Do You Know Melbourne Suburbs?
Our Quirky Suburbs
When it comes to knowing our city, most people will be able to tell you that Melbourne has the largest Greek-speaking population outside of Greece, but would they know we are the fox capital of the world? Yes, according to the RSPCA, there are 6 – 23 foxes within every square kilometre of the metropolitan area. Melbourne and its suburbs have a long and sometimes quirky history – how many of these do you know?
While we are used to the streets and roads of our suburbs, it wasn’t always that way. Bonbeach was once the site of a sand quarry and was key to the glass manufacturing industry of the 1940s. Meanwhile at the same time, there was a quarry in Niddrie. Basalt was quarried here and this wound up in all the roads that were needed as our city spread out. It’s hard to imagine now, but over in North Balwyn in the 1860s, there was a quartz reef where gold mining took place.
Melbourne suburbs have their fair share of firsts. In 1854, Australia’s first steam train started regular services between Port Melbourne and Flinders Street. The first Australian drive-in was opened in Burwood in 1954 and Oakleigh welcomed the first 7-Eleven store in 1977. While not generally associated with technological innovation, Frankston had a world first in 2011 when it created a community driven YouTube channel, which highlighted the stories of the suburbs residents.
Next time you are stuck behind a tram in Sydney Road Brunswick, say a silent thank you (or curse!) to the property owners of the 1840s. That’s because they were responsible for the division of land that left Sydney road only 20 metres wide.