Welcome to Coburg, a vibrant suburb located just 8 km north of Melbourne’s Central Business District. With a population of 26,574 as of the 2021 census, Coburg is a bustling hub of culture, commerce, and community. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this suburb such a special destination.
Coburg has a rich history dating back to before European settlement. The Woiwurrung speaking Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation occupied the area around Coburg and Merri Creek, participating in corroborees and sacred ceremonies on Merri Creek. Coburg was first surveyed by Robert Hoddle in 1837 – 1838, and he recorded that a Mr Hyatt had a sheep station and hut on the east bank of the Merri Creek, near present Outlook Road. In 1840, the village was named Pentridge by a surveyor called Henry Foot, who lived and worked near Merri Creek. It was named after the birthplace of Foots wife: Pentridge, Dorset, England. In 1867, a public meeting was called to change the name of the district, as residents were stigmatised and embarrassed at living in a suburb principally known for its gaol, Pentridge Prison. Robert Mailer of Glencairn suggested that the suburb name be changed to Coburg, inspired by the impending visit to the colony of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was a member of the royal house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The government agreed with the proposal and the change was made in March 1870.
The cultural diversity of Coburg is reflected in many ways – through its local street and music festivals, variety of cafes, bakeries, restaurants and grocery shops stocking ingredients from around the world. Coburg is a melting pot of different cultures, and this is reflected in the variety of events and activities that take place throughout the year. From the Coburg Night Market to the Moreland City Band, there is always something happening in Coburg.
The main commercial activity in Coburg is the precinct between Coburg railway station and Sydney Road. Coburg doesn’t have an enclosed shopping mall, though it does have four shopping arcades on the west side of Sydney Road. Coburg’s main commercial precinct comprises about 250 shops, a small indoor market, several supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths and discount stores such as Dimmeys, arranged around large, ground level car parks. While Coburg Shopping Centre is very busy during the day, its modest number of restaurants, cafes and bars means that it can be quiet in the evenings. The commercial strip of Sydney Road is continuous from Coburg’s southern neighbour Brunswick, but it has a very different character, having so far remained ungentrified.
Coburg is well-connected to the rest of Melbourne via bus, train, and tram. Ten bus routes service Coburg, while the stations of Moreland and Coburg service the south of Coburg, and Batman and Merlynston service Coburg North. These stations are all located on the Upfield railway line. Three tram lines also service Coburg, with the number 19 tram being the most popular. Cyclists have access to many on-road bike lanes as well as the Upfield Bike Path and the Merri Creek Trail.
Coburg has a variety of primary and secondary educational facilities. There is a special developmental school, four government primary schools (Coburg North PS, Coburg PS, Coburg West PS, Moreland PS), three Catholic primary schools and a Maronite Christian primary school. Australian International Academy (previously known as King Khalid Islamic College) is a private Islamic school providing primary and secondary education. Following a sustained local campaign, Coburg High School was reestablished in 2015 catering for years 7 to 12. There are other schools, including the Antonine College secondary school campus (7–12), and Mercy College for girls.
Landmarks and notable places:
Major features of the area include the Sydney Road commercial area, the Merri-bek City