Gardiner is a residential locality 9 km south-east of central Melbourne in the part of Glen Iris south of Gardiners Creek, east of Malvern.
The name comes from John Gardiner, a pastoral overlander to Port Phillip from Yass, New South Wales, in 1835. He settled near the junction of the Yarra River and Gardiners Creek about 3 km to the north-east. His name was given to Gardiner shire (1871) which became Malvern shire in 1878.
Gardiner has a railway station on the line from Burnley to Malvern East (1890). In 1912 the Belmont Estate was sold in subdivided form for housing, and three years later the Gardiner Central School in Belmont Street was opened. It later became a primary school and closed in 1992. (The John Gardiner High School was situated in Tooronga Road, Hawthorn East, later becoming the Hawthorn Secondary College.)
As well as the train, Gardiner has trams along High Street (1910-14) and along Malvern road (1915), turning north into Burke Road. The South Eastern Freeway crosses Burke Road near the railway station.
There is a small shopping centre in Burke Road overlooked by the prominently positioned Uniting Church and Church of Christ. The Uniting Church building is reconstructed from the St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Carlton. On the other side of the railway line there is a third (Catholic) church and a little further away no fewer than three bowling clubs – Tooronga, Gardiners and South Camberwell.
Gardiner has an unusual conjunction of middle-class recreation, established churches and major transport modes.