The Grand Hotel at Healesville
|Population||6,839 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||199 m (653 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Yarra Ranges|
Healesville is a town in Victoria, Australia, 52 km north-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the Shire of Yarra Ranges. At the 2011 Census, Healesville had a population of 6,839.
The creation of a railway to the more distant Gippsland and Yarra Valley goldfields in the 1860s resulted in a settlement forming on the Watts River and its survey as a town in 1864. It was named after Richard Heales, the Premier of Victoria from 1860–1861. The post office opened on 1 May 1865. The town became a setting off point for the Woods Point Goldfield with the construction of the Yarra Track in the 1870s.
Schools in Healesville include the Healesville Primary School, St Brigid's Catholic primary school, the rural Chum Creek Primary School, Badger Creek Primary School, Healesville High School and Worawa Aboriginal College, an Aboriginal school whose former students include noted Australian Rules Footballer David Wirrpanda. Much of what is now Healesville lies on the ancestral land of the Wurundjeri people. The Coranderrk mission station, set up in 1863, is located just south of the main township.
Healesville has an active CFA (Country Fire Authority) volunteer fire brigade established in 1894 which has been active in the community and still is to this day. The Healesville Rural Fire Brigade was formed in 1941 and disbanded and membership amalgamated with the Healesville Urban Fire Brigade in 1985. The amalgamation of the Chum Creek Rural Fire Brigade with the Healesville brigade occurred in 1996. The Healesville Fire Brigade now operates a main and a satellite station with members from both the Healesville and Chum Creek areas.
Golfers play at the course of the RACV Country Club on Yarra Glen Road.
- Noted Aboriginal artist and Wurundjeri elder William Barak spent much of his life at Coranderrk Station, near Healesville. Wurundjeri elder Joy Murphy Wandin lives in Healesville.
- Kelvin Moore, Australian rules footballer for the Richmond Football Club.
- Gordon Collis Australian Rules Football player for Carlton Football Club, Brownlow Medal 1964
- James Wandin (1933–2006), Wurundjeri ngurungaeta and Australian Rules footballer with St Kilda Football Club.
- David Wirrpanda, Australian Rules Football player for the West Coast.
- Lex Lasry, Supreme Court Judge.
From the late 1890s elaborate country retreat residences were built alongside hotels and guest houses.
A Tourist and Progress Association was created before 1914.
In the 1920s the association published "Healesville, The World-famed Tourist Resort", listing over 40 beauty spots and 20 hotels and guest houses. The construction of the Maroondah Dam in 1927, replacing the weir, brought several hundred workmen to Healesville. Their departure and the onset of the 1930s depression exposed Healesville's restricted range of industries. Timber and tourism were not stable enough for sustained growth. Notwithstanding the depression, the 1930s saw increased motor tourism (partly bypassing Healesville) and decreased railway patronage. Only 10% came by rail at Easter 1934. Tourism was still active but a local newspaper commented that Healesville would be "heaps better off calling itself the good-time town instead of the world-famed-tourist-resort—that's got whiskers on it".
After being Melbourne's playground at the turn of the 20th century, with a plethora of B&B's available, Healesville has become a tourist destination again. It is home to Healesville Sanctuary, Badger Weir Picnic Area, Yarra Valley Railway, Healesville Organic Market, and volunteer-run events such as the Healesville Music Festival, Open Studios, and the Yarra Valley Rodeo.
It has now become a social hub of the Yarra Valley and the greater district of Melbourne with a range of cafes and restaurant usually seen in inner city suburbs. The Healesville Hotel has been standing since 1910. The pub was revamped in the late 1990s. The Grand Hotel was built in 1880 and is another Yarra Valley icon. Known as "The Grand Old Lady", the hotel offers a seasonal menu, accommodation and entertainment.
Film and television
The Internet Movie Database has Healesville and its environs as the filming locations for a number of films and TV programs: the Australian TV series Young Ramsay (1977), Felicity (1979), the natural history TV series Life on Earth (1979), Frog Dreaming (1986), the Australian TV short film Harry's War (1999) and Killer Elite (2011).
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Healesville (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- "Yarra Valley Railway Fares and Timetables", Yarra Valley Railway, http://www.yarravalleyrailway.org.au/, retrieved 2009-05-07 External link in
- The Salvation Army, The Salvation Army Healesville, retrieved 2008-09-16
- "Healesville Fire Brigade".
- Full Points Footy, Healesville, archived from the original on 5 April 2008, retrieved 2008-07-25
- Country Racing Victoria, Healesville Amateur Racing, archived from the original on 28 July 2008, retrieved 2009-05-07
- Greyhound Racing Victoria, Healesville, archived from the original on 31 March 2009, retrieved 2009-04-15
- Golf Select, RACV Country Club, retrieved 2009-05-11
- Flanagan, Martin (25 January 2003). "Tireless ambassador bids you welcome". The Age. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
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