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Mount Martha
Population: 14,609 (2006)[1]
Postcode: 3934
Area: 17.2 km² (6.6 sq mi)
Property Value: AUD $400,000 [2]
LGA: Shire of Mornington Peninsula
State District: Mornington, Nepean
Federal Division: Dunkley, Flinders
Suburbs around Mount Martha:
Mount Martha Moorooduc
Safety Beach

Mount Martha is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, located 60 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the Shire of Mornington Peninsula. It is located on the south-eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay and offers a bathing beach. A boardwalk winds its way for over 5 km along the Balcombe Creek, its North beach mouth to the Briars Historic Park. The suburb's highest point bears the area's name and reaches 160 m (540 ft). The peak was named after Martha Lonsdale, the wife of a captain in the Royal Navy.

It marks the start of the Selwyn fault, a geological formation which runs to the eastern Dandenong Ranges.


Mount Martha has its roots dating back to the 1840s when the township's major role was that of farming. The Briars Homestead in the town's East was constructed from 1848 to 1851 and was used by Alexander Balcombe until 1876 as he farmed the land surrounding it and tended to 100 acres (0.40 km2) of vineyards. The homestead was named after the lodging of the same name in Saint Helena, and today contains several historical pieces sent there by Napoleon during his stay on the Atlantic island.

In 1891 the Martha Hotel, designed by architects Tappin, Gilbert and Dennehy was constructed in a Federation Queen Anne style. Today, the building now known as Mt. Martha House serves as a community centre and is Victorian Heritage listed. As the population grew, Mount Martha Post Office opened around 1902. [3]

During the Second World War, Mt. Martha's Balcombe Creek camp hosted the United States Marine Corps's 1st Marine Division in late 1942 following their involvement in the Battle of Guadalcanal. After the conclusion of the war, it was progressively relocated or demolished until [1999]. The area is now known as Balcombe Estuary and has barbecue facilities (including an open fireplace) as well as a children's play area in the west, and residential allocations were made in the east. Also during the second world war, Mt. Martha House had extensive use by the military and functioned as a Women's Royal Australian Army Corps (WRAAC) barracks up until 1978.

Mt Martha is also home to public tennis courts, 4 football ovals and numerous grass reserves.

In 1978, a water treatment plant was constructed in the suburbs east, which services nearby towns Mornington, Mount Eliza, Mount Martha, Somerville, Pearcedale and Baxter, and provides treated water to local vineyards, a tree plantation and lawns.

Mount Martha is home to a volunteer CFA fire brigade responding on average to 180 calls a year for assistance from the community. Incidents range from grass and scrub fires, mva's (Motor Vehicle Accidents), to house fires.

Mount Martha holds the popular annual Mount Martha Australia Day Swim, as well as the MMAD Swim.

Golfers play at the course of the Mount Martha Golf Club on Forest Drive.[4]


External links

Mount Martha Fire Brigade



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