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Box Hill Suburb Information

by Wendy Chamberlain on May 25, 2015

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The suburb of Box Hill is part of the local government area of the City of Whitehorse and is situated some 14 kilometers east of the CBD. Its population as of 2011 was 9,672.

Box Hill used to be an independent city with its own historic Central Business District and own municipality. However, it was absorbed by Melbourne in the late 1950s during its expansion eastward.

The suburb is known for its large Asian population particularly the Chinese making it the Chinatown of Melbourne’s east. This is evident in the many Asian restaurants and retailers available in the shopping district and the use of Mandarin as the second most common first language.

Early Settlement

Records have it that Arundel Wrighte was the first to settle in Box Hill in 1838. It was during that time when he took up a pastoral lease on the land.

The first permanent settlers, however, were Thomas Toogood and his wife Edith who bought 5,000 acres of land in 1841. Three years after, Wrighte built a house on the property called Marionvale.

By 1853, a hotel in Box Hill was put up. The building was named White Horse hotel. The same name was given to the road where the hotel was located.

The area’s first post office opened in 1861. It was the first structure to officially use the suburb’s name after Surrey England’s Box Hill. The name was proposed by the postmaster who was born near Box Hill in England.

Other structures in the area such as churches and hospitals were built after the wars that occurred.

Commercial Area

Box Hill has the second largest shopping district outside of Melbourne. It was designated as one of the five district centres for metropolitan Melbourne in 1854. The presence of a shopping centre, TAFE and other office buildings strengthened its centrality in the region.

Station Street and Whitehorse Road are the main shopping areas in the suburb. Two shopping centres merged in 2007 and they are now known as Box Hill Centro. The Centro in the south houses the Woolsworths Supermarket, The Reject Shop, EB Games, Big W, a number of fashion retailers, the indoor Box Hill Market and a large food court. The Centro in the north features the Coles Supermarket, Harris Scarfe, Priceline, Daiso, Bakers Delight, some fashion retail stores and another food court.

Several recreational services are also available. These include the Neighbourhood Houses, several Scout Groups and the Box Hill Community Centre.


Compared to other inner city suburbs, housing in Box Hill is more affordable. Blocks here are larger and off street parking is available.

Many houses in the area are made of brick and built after the Second World War. They also have bigger gardens. Mature residential developments are of medium to high density.

Apartment blocks were put up in recent years to cater to the growing population. In 2009, a proposal was made to create a 380 level residential building in the suburb’s center but this was not approved.

Public Transportation

Box Hill is considered as a major transport in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. A train station is in place in addition to the 109 tram line which runs along Whitehorse Road to Port Melbourne via the city. Several bus lines are also servicing the area.

The first railway station in the suburb was put up in 1882 as part of the expansion of the railway line from Camberwell to Lilydale.

Situated under Centro Box Hill, the station is also served by the Belgrave and Lilydale railways lines.

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Wendy Chamberlain from Social Property Selling

By Wendy Chamberlain
Copyright 2015 Social Property Selling


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