Carrum Downs, sometimes known as Botany Park is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Its Local Government Area is the City of Frankston. It is situated approximately 45 kilometres south east of the CBD (via the Monash Freeway and South Gippsland Freeway and the Western Port Highway). Travelling time and distance to the CBD will be reduced upon completion of the Eastlink Tollway , which opened in June 2008.
Pior to December 1994 the majority of Carrum Downs was within the City of Cranbourne. However, after state wide local government reform, the surbub was moved to be part of a new, larger City of Frankston
In late 2006, RealEstatesource compiled a list of the top ten performing suburbs in Melbourne, Carrum Downs was ranked fourth with property showing a 94.4% median value increase since the real estate market's 'peak' of 2001.
In January 2008, the 'Your Investment Property' periodical published an article on Carrum Downs, predicting an increased demand for residential and commercial property in the area, following the completion of the Eastlink project.
Landmarks include Carrum Downs Tourist Park, Kingston Lodge and the Sandhurst Golf Club A new housing estate, ' Clifton Rise', has recently been developed.
Before European settlers arrived at Port Phillip
resting after the stiff climb of Oliver's Hill, Frankston
, and looking north along the bay would have viewed a long ribbon of sandy beach shaped vaguely like a boomerang. The area was called Karrum Karrum, or as some of the early squatters interpreted it, Garem Gam, meaning "Boomerang". The swampy marshland behind the sand dunes was a rich hunting ground teeming with wildlife.
The Carrum Swamp, also known as the C.D.S.C, measured approximately 15km from north to south, and averaged about 5km across from east to west. It was up to 8km wide at the northern end. The high lands visible in the swamp were the Isles of Wannarkladdin, now Chelsea Heights
. The swampland with its dense growth of swamp tea-tree and other vegetation was covered for the most part by the waters from the Dandenong
, and other smaller creeks, with a total catchment area of approximately 430 km², with the present townships of Langwarrin
, Ferntree Gully
forming its perimeter. Some of the waters eventually flowed through marshy country to the Mordialloc Creek or through to the Kananook Creek which flowed into the bay at Frankston.
The Carrum Swamp together with the larger Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp made a formidable barrier against the early explorers and land seekers in the early days.
The birth of Carrum - allotments on the Long Beach
The first survey of the Carrum swamp was made by T. E. Rawlinson, and completed by 2 January 1866
. The only sign of European habitation reported by Rawlinson was a fisherman's cottage occupied by John Watkins and his family near the present Watkins Grove, Aspendale
. The survey between the swamp and the sea resulted in Mr Callinan, the State’s assistant surveyor, dividing the area into 18 allotments stretching from the Mordialloc Creek to the present Keast Park, Seaford
. The land was referred to as the "Allotments on the Long Beach", the first sales taking place at Semmell McCaul & Co’s Auction Rooms at Collins Street, Melbourne, on 22 December 1865
. The upset price was $6 per acre
. Most of the land sold went to investors, but some development did take place near the already established fishing village of Mordialloc
. Carrum Downs Post Office finally opened on 1 November 1909.
The land sold on the swamp side was bought by Hugh Brown who built his home "Pine Vale" near the site of the Mordialloc High School which was part of his property. He was 40 years a Councillor of the Shire of Dandenong and served as President of the Shire. He was famous for his "Carrum" potatoes which were sent to several States. When Hugh Brown started farming there were still wild cattle roaming the swamplands from the original squatting days of the later 1830s to the 1850s.
The first settlement
During the Great Depression
, the Brotherhood of St Laurence
built a settlement at Carrum Downs to provide food and shelter to suffering families. After World War II, the suburb was gradually redeveloped as a Village for aged persons
Botany Park and the redevelopment of Botany Bush
Carrum Downs is sometimes referred to by locals as "Botany Park" based on the name of a housing estate built during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the first major development
of its type in the area, land was subdivided into generous lots between the southern and northern perimeters of Ballarto and Hall Roads. The generous land allottments, affordability and proximity to Frankston
attracted families to the suburb. Development was conducted by AV Jennings
, which financed and built prominent signage reading 'Botany Park' on the corner of Ballarto Road and Lyrebird Drive. The signage remains, although weather degradetion and graffiti have degraded its appearance. During the early 1990s, the South Western quarter between Ballarto and Frankston-Dandenong Roads was known as 'Botany Bush'. The area was redeveloped into housing during the late 1990s.
The suburb is a mixture of modern low scale dwellings with generous garden frontage and low scale fencing. During the 1990s, a large catchment of land remained as public park space, although this has subsequently been developed into housing. Housing construction continues in the suburb.
Carrum Downs is serviced by two shopping precincts, with a third nearing completion. The Carrum Downs Regional Shopping Centre is located on Hall Road in the centre of the suburb and is home to two banks, two supermarkets, a Post Office, chemist, newsagency plus 40 other shops including a DVD rental store, fast food outlets, restaurants and real estate agents.
The Local Village @ Carrum Downs is located on the Dandenong-Frankston Road and comprises approximately 12 shops including a cafe, bakery, newsagency, salon and pharmacy. Directly opposite the precinct is another small retail / business park. The third shopping precinct which has just opened, is located on McCormicks Road in the south of the suburb and includes 22 specialty shops as well as a Coles supermarket.
- There are four preschools in Carrum Downs at Botany Park, Bowerbird, Rowellyn and William Road.
- Primary school education is provided at Carrum Downs Primary, Rowellyn Park Primary, Skye, St Joachim's primary (a catholic faith school) and Flinders Christian College (a non-denominational Christian school).
- Secondary education is provided at Carrum Downs Secondary College and at Flinders Christian College (a non-denominational Christian school).
- Tertiary level training can be undertaken at the Monash University Peninsula campus, Institute of TAFE in nearby Frankston.
Carrum Downs is serviced by three medical centres, two dental clinics, two pharmacies and a physiotherapy clinic. Hospital facilities are provided at nearby Frankston, about 10 minutes away.
- Rail: Carrum Downs has no direct access to rail services. The closest rail link is Kananook Station on the Frankston line, which is approximately 5.5km from the centre of Carrum Downs.
- Bus: Carrum Downs is serviced by two local bus routes (832 and 833) which are operated by Peninsula Bus Lines. These services run to Frankston via Frankston North. Route 832 also operates via Kananook Station, providing a link to the rail network. In addition, parts of Carrum Downs are within walking distance of Route 901, which provides more frequent service between Frankston, Dandenong, Knox and Ringwood.
- Road: Carrum Downs provides easy access to two major arterial roads. To the East of Carrum Downs, the Western Port Highway provides connectivity to Melbourne City in the North (via the South Gippsland Freeway and the Monash Freeway), in a southerly direction, the Western Port Highway leads to the Port of Hastings. To the West of Carrum Downs is the Nepean Highway, which runs south from Melbourne city to Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula, along the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay. Carrum Downs is also close to the Eatlink Tollway, which opened on June 29 2008. This runs from Rutherford Road in Carrum Downs (with travel further south provided by the Frankston Freeway) to Donvale in Melbourne's north east. Eastlink connects with the Monash Freeway and should reduce travelling time and distance to the City of Melbourne. Development of EastLink has led to strong commercial and industrial growth in Carrum Downs alongside the route of the EastLink.
- The Lyrebird Community Centre is located in Carrum Downs. The Carrum Downs Community Centre was established in 1988 and was located in the GK Tucker Village as part of the Brotherhood of St Laurence. The centre consisted of two small cottages: one for child minding activities and the other housing the Centre Manager. In 1994, the Centre amalgamated to become the Lyrebird Community Centre and moved to its current location in Lyrebird Drive. During 2003, the Centre was renovated into a large modern complex.
- Carrum Downs offers Library Services via the Carrum Downs Library.
- A local branch of the Salvation Army operates within Carrum Downs.
- The 1st Carrum Downs Scout Group are based at the Recreation Reserve and run Cub Scouts, Joey Scouts, Scouts and Venturers.
Parks and Reserves
Carrum Downs has access to three public parks:
- Banyan Reserve, which includes a sports oval and a children's playground.
- Rotary Park, which includes barbecue facilities and a children's playground.
- Sandfield Reserve, which includes a children's playground.
In addition, there are several other wooded reserve areas which the public are allowed to walk through, and many of the housing develoments feature public grassed areas and children's play facilities.
Sport & Fitness
- AFL: The Skye Bombers play their home games at the Recreation Reserve on Wedge Road.
- Angling: The Sands Angling Club have their headquarters at the Recreation Reserve.
- Auskick: (A modified version of AFL for 5 - 12 year olds) The Rowellyn Park/Carrum Downs Auskick team plays its games at Banyan Reserve.
- Baseball: The Carrum Downs Baseball Club has junior and senior teams and plays its games at the Botany Park Reserve on Quarrion Drive.
- Clay Target: The Frankston Clay Target Shooting Club is located on Rossiter Road in Carrum Downs, as is the Victorian Field & Game Association.
- Cricket: The Carrum Downs cricket club is based at the Recreation Reserve on Wedge Road.
- Driving: A variety of driving training courses (including defensive driving and motorcycle training) are held at DECA training on Thompson Road.
- Gymnasium: There are two fitness centres in Carrum Downs, located on Frankston-Dandenong Rd and a ladies only fitness centre located on Hall Rd.
- Paintball: Paintball Carrum Downs is located on Highview Road and features a 50 acre paintball field.
- Soccer: Carrum United Soccer Club is currently located outside the area. The Junior team plays at neighbouring Skye at the Recreation Reserve. The Senior team plays at the Italo Australian Club on Frankston-Dandenong Road, Dandenong.
- Tennis: Facilities are available at the Carrum Downs Tennis Club at the Recreation Reserve on Wedge Road. There are four acrylic hard courts which replaced the two synthetic grass courts and two asphalt courts in 2006.
Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple
The Shri Shiva Vishnu Hindu Temple is located in this suburb. This temple is the largest Hindu temple in Victoria. Worship at the temple is centred around Shiva and Vishnu, the presiding deities of two dominant streams in the Hindu ritualistic tradition. The temple attempts to bring the two streams together and provide a synthesis. Many Hindus residing in Melbourne worship there and is most popularly known for holding the annual Hindu festivals of Holi and Diwali.
- In March 2002, a famous, if unsubstantiated, UFO sighting occurred as a driver was passing through Carrum Downs.
- Carrum Downs used to be home to a Paintball field, until the practice was banned in the state of Victoria. The ban was lifted in 2007 and the field has since re-opened.
- City of Springvale - the former local government area of which part of Carrum Downs was a part.