Gisborne, Victoria

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Looking down Gisbornes main street.JPG
View down the main street from the south
Gisborne is located in Shire of Macedon Ranges
Coordinates37°29′24″S 144°35′20″E / 37.49000°S 144.58889°E / -37.49000; 144.58889Coordinates: 37°29′24″S 144°35′20″E / 37.49000°S 144.58889°E / -37.49000; 144.58889
Population9,822 (2016)[1]
Elevation443 m (1,453 ft)
LGA(s)Shire of Macedon Ranges
State electorate(s)Macedon
Federal Division(s)McEwen
Localities around Gisborne:
Macedon New Gisborne Riddells Creek
Bullengarook Gisborne Sunbury
Bullengarook Toolern Vale Gisborne South

Gisborne (/ˈɡɪzbərn/)[2] is a town in the Macedon Ranges, approximately 54 kilometres (34 mi) north-west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The town was named after Henry Fyshe Gisborne (1815–1841), the first Commissioner for Crown Lands of the Port Phillip District.[3].


St Paul's Anglican church in Gisborne

The original inhabitants of Gisborne were the Dja Dja Wurrung and Wurundjeri Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people have lived in the Macedon Ranges area for at least 26,000 years. The Wurundjeri, Dja Dja Wurrrung and Taungurung communities are still active. The Gisborne townsite was first settled for European use on about 24 March 1837 by George Hamilton (Australian police officer) who had overlanded stock from New South Wales for Henry Howey.[4] Howey reached Port Phillip on 3 April 1837 shortly after Hamilton’s successful journey.[5][6]

Howey purchased highly valuable original town blocks at Melbourne; Howey Place, Melbourne, but died prematurely at sea in 1838.[7] Howey’s British descendants gained huge wealth from his estate for at least the next 125 years[8] There is a memorial commemorating Henry Howey at Gisborne.[9]

The area further south of Gisborne had been settled one year earlier. In September 1835 John Aitken arrived in Melbourne and deemed the land just West of Sunbury ideally suited to sheep grazing. He squatted on that land six months later in March 1836, having shipped his merino sheep from Tasmania.[10]

Other nearby pastoralists included Henry Stainforth who took up Cairnbungoa, on Macedon Ck., adjoining Gisborne on the West in 1840, Simeon Cadden who took up Bullengorourke, further West again of Gisborne in 1841 and John S. Hill who took up Turritable, Kerrie Creek, North East of Gisborne in 1842.[11]

In 1840, Henry Fyshe Gisborne, who was Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Port Phillip District, set up an outpost for his Border Police troopers where the Wyabun Park part of Gisborne is now situated. This was in response to repeated requests from colonists in the area for him and his force to assist in suppressing Aboriginal resistance. A hotel named the Bush Inn was soon after built near to the barracks. Gisborne Post Office opened on 22 March 1850 as Bush Inn but was renamed Gisborne ten days later in honour of Henry Fyshe Gisborne.[12]


Gisborne is the largest township in the Macedon Ranges, and the closest to Melbourne's CBD, which can be accessed easily via a 45-minute drive along the Calder Freeway or a 50 minute train ride on the Bendigo Line. Together with the nearby town of Macedon, Gisborne had an estimated population of 21,071[13] at June 2016.

The town centre has a number of Melbourne-style cafes and wine bars, as well a theater[14],restaurants and galleries, monthly farmers' market[15], an organic butcher and three supermarkets stocking local produce, as well as organic, vegan and gluten-free foods.[16] Gisborne has a full-time police station in conjunction with the CFA station and medical-ambulance facilities. Sporting facilities cater for AFL football, cricket, soccer, tennis, netball gymnastics and lawn bowls as well as a heated indoor pool.

A plethora of media reports[17][18] has made reference to the influx of young professionals, artists and 'hipsters' to the region,[19] drawn by the region's natural beauty, proximity to the city and access to city-style cafes and restaurants.[20][21] The large numbers of new residents is making the local population growth rate among the fastest in regional Victoria.[22] Locals, worried about the environmental and cultural impacts of this growing popularity, successfully campaigned for new planning controls to protect the character of the region.[23]


In the 2016 Census, there were 9,822 people in Gisborne. 82.1% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 4.0% and New Zealand 1.3%. 89.9% of people spoke only English at home. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 35.3%, Catholic 28.3% and Anglican 13.0%.[1]


The town has two primary schools and one secondary school, Gisborne Secondary College.

Sister cities[edit]

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Gisborne". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 31 October 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  3. ^ Gisborne Online Web Site accessed 29 September 2006
  4. ^ Williams, Martin, Charles Bonney and the fertile Kilmore Plains, Victorian Historical Journal, Volume 90, No. 1, June 2019, p.107.
  5. ^ Cornwall Chronicle, 15 April 1837, p. 2.
  6. ^ Australian, 14 March 1837, p. 2.
  7. ^ Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 30 August 1838, p. 2.
  8. ^ Canberra Times, 17 September 1963, p. 2.
  9. ^ Howey Memorial Gisborne, Argus, 18 January 1927, p. 19.
  10. ^ Bride, T. F., John Aitken, Letters from Victorian Pioneers to his Excellency Charles Joseph La Trobe, Esq., Public Library of Victoria, 1895, p.41.
  11. ^ Billis, Ralph V., and Kenyon, Alfred S. Pastoral Pioneers of Port Phillip, MacMillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1932, p. 252, p. 161, p.264.
  12. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
  13. ^ "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2006 to 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Barringo Theatre". Barringo.
  15. ^ "Gisborne Olde Time Market - Food, Arts andd Craft". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Williamson's Foodworks - Gisborne & Sunbury". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  17. ^ "The Design Files: Artist Elizabeth Barnett creates a farmhouse retreat in the Macedon Ranges". Domain. 18 August 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  18. ^ Zhou, Christina (15 January 2017). "Hipster haven: Why crowds flock to Kyneton | Photos". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Lee Lin Chin scolds hipsters to save old hospital". ABC News. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  20. ^ "When Hippy Towns Get Hip". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  21. ^ RegionalLivingVic, Kevin & Bruce from Mirkwood Forest - Ready When You Are, retrieved 20 December 2018
  22. ^ Lenaghan, Peter (15 February 2018). "Election battle looms as residents worry over Macedon Ranges growth policy". ABC News. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  23. ^ Cowie, Tom (13 December 2017). "New Rules to protect Macedon Ranges". The Age. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  24. ^ Sister Cities, Gisborne District Council, archived from the original on 14 October 2008, retrieved 25 November 2008

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