Cairnlea is located 17km north-west of Melbourne’s CBD with a population of 6,070 (2006 census). Cairnlea is a fairly new ‘residential’ suburb of Melbourne quickly absorbing the overspill of Melbourne’s population from the neighbouring suburbs of Sunshine and Albion. The new estate – formally home to a defence manufacturing site – had a shaky start as much of the area contained contaminated soil from the industrial operations carried out in the area. However substantial work was taken to remove and replace the contaminated soil to an area well away from the re-zoned residential land, and plans have since concentrated on making Cairnlea an attractive eco-friendly suburb with an extensive recycling storm water system unique to the area.
The major attraction of Cairnlea are the swathes of outdoor parks, ovals, reserves, man made lakes and wetlands which provide residents with an attractive family friendly environment.
The town centre is located on the corner of Cairnlea Drive and Furlong Road and has an extensive and growing shopping centre. There is a primary school in the suburb and many other schools in the surrounding areas, along with a reasonable bus service.
The advantage Cairnlea has over other ‘new estates’ in the outer metropolitan suburbs, is its proximity to Sunshine and St Albans which have well established amenities. Cairnlea is close to Sunshine hospital. the Victoria University campus in St Albans, Ginifer train station, and provides easy access onto the Western Ring road and Tullamarine Fwy which serves commuters heading north and east of the city.
As with most new suburbs, land sizes are large and houses – in comparison to the inner and middle ring suburbs – tend to border on McMansion style proportions. Most residents are owner occupiers with a small proportion renting (encouraged by the student population of Victoria University).
So far Cairnlea as performed well, and although short term hits on the first home buyer market will stem growth, it should see positive performance over the long term.
Other highlights include the Black Powder Mill and the Kororoit Creek trail – popular with avid bike riders, nature watchers, and Sunday walkers!
Cairnlea Primary School
2 bus services run through Cairnlea – 423, 451. The closest train station is in St Albans – ‘Ginifer’ train station.
Cairnlea Town Centre – a large shopping precinct located on the corner of Cairnlea Drive and Furlong Road.
Considering the suburb was only established in 1999 most of the housing stock is fairly modern on large blocks of land (around 700 sqm) – McMansion in style & proportion. There are a few smaller town houses – generally double story and semi detached, with very few flats and apartments.