Murrindindi Shire

Murrindindi is a shire created on 18 November 1994, by the amalgamation of Alexandra and Yea shires and parts of Whittlesea city and Broadford, Eltham, Euroa and Healesville shires. The area of the shire is 3889 sq km. From west to east it extends from Flowerdale to Eildon, and from north to south it nearly reaches Euroa and Healesville. The Maroondah and Melba Highways pass northwards through the shire and the Goulburn Highway runs across the shire from Yea to Eildon. There are numerous ranges and forests, particularly west of Marysville. The council is headquartered in Alexandra.

The name came from a pastoral run taken up by a stock overlander from New South Wales, Peter Snodgrass, who came to Port Phillip in 1838 and chose the Murrindindi site later that year. It was about 15 km south of the future site of Yea. The name is thought to derive from an Aboriginal word for mists or mountain.

On 7 February 2009 a bush fire, probably started by arson in the Black Range, swept south-eastwards, engulfing Marysville and Narbethong. Each town lost over 90% of its buildings and 45 lives were taken.

Murrindindi shire's census populations have been:

census date population
1991 11,816*
2001 13,060
2006 13,672
2011 13,058


At the 2011 census, farming and education accounted for 5.7% and 5.2% of the shire’s employment.

Further Reading

N. Houghton, Timber mountain: a sawmilling of the Murrindindi Forest 1885-1950, Light Railway Research Society of Australia, 1986

Alexandra and Yea shires entries