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South Yarra Suburb Information

by Wendy Chamberlain on February 2, 2015

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South Yarra is one of the oldest and most affluent inner city suburbs of Melbourne. Close to the Central Business District being only four kilometers away, the suburb has a population of 19, 134 as of 2011.

The suburb was named as most liveable city in Melbourne twice, first in 2005 and the next in 2011. The recognition was given by the Liveable Melbourne report.

The Wurundjeri tribe was the first to settle in South Yarra. By 1830s, the Europeans arrived at the time when Melbourne was established. A decade later, the wealthy citizens of Melbourne made the area their suburb retreat where they built large houses. Since then, the suburb maintained its reputation as an upper-class residential area.

Blocks of flats dominated the suburb in the 1920s until the 1930s during the time when the large gardens of the older mansions were subdivided. The Park Street area became popular for flats.

Apartment buildings continued to be built around the South Yarra railway station in the 1960s and 1970s.

Commercial Precinct


The main shopping districts are along Toorak Road and Chapel Street where upscale fashion shops can be found. Also here are restaurants, night clubs and cafes. Chapel Street features retail outlets, the Jam Factory entertainment complex, Como Centre and Vogue Shopping Plaza. The Commercial Road, meanwhile, is homw to more retail shops, the Pran Central Shopping Centre and the Prahran Market which is well known for its gourmet foods and fresh produce.

Local Attractions

Apart from its upscale fashion retail shops, South Yarra is also well known for its Jam Factory. This used to be home to old factories that were converted into a large shopping centre with cinemas.

The heritage registered buildings are also an attraction in the suburb. These include the Como House which is a historic mansion, the Melbourne High School which was built in 1928, the post office built in 1893 and the former railway station building put up in 1874.

Green spaces such as parklands are also available. The largest parklands are situated along the Yarra River and also Fawkner Park along South Yarra’s western boundary. Smaller parks featuring playgrounds are also in place.


South Yarra boasts of many historic mansions. Among the oldest are the Como House built in 1847, Richmond House (1859) and Airlie House. Other grand houses that can be found in the suburb are the Wavendon, Raveloe, Fairbairn, Poolman House and Snainton.

Historic Como House

Historic Como House

The area also features Victorian terrace houses some of which have three and four levels. Double-storey late 19th century terraces are also within the suburb.

Another type of residential property in South Yarra are apartment buildings. A large number of them feature the Art Deco architectural style and overlooking the Yarra River. The Beverly Hills is one of the most well known in the area because of its original 1930s grotto-style swimming pool.

Public Transportation

The suburb can easily be accessed via public transportation. Two railway stations are in place. The South Yarra railway station is located on the Pakenham, Cranbourne, Frankston and Sandringham lines while the Hawksburn Station is on Pakenham, Cranbourne and Frankston lines.

Trams also serve the area particularly routes 8, 72 and 78 while buses normally run along Commercial and Punt Roads.

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Wendy Chamberlain from Social Property Selling

By Wendy Chamberlain
Copyright 2015 Social Property Selling


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