Tullamarine is a residential and industrial suburb 14 km north-west of central Melbourne. Its western boundary is the Melbourne Airport, originally called the Tullamarine Airport.

The name is thought to derive from Tullamareena, a small boy of the Wurrundjeri tribe, according to an advisor of the first government surveyor, Robert Hoddle.

Tullamarine village was on the Bulla or Lancefield Road, which is now Melrose Drive. It was positioned at the intersection of three municipal boundaries (Broadmeadows, Bulla and Keilor), which came together at Victoria Street and Melrose Drive. The primary school was on land now in the Airport (south of Victoria Street) and the post office was near the present day Tullamarine reserve. Originally Tullamarine extended westwards to the Organ Pipes National Park, and the nearby area bounded by the Maribyrnong River, Jacksons Creek and Deep Creek was called Tullamarine Island because of the difficulties faced by inhabitants in getting across the watercourses during wet weather.

When the land in the Tullamarine Parish was subdivided into farm lots in 1842 only one lot sold, and the rest were sold by selection in 1850. A Wesleyan school was opened in 1855 and two other schools in 1859 and 1864. The Wesleyan one continued until the State primary school was opened in 1884. By 1865 Tullamarine also had a post office and a hotel, and a district population of about 200 persons.

By the 1930s the Tullamarine village also had a church, tennis and football clubs and a progress association. The chief activities were hay production and grazing. During the mid-1950s Tullamarine village became an agricultural and residential township. Later in that decade the Federal Government announced that it was examining a site north and west of the township for a new airport, and land acquisition began in the early 1960s. The school was moved to a new site in 1961 and Tullamarine airport opened in 1970. Tullamarine primary school had 313 pupils in 2014.

Between 1967 and 1970 a freeway to the Airport was built, dividing Tullamarine from its eastern area, which became Gladstone Park. The part west of the freeway has housing, a large industrial estate and is skirted by the Western Ring Road with interchanges where it crosses the freeway. The housing area has a new Tullamarine reserve with a library and a community hall, other smaller reserves and a small shopping area.

The State government let a contract to widen the Tullamarine Freeway and CityLink tollway in 2014. Work on the road from the West Gate Freeway was scheduled to start in 2015 with the upgrade due to be completed in early 2018.

The State government also entered into a public-private partnership to construct the Melbourne Rail Link project to begin in 2016 and includes a new rail tunnel from Southern Cross station to South Yarra, a line to the airport and two new railway stations at Domain and Fishermans Bend-Montague.

Tullamarine has had census populations and estimates of:

Census date Population
1891 82
1921 190
1947 204




2001 6664
2006 6541
2011 6271

Further Reading

Christine Laskowski, Steele Creek and the Lady of the Lake, 2013