Flemington, Victoria

Melbourne, Victoria

Aerial of eastern Flemington with the Housing Commission of Victoria estate and the CityLink sound tube (right), Moonee Ponds Creek and Flemington bridge
Coordinates 37°47′06″S 144°55′41″E / 37.785°S 144.928°E / -37.785; 144.928Coordinates: 37°47′06″S 144°55′41″E / 37.785°S 144.928°E / -37.785; 144.928
Population 7,528 (2011)[1]
 • Density 6,270/km2 (16,200/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 3031
Area 1.2 km2 (0.5 sq mi)
Location 4 km (2 mi) from Melbourne
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Melbourne
Suburbs around Flemington:
Ascot Vale Ascot Vale Travancore
Ascot Vale Flemington Parkville
Footscray Kensington North Melbourne

Flemington is a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 4 km north-west of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government areas are the Cities of Melbourne and Moonee Valley. At the 2011 Census, Flemington had a population of 7,528.

The Melbourne Cup Thoroughbred horse race has been held at Flemington Racecourse since 1861.

Flemington is located between the Maribyrnong River and the Moonee Ponds Creek and includes the locality of Newmarket, in which the main commercial area Racecourse Road is located.

The suburb was named by settler James Watson after Flemington Estate in Scotland. Another version of the origin of the name relates to Robert Fleming, a Brunswick (Victoria) resident who had owned land beside the Saltwater River and operated a butchery there.


In 1839, James Watson came to Port Phillip to purchase land for himself and English and Scottish investors. He named the area Flemington after Flemington Estate in Scotland where his wife's father was a manager, which was in turn named because of Flemish settlement in the area.

Flemington and neighbouring Kensington consist primarily of weatherboard cottages mixed with attached brick single-storey and some double-storey terrace houses. Most of the homes are in Victorian or Boom style with some Edwardian and Federation style homes. Some sections originally contained factories and industry.

Flemington Post Office

The earliest land release was in the 1840s[2] when fertile land adjacent to the Maribyrnong River was taken up for cattle grazing. Land for Flemington Racecourse was reserved as early as 1845. Around this time the Melbourne Municipal Saleyards were relocated from Elizabeth Street, West Melbourne to Flemington. Also around this time abbatoirs and other commercial activities were established.[2] Various industrial activities were clustered around the Maribyrnong River and the Moonee Ponds Creek.

The Victorian Goldrush of the 1850s encouraged further development as Mount Alexander Road was the main route to the North Western Goldfields. Flemington Post Office opened on 1 January 1854.[3]

It was originally included in the City of Essendon at its formation in 1861 and the first Melbourne Cup was run at Flemington the same year. Buntingford Tannery (now demolished) was located adjacent to Moonee Ponds Creek. This business, established by members of the Debney family, moved to the site in 1876 and at one time covered more than an acre of ground and consisted of several buildings.

Flemington and Kensington broke away from the City of Essendon in 1882 to form the Borough of Flemington and Kensington[4] as the decade saw intensified residential development consisting of detached single-storey weatherboard homes and some brick semi-detached or attached single-storey homes on small allotments. Some larger homes including grandiose double-storey brick homes on double allotments, and some double-storey brick terrace homes were also constructed. Industry consisting of mills, factories and warehouses continued in the area taking advantage of the low-cost flat land. By 1911 the population was 6,109.[5]

In 1905 the Borough of Flemington and Kensington was subsumed by the City of Melbourne.[6]

During the 1950s there was an influx of European immigrants, mostly from Italy.[5]

Flemington Racecourse and Racecourse Road

Main article: Flemington Racecourse
Flemington Racecourse in 2007, looking south-east toward Melbourne's city centre

Flemington Racecourse is famous for the Melbourne Cup horse race, run on the first Tuesday in November since 1861, by the Victoria Racing Club.

Racecourse Road

Racecourse Road is the suburb's main commercial area. Pin Oak Crescent has a small number of shops and cafes. Newmarket Station is on Pin Oak Crescent, near its intersection with Racecourse Road.

In the late 1990s, a new Shopping Plaza was constructed on an old car sale yard on Racecourse Road, directly west of Newmarket Station. Several new apartment buildings were built on empty allotments behind the Racecourse Road and Pin Oak Crescent shops.

In regard to Flemington's commercial area Barry Humphries, declared in 2005 that his favourite building in Melbourne was the Flemington Post Office, which is on Wellington Street.[7]



Flemington has three kindergartens, three primary schools, a secondary college and a special needs school.

Parks and open space

The suburb has twelve parks, reserves and ovals.[8]


Houses in Flemington

Flemington is home to a diverse migrant population.

The 2001 Census data shows that its largest immigrant groups originate from Vietnam, China, United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, Greece, Egypt, Philippines, India and Hong Kong.[5] The 1990s and 2000s has also seen a Northeast African and Latin American community emerge in the area. Many immigrants continue to settle, particularly from Somalia and various other Horn of Africa nations.[9]


Flemington has a mix of housing styles including detached single family homes, terrace houses and semi-detached homes, many dating to the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The area around Wellington Street and Farnham Street includes many walk-up privately owned flats built during the 1960s and 1970s.

Flemington also contains public housing estates. The largest public housing estate is the Holland Court Housing Commission of Victoria estate. This consists of four twenty storey towers and several three and four-storey walk-up blocks of flats. This was constructed in the 1960s on flat land adjacent to the Moonee Ponds Creek on a site previously occupied by factories.

Small tracts of Housing Commission houses are dotted through other parts of Flemington.



Newmarket railway station

The main road arterial is Racecourse Road, which is part of the Princes Highway. The CityLink tollway also runs along the suburb's boundary to the east.

The main railway station is Newmarket Station on the Craigieburn railway line. Macaulay and Flemington Bridge Stations on the Upfield line also service the suburb.

The Flemington Racecourse branch line runs through the suburb. The line branches off from the Craigieburn line just past Newmarket Station. This branch line has two stations: Flemington Racecourse and Showgrounds. The line's trains do not stop at Newmarket Station and run only on event days.




  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Flemington (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  2. 1 2 Sweeney, Lou. Fine and Dandy, The Age, Domain supplement, 29 October 2005. p 8
  3. Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 11 April 2008.
  4. Victorian Municipal Directory. Brunswick: Arnall & Jackson. 1992. pp. 276, 368–369. Accessed at State Library of Victoria, La Trobe Reading Room.
  5. 1 2 3 Keating, Mary. Embracing our diversity, Flemington - Kensington News. Autumn 2006. p 1
  6. Arnall & Jackson, p.276.
  7. Mitchell, Geraldine (11 June 2005). "I'm still on the case, says Barry". Herald Sun. News Limited. p. 9.
  8. Postcodes: 3031, The Age, Domain supplement, 29 October 2005. p 8
  9. O'Connor, Brendan. "Senator Evans to attend Somali festivities in Melbourne". Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
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