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Yarra Ranges Council

About the area

Name origin

The Yarra Ranges Council is named for geographic features in the area - the Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges.

Location and boundaries

The Yarra Ranges Council area is located in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs, between 30 and 110 kilometres east of the Melbourne CBD. The Yarra Ranges Council area is bounded by Murrindindi Shire in the north, Mansfield Shire in the east, Baw Baw Shire, Cardinia Shire and the City of Casey in the south, and the City of Knox, the City of Maroondah, the Manningham City Council area and Nillumbik Shire in the west.

Included areas

The Yarra Ranges Council area includes the suburbs and localities of Badger Creek, Beenak, Belgrave, Belgrave Heights, Belgrave South, Big Pats Creek, Cambarville, Chirnside Park, Chum Creek, Coldstream, Dixons Creek, Don Valley, East Warburton, Emerald (part), Fernshaw, Ferny Creek, Gilderoy, Gladysdale, Gruyere, Healesville, Hoddles Creek, Kallista, Kalorama, Kilsyth (part), Launching Place, Lilydale, Lysterfield (part), Macclesfield, Matlock, McMahons Creek, Menzies Creek (part), Millgrove, Monbulk, Montrose, Mooroolbark, Mount Dandenong, Mount Evelyn, Mount Toolebewong, Narre Warren East, Olinda, Powelltown, Reefton, Sassafras (part), Selby, Seville, Seville East, Sherbrooke, Silvan, Steels Creek, Tarrawarra, Tecoma, The Patch, Three Bridges, Toolangi (part), Toorongo (part), Tremont, Upper Ferntree Gully (part), Upwey, Wandin East, Wandin North, Warburton, Wesburn, Wonga Park (part), Woori Yallock, Yarra Glen, Yarra Junction, Yellingbo and Yering.

Economic region
Yarra Ranges Council area

Land use

The Yarra Ranges Council area is a rural and urban area, with significant residential areas in suburbs and townships, and some commercial and industrial land use. Most of the urban areas are located in the western part of the Council area, while the central and eastern parts are more rural. Rural land is used mainly for agriculture, horticulture and viticulture. Tourism is also an important industry. The Council area encompasses a total land area of 2,470 square kilometres.


The Yarra Ranges Council area is served by the Burwood Highway, the Maroondah Highway, the Melba Highway, the Warburton Highway and the Belgrave and Lilydale railway lines.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from the 1830s, when pastoralists took up land along the Yarra River, in what is now Yering and Coldstream. Growth was minimal until the 1860s, spurred by gold discoveries in the northern and eastern areas of the Council area. Land was used mainly for timber-getting, quarrying, pastoral activity and vineyards. More substantial growth took place from the 1880s through to the early 1900s, aided by the construction of railway lines, tourism and the establishment of many townships. In the post-war era, large areas of the Council area were quarantined for water harvesting purposes. Significant development occurred from the 1960s to the 1980s, bringing about the increased suburbanisation of the western areas of the Council area, particularly Chirnside Park, Kilsyth, Lilydale, Mooroolbark and Montrose. Population growth generally continued from the 1990s, although at a slower rate, with the bulk of the growth in the suburbs of Chirnside Park, Lilydale and Mooroolbark.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Yarra Ranges Council area were the Wurundjeri Aboriginal people.