About The Area
South Morang is named after the Parish (or area) of Morang where the suburb exists today. The first primary school in South Morang was built in 1877 and the suburb has 2 major parks, Hawkstowe and Plenty Gorge Parklands. Like many other suburbs in the municipality, the former Whittlesea railway line used to run through South Morang.
South Morang's ethnically diverse surrounding suburbs (such as Mill Park and Epping) have added to its ethnic diversity as residents of those suburbs move to South Morang. 84% of residents are Australian born but are associated with the following ethnic groups: Italian, Greek, Maltese, Croatian, Macedonian, British and New Zealander.
South Morang is also home to two sites of historical and cultural significance: Farm Vigano and Le Page Homestead at Plenty Gorge Park.
The Lakes South Morang P-9 School opened in 2007.
The South Morang railway station, the terminus of the South Morang railway line, opened on 22 April 2012.
Whittlesea, as the township came to be called, was named after Whittlesey in England. Close to 1889 a railway from Whittlesea to Melbourne was established to transport goods produced in the region to Melbourne. The railway closed in 1959.
Although located only a few kilometres from the outer fringes of metropolitan Melbourne, Whittlesea lies outside the Urban Growth Boundaries of the Melbourne 2030 metropolitan development plan. It is therefore expected to maintain its status as a separate town until 2030 and beyond. City of Whittlesea planning policy for Whittlesea township envisages minimal growth over the next decade, so that the township will retain its rural character.
The town has a local volunteer (CFA) fire brigade as well as a limited hours Police station. On 22 January 2009 Health Minister Daniel Andrews opened an ambulance station in Whittlesea. This station operates between the hours of 10 am and 10 pm daily.
Local attractions include the Funfields Fun toboggan Park, Torourrong Reservoir, Yan Yean Reservoir, Bear's Castle and the old Courthouse (now a tourist information center)
Mill Park was named after Henry "Money" Miller who bred racehorses and conducted a range of dairy and grazing activities at his property named, The Findon Hounds and the Findon Harriers Hunt Club' until 1930. Residential development began in Mill Park in the 1970s.
Modern Mill Park consists of both the traditional Mill Park land and the expanding neighborhood of Mill Park Lakes, located to the Northeast.
Shopping in Mill Park consists of The Stables Shopping Centre, located on Childs Road, Plenty Valley Shopping Centre, located on McDonalds Road and Mill Park Plaza, located on the corner of Plenty Road and Development Boulevard close to the edge of the suburb of South Morang. Mill Park is not short of fast food restaurants, with McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC and Domino's Pizza all within close proximity of one another. Mill Park is also the home of other Bistro restaurants including Shuga, Kitchen Ku and La Porchetta.
Mill Park Plaza located on Plenty Road is a Shopping Strip containing a variety of retail and consumer based outlets, including the Bank of Queensland, TAB, Italian Restaurant, East West Homes, Aquastyle Swimming School, Buzykids Indoor/Outdoor Children's Playcentre, Fish and Chips, Pizza, Malaysian, Real Estate etc.
Mill Park boasts both private and state Primary Schools in the form of St Francis Primary School, Mill Park Heights, Plenty Parklands, Findon and Mill Park Primary Schools. Mill Park is also home to Mill Park Secondary College, with both its Junior and Senior campuses within its regions.
The Mill Park Library built in 2002 is a vastly modern and spacious building designed by Oaten Stanistreet Architects and used liberally by the residents of Mill Park and other suburbs alike.
Mill Park is also home to a community radio station, Plenty Valley FM (3PVR), which broadcasts on 88.6 MHz. The station's studios are located at 284 Childs Road. The station is officially designated as emergency broadcaster for its broadcast area, which includes the shires of Nillumbik and Whittlesea.
This area has grown from a population of 1316 in 2001 to 3430 in 2006, and is anticipated to grow to around 40,000 people at full development. The name Mernda means "young girl" in the local Wurundjeri Aboriginal language. When Mernda was named in 1913 the township consisted of a school, a Methodist church, a store and a railway station. In the early 1900s there were many dairy farms in Mernda that supplied milk to Melbourne.
Mernda is named as one of the fastest growing suburbs in Victoria. The area is now being suburbanised with several new estates under construction. The suburb of Mernda consists of a number of new and developing housing subdivisions offering in the new communities of Mernda Villages, Everton Gardens, Bridge Inn Rise, Berry Lane, Mernda Ridge, Woodland Waters, Hawkstowe, Riverdale and Renaissance Rise.
A strategic transport plan developed by the Victorian State Government has earmarked Mernda to be 're-connected' to the rail system by 2027, however the 'South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance' are seeking an earlier completion date of 2024 due to rising population and congestion in the area. In 2004, residents formed the Mernda and District Residents Association to lobby for the town to be connected to the natural gas pipeline about to be laid in the area. The group was successful and residents now enjoy this essential service.