Boroondara is a leafy region in the inner areas of the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Historically, it was one of the first places that Melbourne's suburbs encroached into the surrounding farmland and countryside. Today, Boroondara is home to a number of old homes and historic buildings and considered higher socio-economically than most areas of Melbourne.


The word boroondara is an Indigenous Wurundjeri term for "where the ground is thickly shaded". Indeed, Boroondara is well-known among Melbournians for its tree-lined streets, expansive parks and traditional English character. The area was mostly settled in the late 1800s, as Melbourne's suburbia expanded eastward. This has led to an abundance of historic cottages and homes throughout the municipality, many of which are heritage listed, as well as the grand mansions of multi-millionaires. In the suburbs of Boroondara, trees generally line every street, and most houses are within close proximity to a major park. Areas such as Kew and Canterbury possess trees of English origin, while newer suburbs settled in the 1960s such as North Balwyn and Ashburton possess more native Australian fauna, such as the abundant gum trees. Certain streets are renown for their beautiful streetscapes and houses, such as Monomeath Avenue in Canterbury.

Another one of Boroondara's claims to fame is its extensive number of schools, with 59 education institutions in the municipality. Many of these are private schools founded well over a century ago, steeped in historic buildings and a number of notable alumni. Some of the more famous schools include Xavier College, Trinity Grammar and Genezzano FCJ in Kew, Fintona Girls' School in Balwyn, Camberwell Grammar in Canterbury and Scotch College in Hawthorn, which was established in 1851.

The seat of the local government and major district centre is Camberwell, centred around the bustling Camberwell Junction. Kew is the major suburb of the north, also based around a busy junction of the same name. Balwyn is a more low-rise area in the east of the municipality. Hawthorn is one of the more cosmopolitan areas of Boroondara, with a lively arts and music scene and a number of bars and nightclubs in the Glenferrie precinct. The Swinburne University of Technology borders the rail station, making the area a hub for local and international students.

Get in

By public transport

Boroondara is generally blessed for public transport. It is served by six tram routes, three railway lines, 16 train stations and an abundance of fairly frequent bus routes. A map of Boroondara's public transport network is available on the PTV website.

The Belgrave/Lilydale line provides a fast, direct rail service from the City Centre to middle Boroondara, with stations at the major centres of Hawthorn, Camberwell and Canterbury. The line also connects Boroondara to Box Hill in Whitehorse and Ringwood in Maroondah. The Alamein line generally only operates to the city in the peak, with a transfer at Camberwell Station required during other times.

Tram routes 48 and 109 run from Collins St in the city to the northern part of Boroondara, including Kew, Balwyn and North Balwyn. Routes 70 and 75 operate from Flinders St in the city to the southern parts of Boroondara, including Hawthorn and Camberwell. While tram routes 16 and 72 also operate from Swanston St in the city, they take long detours via the southern suburbs and are not a direct service; they are useful for getting into the area from neighbouring Stonnington.

Bus routes 200 and 207 are useful for reaching Boroondara from the inner north along Johnston and Lygon Streets or neighbouring Manningham and Doncaster. Routes 302 and 304 operate express along the freeway from the city and fill in a gap in the tram network along Belmore Rd.

By car

The Eastern Freeway runs along the northern border of Boroondara, providing convenient access to Kew, East Kew and North Balwyn. Citylink and the Monash Freeway provide the southern border, making access simple to areas in the south. Studley Park Rd, Bridge Rd, Victoria St and Swan St also provide major river crossings from the inner east.

Get around

The tram and bus networks form a convenient grid, generally making connections from one part of Boroondara to another simple. Tram routes 48, 109, 70 and 75, and frequent bus routes 200/207 and 302/304 are useful for east-west travel. Tram routes 16 and 72, along with regular bus route 624, provide an option for north-south travel. Bus routes 548, 284 and 285 are also an option for north-south travel although operate less frequently.

Major east-west thoroughfares for vehicles are Earl St/Belmore Rd, Barkers Rd and Burwood Rd. North-south roads include Denmark St/Princess St, Auburn Rd and Burke Rd, although the latter is regularly heavily congested.

Boroondara streets are also generally very walkable and very pleasant, with well-kept footpaths on both sides of the street.


View of Melbourne's CBD from Yarra Boulevard in Yarra Bend Park.




There are a few small areas which offer some nightlife. These precincts include Glenferrie Road (Hawthorn) and Box Hill. The suburbs are not known for their nightlife.

Stay safe

Although the eastern suburbs of Melbourne are much safer than the north or west, you should still show basic common sense with belongings and travel. Some major centres such as Box Hill and Ringwood have occasional issues with crime.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.