Historical information

Flooding of the Yarra Valley, including that section of the Yarra bordering Kew and Kew East in the north and west of the municipality, was a regular occurrence. Extreme flood events of the Yarra River are recorded to have occurred in 1891, 1901, 1916, 1923 and 1934. The Municipality of Kew's response to these floods was to enact planning decisions restricting residential development in flood prone areas following the floods of 1916, 1921 and 1934. While floods continued after the development of the Upper Yarra Reservoir (construction 1948-57), the regularity and extent of these inundations diminished. During the nineteenth century, the land abutting the south side of the Yarra in Kew was devoted to dairy farming. In the twentieth century, before and after the construction of the Eastern Freeway, much of this low-lying area was used as golf courses and public parks.


Late example of the capacity of the Yarra Valley at Kew to flood, even though drainage works and the Upper Yarra Reservoir had reduced their regularity.

Physical description

Original black and white print photograph of the low-lying land at East Kew under floodwater on 16 May 1974. The vantage point of the photographer is Lister Street. In the photo, the fences of the Kilby Farm can be seen. Flooding was caused by overflowing water in Glass' Creek and the River Yarra.

Inscriptions & markings

Annotation verso: "Hay's Paddock op No.30 Lister Street / 16 May 1974 11.50am / R.L. 46.04"