Oakleigh has had a long and colourful history in the years since white settlement, and you can explore the past on the Oakleigh Historical Walk.
On the walk around Oakleigh, you’ll discover that the city we now know as Oakleigh was once called the Parish of Mulgrave until, in 1871, it was declared the Shire of Oakleigh.
The city grew in size after the Oakleigh to Melbourne rail line was opened eight years later and became a town of job prosperity.
The walk will take you to Oakleigh Memorial Park, the stone commemorating the settlement of Oakleigh, the Egyptian Church established in 1928 and much, much more.
Discover local history on the Oakleigh walk
The trail begins and ends at Oakleigh station. Head north along Station St, cross Atherton Rd and move down Drummond St. Locals named Drummond St Oakleigh’s ‘Avenue of Honour’ in memory of the brave service men and women of World War I.
Cross the road at the Egyptian Church, walk past the RSL and through to Oakleigh Memorial Park. What is the oldest grave stone you can find?
Turn right onto Warrigal Rd and continue past Warrawee Park. You’ll spot Oakleigh Primary School, established in 1885, on the corner of Warrigal Rd and Logie Street. Be sure to take a close look at the World War I memorial gates on the Warrigal Rd entrance of the school.
Keep walking and cross Princes Highway at the lights. Turn right and head about 100 metres to Drummond St, the part of Oakleigh that was first surveyed in 1853. Observe the original city centre between the Princes Highway and Scotchman’s Creek, before its move south to make way for the train line that caused a ‘railway fever’ and land boom in Oakleigh.
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Continue past Allen St and take a right down Cole Crescent, and follow Scotchman’s Creek Trail. Before reaching Atkinson St, you’ll spot a commemorative stone that marks the first settlement in Oakleigh in the 1850s. It’s also the site of Oakleigh’s first licenced premises known as Atkinson’s South Yarra Pound Inn.
Keep an eye out for 96 Atkinson Street, the home of Oakleigh’s very first mayor, Cr F W Binns. From the mayor’s doorstep, you should be able to see the hilltop believed to have been the corroboree ground of the indigenous Bunerong Tribe, before white colonisation.
Walk along Atkinson St and take in the vibrant atmosphere of Oakleigh’s shopping precinct. You’ll find European style cafes and delis, fresh food stores and an assortment of speciality retailers. Why not grab a coffee or a bite to eat before finishing up the walk at Oakleigh Station?
Oakleigh Historical Walk at a glance
Distance: 3.5 kilometres
Time: 1.5 – 2 hours, estimated at 15 minutes per kilometre
Difficulty: Easy. Suitable for any age or fitness level. The walk is on sealed or established paths.
Disability access: Medium. There are some uneven and unmade surfaces, steep hills and several road crossings that may cause some difficulty.
Public transport: Trains and buses run to Oakleigh Station.