[83] The house was originally a weatherboard cottage built in the 1880s, and was extended in an American Colonial style by the Lindsays in 1925.[100] The extensions were designed by architect Harold Desbrowe Annear and the gardens were designed and developed by Sir Daryl.[101] The property was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1984,[101] following Lady Joan's death, and includes collections of fine Australian art and Georgian era furniture.[100] The National Trust gives regular tours of the property.[100] It is located at 385 Golf Links Road in Langwarrin South.

Cruden Farm is a 54 hectare property owned by the Murdoch family,[102] located in the nearby City of Frankston suburb of Langwarrin.[103] The property was home to philanthropist Dame Elisabeth Murdoch till her death in 2012,[104] who spent her life developing the 8 hectares of gardens.[102][105] It is considered to be one of the finest examples of Australian landscape gardening.[105][106] The property was a wedding gift to Dame Elisabeth from her news tycoon husband Sir Keith Murdoch in 1928.[105][107] The original weatherboard house at the property was built in the late 1880s, and was extended by the Murdochs in the late 1920s.[107] The extensions were designed by architect Harold Desbrowe Annear and the initial gardens were designed by landscaper Edna Walling.[105][107] Dame Elisabeth lived at the property permanently from 1952, following the death of Sir Keith,[106] and continued to expand the gardens. Since 1971, the gardens have been maintained by Michael Morrison.[108] The property opens to the public at select times of the year and is used for public events.[105] It is located at 60 Cranbourne Road in Langwarrin.

Festivals and events[edit]

Balloon float in a parade during the 2007 Christmas Festival of Lights
A sand sculpting display at Sand Sculpting Australia's 2008/2009 "Dinostory" exhibition

The Christmas Festival of Lights has been held annually in early December since 1998,[109] and is the largest in Frankston's events calendar. It takes place outside the Frankston Civic Centre and Frankston Arts Centre on the corners of Davey Street and Young Street (which are closed to traffic during the festival) in the Frankston central business district (CBD).[110] The festival includes: carnival rides, community activities and exhibitions, food stalls, live carols and music, parades and a Santa Claus procession.[109][110] The festival culminates with the lighting of the 100 ft and 100-year-old Norfolk pine tree (Araucaria heterophylla) outside the Frankston Civic Centre and is followed by a large fireworks display.[109][110] The festival night attracts over 45,000 people.[109]

Frankston Waterfront Festival is a celebration of Frankston's seaside location that is held annually over a weekend in mid-January.[111] The festival takes place at the Frankston Waterfront precinct and includes: carnival rides, community activities and exhibitions, fireworks display, a food and wine market, live music and water activities along Frankston Beach and Kananook Creek.[111][112] The festival also coincides with Sand Sculpting Australia's annual exhibition,[111][112] which is the largest display of sand sculpting annually in Australia.[10][11] The exhibition attracts Australian and international artists who sculpt 3,500 tonnes of sand into artwork according to an annual theme.[10] It opens on Boxing Day each year and runs till the end of April. The Frankston Waterfront Festival weekend attracts around 25,000 people,[113] and the Sand Sculpting Australia exhibition attracts over 230,000 people during its four-month run.[114]

Ventana Fiesta is boutique festival celebrating Latin American, Portuguese and Spanish culture held annually since 2006.[115] It is staged over a month between February and March.[115] It takes place at sites around Frankston and Carrum Downs, and includes: Ventana Arte – an art and craft market;[115] Ventana Film – a film festival;[115][116] Ventana Musica – traditional music performances;[115] FEVA Cup – a beach soccer tournament;[115][117] and culminates with the Ventana Street Fiesta – a live music and dance party held in Wells Street Plaza in the Frankston CBD.[115] Frankston is also a sister city to Susono in Japan, and the Frankston-Susono Friendship Association stages a Japanese Cultural Fair annually at the Frankston Arts Centre.[118]

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia's Blessing of the Waters ceremony is a Christian religious event held at Frankston Beach.[119] According to local Greek Orthodox customs, a wooden cross is thrown into Port Phillip from Frankston Pier and swimmers then race to retrieve it.[120] The swimmer who retrieves the cross is said to be blessed with 12 months of prosperity and good luck.[119][120] In Eastern Christian tradition, the event is held to commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, and takes place on Epiphany Day (6 January).[119] Frankston was the first place in the state of Victoria to stage the ceremony, which has been held at Frankston Beach for over 50 years.[119] A Greek cultural celebration at the Frankston Waterfront follows the ceremony, which includes: traditional music, dancing and food.[119]

Good Friday in Frankston is a Christian religious event that has been held at the Frankston Waterfront since 2005. It is staged by City Life Church and the Frankston Ministers' Network.[121] In Christian tradition, the event is held to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus, and takes place on Good Friday (Western Christian date observance). The "Road to Jerusalem" is a procession that reenacts the Sanhedrin trial, carrying of the cross and crucifixion of Jesus which takes place during the event.[121][122] It proceeds through the streets of the Frankston CBD to the Frankston Waterfront and is followed by a celebration, which includes: Christian music and community activities and exhibitions.[122]

Sports and leisure[edit]

Many sporting fields and some small stadiums exist in the suburb. Most notably, the historic Frankston Park (home of the Victorian Football League's Frankston Dolphins) and the Frankston Basketball Stadium (home of the Australian Basketball Association's Frankston Blues). There are three golf courses in Frankston, the 1912-established Frankston Golf Course, Centenary Park Golf Course and the Peninsula Country Club (with two more in the greater City of Frankston). Also, the City of Frankston Bowling Club (lawn bowls) once hosted the World Bowls Tournament in 1980.[123] The men's singles event was won by David Bryant.

The suburb of Frankston also supports a number of community level clubs for Australian rules football, cricket, golf, basketball, netball, soccer and tennis, as well as baseball, hockey, badminton, volleyball, gymnastics, athletics and croquet clubs. The beach area supports a yacht club, a surf lifesaving club and the state's oldest Australian Volunteer Coast Guard flotilla. Frankston also boasts one of the largest public skate parks in Australia, and urban skateboarding is popular.

6 September 2014 saw the opening of the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre (PARC), a $49.7 million regional aquatic and recreation centre featuring an Olympic-size 50m swimming pool.[124][125]

Soccer has fast become one of the most popular sports played at a junior level in the Frankston area with playing numbers increasing every year. Langwarrin Soccer Club is the leading club in the Frankston area with the senior team in Victoria's State League Division 2. Other teams in the area are Seaford United, Frankston Pines, Peninsula Strikers, Skye United and Baxter.

Australian rules football is popular in the suburb, and is played at both a regional and state level. The Frankston Bombers, Karingal Bulls and Frankston Y.C.W. Stonecats play in the regional Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League (in the Peninsula and Nepean Divisions respectively). The state club in the suburb is the Frankston Dolphins, which plays in the Victorian Football League. In previous years, Frankston was the recruiting zone for professional Australian Football League clubs, Hawthorn Hawks, and later St. Kilda Saints, and many star players from each team were recruited from Frankston (see List of Frankston people).

The St. Kilda Saints Australian Football League club signed a deal with the City of Frankston in 2007 to relocate its training base to Belvedere Park in Seaford.[126] The deal included a $10 million development of a training and administration facility which was completed in 2010, based on the facilities of the UK's Chelsea and Aston Villa soccer clubs.[127]

Indoor and outdoor beach volleyball is also becoming increasingly popular in the suburb of Frankston. 2008 marked the inauguration of the Frankston Beach Volleyball Series (part of the Virgin Blue Beach Volleyball Series) which attracted A-list players, including Olympian Tamsin Barnett. The event was also broadcast on national television and, on the first day, the Nine Network's Today broadcast live from the event.[128]

Notable residents[edit]

Notable past and present residents of Frankston include: a Prime Minister of Australia, Governor of Victoria and two Premiers of Victoria; leading Australian businesspeople and philanthropists; famous authors, journalists, artists, actors and musicians; Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalists and other champion sportspeople.

See also[edit]



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  123. ^
  124. ^
  125. ^ – "Saints to move from Moorabbin", 21 November 2007
  126. ^ Herald Sun, "St. Kilda uses Chelsea as model for new training centre", 22 November 2007
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  • Jones, Michael. Frankston: Resort to City. Allen & Unwin: Sydney. 1989. ISBN 0-04-442114-1
  • Brown-May, Andrew and Swain, Shurlee. The Encyclopedia of Melbourne. Cambridge University Press: Melbourne. 2005. ISBN 0-521-84234-4
  • Watson, Kerry. Frankston 1901–2000: An oral/pictorial history. Frankston City Council: Frankston. 2000. (Online Version)


External links[edit]