Doncaster East occupies a larger area than Doncaster, and together they stretch 6 km from Bulleen to Donvale. Doncaster East is shaped like a reverse L, with the north-south part wrapping around Templestowe and ending at the Yarra River. The southern boundary is the Koonung Creek. Taking the intersection of Blackburn and Doncaster Roads as the suburb's central point, Doncaster East is 18 km east of central Melbourne.
Unlike Doncaster with the civic centre and Westfield Shoppingtown, Doncaster East has no particularly striking features. There are community shopping centres, several primary schools and a secondary college. The largest of the shopping centres are The Pines and Tunstall Square (Tunstall being the former name for Nunawading on the south side of the Koonung Creek). The suburb is entirely residential with numerous neighbourhood reserves.
Public transport to Doncaster East is restricted to buses. The Pines shopping centre is a terminus for buses from central Melbourne, Box Hill, Warrandyte and Nunawading.
Doncaster East had six State primary schools in the 1980s. The list of its schools is as follows:
|school and year opened||present position|
|Doncaster East primary (1878)||Closed 1996|
|Doncaster Heights primary (1968)||Closed 1993|
|Beverley Hills primary (1959)||Continues|
|St Gregory's Catholic primary (1969)||Continues|
|Waldau primary (1971)||Continues as Doncaster Gardens|
|Donburn primary (1973)||Continues|
|Doncaster East secondary (1974)||Continues|
|Milgate primary (1983)||Continues|
On Ruffey Creek near where Doncaster East borders Doncaster is the place where an active German community lived in the nineteenth century. The locality was called Waldau, and their influence is preserved in Rieschieck's Reserve in which is found Schramm's cottage. Schramm was a Lutheran pastor.
Doncaster East's census populations have been:
Among ancestry claimed in the 2011 census there were:
|ancestry||% of population|