City of WhittleseaCommunity profile

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City of Whittlesea

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for the City of Whittlesea is 207,881, with a population density of 4.25 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

The City of Whittlesea is located in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, about 20 kilometres from the Melbourne GPO. The City of Whittlesea is bounded by Mitchell Shire in the north, Murrindindi Shire in the north-east, Nillumbik Shire in the east, the City of Banyule and the City of Darebin in the south, and Hume City in the west.

Name origin

Whittlesea was named after the town of Whittlesey in England, and was originally known as Upper Plenty.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from 1837, although Hume and Hovell crossed the area in 1824. The district soon became a vital part of Melbourne’s life, supplying food and milk from its farms, and water from Melbourne’s first large water storage, the Yan Yean Reservoir. Unsuccessful attempts were made to sell subdivided township land in the 1880s, including allotments at Eden Park, west of the Whittlesea township. In the interwar period, population growth occurred in the southern sector. Development in the City was most significant in the post-war years. During the 1950s and 1960s considerable growth took place in Bundoora, Lalor and Thomastown, with Mill Park developing from the 1980s. Significant development occurred in Epping in the 1980s and 1990s. The population of the City increased from about 27,000 in 1969 to nearly 94,000 in 1991. Rapid growth took place from the early 1990s, with the population rising to about 114,000 in 2001, then to about 124,000 in 2006, and to 154,000 in 2011. Growth during the 1990s was largely in Blossom Park (the eastern part of Mill Park), Epping, Mill Park and South Morang. In more recent years, much of the growth has been in South Morang, Bundoora, Mernda and Doreen, with substantial development in Epping North between 2006 and 2011. Rapid growth is expected to continue, particularly in the Plenty Valley (South Morang, Mernda and Doreen) and Epping North.

Land use
Land use 6% 14% 19% 62%

Land use

The City of Whittlesea features both urban and considerable rural areas. The City of Whittlesea is one of Melbourne's major growth areas, with significant future growth expected. The bulk of population in the City is in the urban areas in the south, generally comprising Bundoora, Epping, Lalor, Mill Park, South Morang and Thomastown. There are also substantial industrial and commercial areas in the south. The rural areas of the City are characterised by farming and grazing, but also include forest, sites of conservation significance and historic township communities. The City encompasses a total land area of about 490 square kilometres.


The City of Whittlesea is served by the Hume Freeway, the Metropolitan Ring Road, Plenty Road and the Epping railway line.

Major features

Major features of the City include Plenty Gorge Park, part of Kinglake National Park, Yan Yean Reservoir, Pacific Epping Shopping Centre, Westfield Plenty Valley Shopping Centre, Melbourne Market, Uni Hill Factory Outlets, The Northern Hospital, RMIT University (Bundoora Campus), Melbourne Polytechnic (Epping Campus), Funfields Theme Park, Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre, Meadowglen International Athletics Stadium, Mill Park Leisure Centre, Thomastown Recreation and Aquatic Centre, Whittlesea Swim Centre, Quarry Hills Bushland Park, Yan Yean Reservoir Park, Growling Frog Golf Course and Whittlesea Public Gardens.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Whittlesea area were the Wurundjeri Aboriginal people.

Included areas

The City of Whittlesea includes the suburbs and localities of Beveridge (part), Bundoora (part), Donnybrook, Doreen (part), Eden Park, Epping, Humevale, Kinglake West (part), Lalor, Mernda, Mill Park, South Morang, Thomastown, Whittlesea, Wollert, Woodstock and Yan Yean (part).