Historical information

Living with natural processes was frequently a challenge to early European settlers and later residents of what was in the 1850s administered by the Borondara Road Board. This was compounded by the area being bounded on three sides by rivers (Yarra River, Koonung Creek and Gardiner's Creek). In 1849, the historian James Bonwick recorded that "our district [Kew] suffered considerably. Mr Wade speaks of 80 acres, out of 100 acres of his cultivated paddock, covered by water." Newspapers continued to describe major flooding in Kew in 1863, 1869, 1878, 1880, 1889, 1891, 1916 and 1934. While the construction of the Upper Yarra dam in 1957 reduced the levels of flowing downstream, local and riverine floods continue.


The Kew Historical Society's pictures and map collections testify to the impact of flooding in the district. They have historical importance in documenting the extent of flooding in the district and its affects on homes, services and recreation. Numerous photographs record flooding throughout the Twentieth Century.

Physical description

Floods in North Kew, 1971. Looking northeast towards Kilby Road from River Avenue. Annotation on reverse: map and date "8 Nov. 71 10.30am".