Woori Yallock

Woori Yallock is a rural township 50 km east of Melbourne on the road between Lilydale and Warburton. The township is 2 km from the Woori Yallock Creek which rises from the south in the Yarra Ranges near Emerald and enters the Yarra River a few kilometres north of the township. The land north of the township comprises river flats with several billabongs whereas southwards it is hilly to undulating.

In the early 1860s the Wooriallock pastoral station (12,950 hectares) was on the creek, and it is thought that the name is derived from Aboriginal words meaning running creek or plenty water, a reference either to the creek or the Yarra River flats. Farmers took up selections in the 1870s and a primary school was opened in 1874. A hotel was opened near the Woori Yallock Creek, and a post office in 1886. The railway line to Warburton passed through the township when it began service in 1901, with stations at Killara (a property of David Syme’s) and at the township. It ushered in a period of tourist excursions to the district. The railway line also provided an incentive for timber milling at Woori Yallock with saw logs brought by narrow gauge trams from the south-easterly hill country.

The township’s football team (1906) was part of the Upper Yarra League, and a recreation reserve was laid out south of the township on private land.

Woori Yallock continued as a small rural township until the 1970s, when residential subdivisions more than doubled the population. (The closing of the railway line in 1965 simply acknowledged the change to motor car transport).

The township is clustered around the intersection of the Warburton Highway and the Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road. The hotel ws somewhat hidden from view on the bypassed Old Warburton Road. It was destroyed by fire in 2014. The shopping centre is adjoined by a Presbyterian church and a kindergarten and the school (181 pupils, 2014) is next to the railway line which has become a linear reserve. The sports reserve includes an oval and tennis and netball courts.

The census populations have been:

census date population
1911 217
1947 367
1961 344
1981 1087
1991 2388
2006 2000
2011 2806

Further Reading

Shirley W. Wiencke, Woori Yallock school and district: a short history, the author, 1974