Garfield is situated 73 km south-east of central Melbourne and 4 km due east of Bunyip. It is on the Gippsland railway line. Garfield was known as Cannibal Creek from the Aboriginal word for blackfellow, kanni, or possibly because of the killing of dogs by dingos. In 1861 land was surveyed for settlement and a timber industry started in the area. The arrival of railway transport resulted in a boom in the timber industry and the establishment of Cannibal Creek Siding in 1877.