Karingal is a residential locality 3 km east of Frankston and 40 km south-east of Melbourne.

In the 1960s the Frankston region was in strong demand for housing. The State Housing Commission built an estate on a former pine plantation at Frankston North, and in 1962 the A.V. Jennings company opened its first display homes at its Karingal estate.

Before Jennings started its estate there was the Frankston East primary school (1952) and Karingal high school (1961), both in Ashleigh Road. The high school appears to have been the first to use the name, thought to be an Aboriginal expression describing a good camp.

The estate was planned around Ballam Park, once the property of the Liardet family from Port Melbourne/Sandridge. Liardet's homestead (c1850), at the corner of the park, is heritage listed and used as an historical museum. The Karingal estate comprised about 3000 houses and construction took about 12 years, ending in the mid-1970s.

During 1966-72 two primary schools and a technical school were opened, and Karingal Heights primary school opened in 1975. There is also a Catholic primary school. In 1978 the Karingal Hub shopping centre was opened, and it has a discount department store, two supermarkets, over 120 shops and a ten screen cinema.

The Karingal housing estate is thought to be one of the first in Australia with street layouts which avoided the standard grid design and right angled intersections. As well as Ballam Park, which has five sports ovals, there are several neighbourhood reserves.

The primary schools continue (Karingal Heights 130 pupils, 2014 and Karingal 315 pupils, 2014) but the high school moved to the site of the technical school and has been renamed McClelland College (854 pupils, 2014).

There is also a neighbourhood shopping centre in Ashleigh Avenue near the Karingal primary school.

Further Reading

Don Garden, Builders to a nation: the A.V. Jennings story, Carlton, 1992