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Balnarring - Balnarring Beach - Merricks - Merricks Beach - Somers

About the profile areas

The 2015 Estimated Resident Population for Balnarring - Balnarring Beach - Merricks - Merricks Beach - Somers is 4,526, with a population density of 0.82 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Balnarring - Balnarring Beach - Merricks - Merricks Beach - Somers is bounded by Hunts Road in the north, Coolart Road, Davies Road, South Beach Road and Sandy Point Road in the east, Western Port in the south, and a line running north-south, east of Point Leo Road, Frankston-Flinders Road, Point Leo Road, a line running north-south following the alignment of Tonkins Road, Stanleys Road, a line running north-south meeting the Bittern-Dromana Road and Balnarring Road in the west.

Name origin

Balnarring and Balnarring Beach are named from an Aboriginal word meaning "camp in open place". Balnarring was previously known as Tulum. Merricks and Merricks Beach are thought to be named after the Meyricks family, early land holders in the area. Som

Settlement history

Settlement of the area dates from the 1840s, with land used mainly for farming, grazing, orcharding and timber-getting. Growth took place from the 1860s through to the 1880s. Expansion continued during the 1910s and 1920s, aided by the attraction of the area to holidaymakers, and the establishment of a nearby cool store. Significant development occurred during the post-war years, particularly from the 1960s. The population generally increased from the early 1990s as new dwellings were added to the area and dwelling occupancy rates increased.

Land use

Balnarring - Balnarring Beach - Merricks - Merricks Beach - Somers is a rural and residential area, with a number of small townships along and near the coast, and a significant proportion of holiday homes.

Major features

Major features of the area include Coolart Wetlands & Homestead, Balnarring Racecourse & Emu Plains Reserve, Balnarring Village Shopping Centre, Somers School Camp, Merricks Lodge, Balbirooroo Community Wetlands, Balnarring Recreation Reserve, Buckley Nature Conservation Reserve, Hanns Creek Reserve, Koala Reserve, R W Stone Reserve, Merricks/Red Hill Station Ground, Peninsula Equestrian Trail, Balnarring Beach, Merricks Beach, Somers Beach, South Beach, the Western Port foreshore, numerous vineyards/wineries and two schools.