Carlsruhe, a rural locality with buildings divided between the Calder Highway and the railway line from Melbourne to Bendigo, is 70 km north-west of Melbourne. It was named after a pastoral run taken up in 1837 by Charles Ebden who had completed his education at Carlsruhe, Germany, Ebden’s run was the first in the district.

Until the formation of Kyneton, 6 km north-west, in 1849, Carlsruhe was the district’s centre of settlement. It had an armed regiment (1838-39), a hotel (1846) and a police station with over 30 officers until the mid-1850s. A school was opened in 1855.

The land around Carlsruhe is undulating and lightly timbered. It was suitable for wheat-growing, and a flour mill was operated from 1859 to about 1875. In 1862 the railway line connecting Carlsruhe to Melbourne was opened. In 1880 a branch railway line to Daylesford was constructed from Carlsruhe. By then the locality had two hotels, a Presbyterian church (c1872) and a second school at the railway station. (The mill and the railway station are on the Victorian Heritage Register.)

In 1903 the Australian handbook described Carlsruhe:

Carlsruhe is a pastoral district, with a few commercial buildings which rely on tourists and passers-by on the Calder Highway. The railway-station school is closed, the other school closed in 1969, and the Presbyterian church closed in 1955. The line to Daylesford closed in 1978.

The duplication of the Calder Highway (Freeway) at Carlsruhe was completed in 2003.

The census populations have been:

area census date population
Carlsruhe 1871 151
  1891 114
  1901 143
  1921 195
  1947 211
Carlsruhe and environs 2011 456

Further Reading

Carlsruhe 1837-1987: celebrating 150 years of settlement, nd