The leafy inner eastern Melbourne suburb of Balwyn takes its name from a home built by early settler Andrew Murray, a Scots-born journalist. Murray, who moved into the area just 10km east of Melbourne in the 1850s, named his home by combining the Gaelic ‘bal’ and the Saxon ‘wyn’.
Fintona Girls School now occupies the original Balwyn and the vineyard planted by Murray to pioneer a regional, 19th century wine industry. The last steam train to operate in Melbourne, the Deepdene Dasher, plied the local line to Camberwell until it was pensioned off in 1943.
Balwyn residents and their guests are served by a self-contained shopping centre and a number of relaxing reserves, including Beckett Park. Adjoining this park is Maranoa Garden which has been planted with a diverse selection of native Australian plants.
North Balwyn is flanked by Kew and Camberwell golf courses and Bulleen Park which form part of the extensive green belt that straddles both banks of the Yarra River.