Cardinia Shire

About the area

Key Statistics


Cardinia Shire is located on Melbourne's south-east fringe, about 55 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. Cardinia Shire is bounded by the Yarra Ranges Council area in the north, Baw Baw Shire in the east, South Gippsland Shire, Bass Coast Shire and Western Port Bay in the south, and the City of Casey in the west.

Included Areas

Cardinia Shire includes the suburbs and localities of Avonsleigh, Bayles, Beaconsfield (part), Beaconsfield Upper, Bunyip, Bunyip North, Caldermeade, Cardinia, Catani, Clematis, Cockatoo, Cora Lynn, Dalmore, Dewhurst, Emerald (part), Garfield, Garfield North, Gembrook, Guys Hill, Heath Hill (part), Iona, Koo Wee Rup, Koo Wee Rup North, Lang Lang (part), Lang Lang East, Longwarry (part), Maryknoll, Menzies Creek (part), Modella (part), Monomeith, Mount Burnett, Nangana, Nar Nar Goon, Nar Nar Goon North, Nyora (part), Officer, Officer South, Pakenham, Pakenham South, Pakenham Upper, Rythdale, Tonimbuk, Tooradin (part), Tynong, Tynong North, Vervale and Yannathan.

Land Use

Cardinia Shire is a rapidly developing residential area, with large areas of land still allocated for urban development, and surrounding rural areas. The central areas of the Shire are the most urban, containing the major population centre of Pakenham. The population is also spread among many small rural townships and rural-residential areas. The Shire encompasses a total land area of 1,280 square kilometres. Rural land is used largely for agriculture and horticulture, particularly dairy and beef farming and vegetable production.

Name Origin

Cardinia Shire is named after an early property in the area, which was named from an Aboriginal word meaning 'look to the rising sun'.

Indigenous Meaning

The original inhabitants of Cardinia Shire were the Bunurong and Wurundjeri Aboriginal people.


European settlement dates from the 1830s, with land used mainly for farming. Several townships were established in the mid to late 1800s, spurred by the gold rush. Substantial agricultural expansion occurred in the south of the Shire from the 1890s, with the draining of the swamplands, and then again following the First World War on the back of soldier settlements. Significant residential growth took place from the 1980s, with growth around Pakenham, and in the north around Cockatoo and Emerald. Rapid population growth continued from the 1990s. Much of the recent growth has been in the suburbs of Beaconsfield, Officer and Pakenham, with growth expected to continue in Officer and Pakenham.

Major Features

Major features of Cardinia Shire include the Puffing Billy Railway, Cardinia Reservoir, Aura Vale Lake, Emerald Lake, Bunyip State Park, Kurth Kiln Regional Park, Cardinia Reservoir Park, Emerald Lake Park, Gumbuya World, Cardinia Cultural Centre, Tynong Racecourse, Victorian Equestrian Centre, Cardinia Life (pool) and numerous wineries.


Cardinia Shire is served by the Princes Freeway, the Bass Highway, the Princes Highway, the South Gippsland Highway and the Pakenham and Warragul railway lines.

Cardinia Shire

economic profile