Patterson Lakes is a residential suburb 32 km south-east of Melbourne beside the Patterson River, upstream from where it discharges into Port Phillip Bay at Carrum.
The Patterson River is an artificial drain (1876) known as the Patterson Cut through the former Carrum Swamp, named after J.B. Patterson, Minister for Public Works, who was involved with the project. Carrum is situated on a coastal dune system behind which was low lying swampy ground either side of the Patterson River. In the early 1970s a development company acquired 324 hectares of wetland south of the river and designed a raised residential estate set in artificial lakes or canals. Although the development has been less than originally planned, the Lakeview shopping centre and the National Water Sports Centre in neighbouring Bangholme have made the area more than just a dormitory suburb. A primary school was opened (1979) and St Leonards College (Brighton) established a second campus next to the Water Sports Centre in 1987. Some allotments without lakeside access were developed by the Housing Commission.
On the northern side of the river there is the Patterson River Country Club (golf) and a residential area formerly named Patterson Gardens. It has no artificial lakes. Patterson Lakes’ artificial waterways have marinas, boat storage, mooring and launching facilities, water skiing and a power boat racing concourse. In addition to the recent housing there are retirement villages.
The Patterson Lakes primary school had 748 pupils in 2014.
Patterson Lakes’ census populations have been: