In a green-wedge area 28km from the CBD, it nestles in the heart of the Shire of Nillumbik, at the end of the metro railway line.
The suburb’s history from early settlement to the mid-1900s can be explored along the 3.6km Hurstbridge Heritage Trail, an easy one-hour walk with informative signs at sites of historical significance.
Settled in 1842 by grazier Cornelius Haley, the area was known as Upper Diamond Creek or Allwood, the name of the homestead on Haley’s land. It was renamed in 1924 after Henry Hurst, who built the first bridge across Diamond Creek in 1858. Hurst was later killed by a bushranger, Robert Burke.
Hurstbridge has also been home to the champion motor racing driver Peter Brock, and artist Albert Tucker, a member of the Heide Circle whose paintings depict the area’s natural bushland.
Originally famous for its orchards, the township is now a leafy haven for those who enjoy connecting with nature or shopping for antiques and collectibles, artisan products and organic produce.
There are natural therapy centres, wineries and quaint cafes to sample the local fare, scenic bike paths plus walks along the creek and through Fergusons Paddock, where the monthly farmers market is held.
Annual events attract visitors from far and wide, including the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival that offers a variety of activities, attractions and entertainment by local musicians.
At the 2016 Census, Hurstbridge had a population of 3,450 with a diverse socio-economic mix of families, professionals, retirees, artists, musicians or anyone wanting the country lifestyle with city convenience.
There are a variety of properties in the area, including eco-friendly passive-solar designed homes with reclaimed materials, updated character mud-brick houses, and modern low-maintenance dwellings.
In October 2021, there were just 10 properties for sale in the township and the median house price was $900,000, rising 13.5 per cent in 12 months.
The suburb is described as a high-demand market by realestate.com.au, where each listing attracted 3870 visits from mainly families and older couples.
“Properties that do come on the market are sold quickly, and because of the high demand, prices are on the rise,” Mr Koiker said.
Buyers are mainly locals wanting to stay in the area, families from Melbourne’s inner suburbs seeking a tree-change, and tradespeople needing extra space with sheds and workshops.
Many homes are within walking distance of the village shops, cafes, post office, train station, childcare and health services, and library.
Local educational needs are served by the co-educational Hurstbridge Primary School plus the independent Hurstbridge Learning Co-operative Primary School, with a focus on sustainability, the environment and indigenous studies.
Nearby secondary schools include the Diamond Valley College in Diamond Creek, Eltham College in Research, Montmorency Secondary College and Eltham High School.
Hurstbridge Hall offers space for functions and small productions, while the Hurstbridge Community Hub provides room hire plus preschool programs, day care, and maternal and child healthcare services.
A stadium and the Ben Frilay Oval cater to a variety of sports, including basketball, football, cricket and netball.
Within easy driving distance of the Yarra Valley’s tourist destinations, Hurstbridge has easy freeway access to the city and Tullamarine Airport, while a train ride takes a little more than an hour to the CBD.