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.


Natural disasters had an impact on the development and settlement of Melbourne and its suburbs. Flooding in the Melbourne region was a regular event in the nineteenth and for most of the twentieth centuries. Changes in the impact of natural disasters could occur due to a number of factors. This collection of small snapshots, mostly taken from Kellett Grove in North Kew, provide provenanced evidence of flooding in the area before the development of the unnatural flood barrier that is the Eastern Freeway.

Physical description

Collection of 16 monochrome photographs, annotated on verso by different hands, of the flooding of the River Yarra in North Kew in the third and fourth decades of the twentieth century [1920s & 1930s]. Individual photos include the dates of different floods. Many of the photos were taken from the rear of 8 Kellett Grove; a house still extant in 2023