Sitting on Woiwurrung territory, which is traditionally part of the Kulin Nation in south central Victoria, Lilydale is rich in history.
Established in the late 1850’s, Lilydale has grown significantly from a small miner’s hub to the lively urban landscape you see today.
Whilst the origins of the name ‘Lilydale’ is uncertain, it is believed that a government surveyor suggested that the town be named Lilydale after his chainman was heard singing a popular song ‘Lilly Dale.‘
With a population of only 212 recorded in 1871, Lilydale became a sales centre for livestock from the Coldstream area. During this time, as the population continued to increase, schools, churches and a hall were built.
In 1872, the Lilydale Shire was created as a grain, potato and vine-growing district.
The township’s growth was then stimulated by the opening of a railway line from Hawthorn in 1881, bringing more tourists into the rural landscape to explore and settle.
Between 1889 and 1981 Lilydale was a change trains station for the railways to Healesville and Warburton. The station included an elaborate refreshment room which has since been heritage listed. The population during this time grew exponentially from 944 to 9502.
In the 1870’s, Lilydale was recognised as tourist hub, having three hotels, two schools, a library, public swimming baths, a large cheese factory and picnic grounds. The area became more populated with residential areas being established and the development of shopping centres, cafés and restaurants paved the way for the bustling retail district that exists today.
Since then, the area of Lilydale has continued to expand and according to the latest Census, the population had grown to 15,530.