Avondale Heights

Avondale Heights is a residential suburb 11 km north-west of central Melbourne. It is bordered on the north by Keilor East and on the other three sides by an irregularly shaped U bend of the Maribyrnong River. The river banks are mainly steeply sloped.

Avondale Heights is reached from Melbourne by the Canning Street bridge over the Maribyrnong River. Canning Street ends on the other side of Avondale Heights, near the historic Solomon’s ford which was a crossing place where saltwater from the lower reaches was stopped from reaching upstream.

Residential subdivision in Avondale Heights began in the late 1950s. By 1959 the shopping centre in Military Road had 12 shops and a post office (1957), and the estimated population was about 1600 people. The primary school was opened in 1961, and a second primary school (Milleara) ran from 1967 to 2010. The high school opened in 1972. It became an Institute of TAFE, which closed in about 2008.

The riverside perimeter of Avondale Heights is a linear park with a bike track, passing through the site of the former Hicks Tea Gardens (1909), 400 metres north of the Canning Street bridge, which river excursionists frequented in the early part of the twentieth century. There are also neighbourhood reserves in Avondale Heights.

A new library and learning centre on Military Road opened in 2011. The Catholic church and school (1965) are a kilometre to the north.

In 1991 the census population of Avondale Heights was 12,494, of whom 43.1% were born overseas. The Italian born community was 15.4% of the population. The 2011 census recorded a continuing strong Italian population, along with other nationalities:

Language used at home % of population
  Avondale Heights


English 43.1 72.4
Italian 16.7 2.3


6.1 1.6
Greek 5.6 2.2

Avondale Heights’ census populations have been:

census date population
1991 12,494
2001 11,450
2006 11,079
2011 10,990

Further Reading

Christine Laskowski, Steele Creek and the Lady of the Lake, 2013