Gisborne, Victoria

Gisborne (/ˈɡɪzbərn/)[1] is a town in the Macedon Ranges, approximately

View down the main street from the south
Coordinates37°29′24″S 144°35′20″E
  • 9,822 (2016)[2]
  • 12,000 (Estimate) (2018)[3]
Elevation443 m (1,453 ft)
LGA(s)Shire of Macedon Ranges
State electorate(s)Macedon
Federal Division(s)McEwen
Localities around Gisborne:
Macedon New Gisborne Riddells Creek
Bullengarook Gisborne Sunbury
Bullengarook Toolern Vale Gisborne South

54 kilometres (34 mi) north-west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Known for its country homesteads, tree-lined streets, restaurants and cafes, Gisborne is the largest town in the Macedon Ranges Shire.

The town has become a popular 'tree change' destination for Melbourne residents seeking large leafy blocks, a quiet lifestyle and "lovely little community"[4] within easy commuting distance from the city. As such, the town has grown substantially over the past 5-10 years, with an increase of 4,000 residents since 2011, although planning controls have been implemented to protect the character and "outstanding natural beauty" of the region. [5]


The original inhabitants of Gisborne were the Dja Dja Wurrung and Wurundjeri Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people have lived in the Macedon Ranges area for at least 26,000 years. The Wurundjeri, Dja Dja Wurrrung and Taungurung communities are still active.

The Gisborne town site was first settled by Europeans on 24 March 1837 by George Hamilton (Australian police officer). The area further south of Gisborne had been settled earlier by John Aitken, who squatted on the land having shipped his merino sheep from Tasmania.[6]

In 1840, Henry Fyshe Gisborne, Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Port Phillip District, set up an outpost for his Border Police troopers to assist colonialists with the suppression of Aboriginal resistance.

A hotel named the Bush Inn (Mount Macedon) was built near the barracks in the same year. Gisborne Post Office opened on 22 March 1850, and the Bush Inn but was renamed the Gisborne Hotel ten days later in honour of Henry Fyshe Gisborne.[7]


Gisborne is the largest township in the Macedon Ranges and the closest to Melbourne's city centre, which can be accessed easily via a 45-minute drive along the Calder Freeway or a 50 minute train ride on the Bendigo Line. The population at the 2016 census was 9822[3] but the town has grown on average 2.31% year-on-year for the five years preceding 2018.[3]

The town centre has many cafes and wine bars, as well a theatre[8],restaurants and galleries, monthly farmers' market[9], an organic butcher and three supermarkets stocking local produce, as well as organic, vegan and gluten-free foods.[10] Gisborne has a full-time police station in conjunction with the CFA station and medical-ambulance facilities.

Sporting facilities cater for AFL football, cricket, soccer, tennis, netball gymnastics and lawn bowls as well as a heated indoor pool. The Gisborne Soccer Club captain is ex-Socceroo and Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri.

A number of media reports[11][12] have made reference to the influx of young professionals, artists and 'hipsters' to the region,[13] drawn by the region's natural beauty, proximity to Melbourne and access to city-style cafes and restaurants.[14][15] The large numbers of new residents is making the local population growth rate among the fastest in regional Victoria.[16] Locals, worried about the environmental and cultural impacts of this growing popularity, successfully campaigned for new planning controls to protect the character of the region.[5]


In the 2016 census, Gisborne had an estimated population of 9,822 people.[17] At the time, 82.1% of the town's residents were born in Australia, with the most common foreign countries of birth being England (4.0%) and New Zealand (1.3%). The most common responses for religion were "No Religion" (35.3%), Catholic (28.3%) and Anglican (13.0%).[2]


The town has two primary schools and one secondary school, Gisborne Secondary College.

Sister cities

See also


  1. Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Gisborne". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  3. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2006 to 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2016.
  4. "From Inter Milan to Melbourne, Carl Valeri happy with new life at Victory". 5 February 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  5. Cowie, Tom (13 December 2017). "New Rules to protect Macedon Ranges". The Age. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  6. Bride, T. F., John Aitken, Letters from Victorian Pioneers to his Excellency Charles Joseph La Trobe, Esq., Public Library of Victoria, 1895, p.41.
  7. Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
  8. "Barringo Theatre". Barringo.
  9. "Gisborne Olde Time Market - Food, Arts and Craft". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  10. "Williamson's Foodworks - Gisborne & Sunbury". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  11. "The Design Files: Artist Elizabeth Barnett creates a farmhouse retreat in the Macedon Ranges". Domain. 18 August 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  12. Zhou, Christina (15 January 2017). "Hipster haven: Why crowds flock to Kyneton | Photos". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  13. "Lee Lin Chin scolds hipsters to save old hospital". ABC News. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  14. "When Hippy Towns Get Hip". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  15. RegionalLivingVic, Kevin & Bruce from Mirkwood Forest - Ready When You Are, retrieved 20 December 2018
  16. Lenaghan, Peter (15 February 2018). "Election battle looms as residents worry over Macedon Ranges growth policy". ABC News. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  17. "2016 Census QuickStats: Gisborne". Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  18. Sister Cities, Gisborne District Council, archived from the original on 14 October 2008, retrieved 25 November 2008
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