Town by town snapshot

November 7, 2019 BY

Town Profile: Barwon Heads

The size of Barwon Heads is approximately 6.8 square kilometres and has one park covering nearly 3.5 per cent of total area.

The population of Barwon Heads in 2011 was 3,535 people and by the 2016 Census the population was 3,880, showing a population growth of 9.8 per cent in the area during that time.

Barwon Heads is a popular coastal hamlet that still manages to retain much of its original charm which was highlighted in the late 1990s with the SeaChange television series starring Sigrid Thornton and David Wenham.

For 39 episodes ABC viewers could admire the wooden road bridge, the estuary, the jetty and the Beach House, now a tourist mecca.

The series captured the penchant of many Australians to escape the city for the apparent simplicity of life in a small coastal community.

Barwon Heads was settled on the west side of the Barwon River where it enters Port Phillip Bay with the name deriving from the Barwon River, named Kondak Baarwon by John Helder Wedge, a surveyor in 1835.

The word is thought to be Aboriginal for great, wide or deep water.
Settlement at the mouth of the river began on the eastern (Ocean Grove) side in 1854, and settlement on the other side at Barwon Heads was delayed until 1875.

It was a boating and fishing place, with waterfowl upstream at the Lake Connewarre swamp lands.

By the early 1920s the township had a hotel, boarding houses and a golf links (1907).

The river was bridged in 1927 with the town becoming a holiday destination for Geelong residents, and the provision of camping facilities on the foreshore near the Barwon Head or Bluff attracted many holiday makers and by 1970 there were nearly 1,000 sites for caravans and tents.

CoreLogic data indicates that the predominant age group in Barwon Heads is 40-49 years with households in Barwon Heads being primarily couples with children and are likely to be repaying $1,800-$2,399 per month on mortgage repayments, and in general, people in Barwon Heads work in a professional occupation.

In 2011, 74.5 per cent of the homes in Barwon Heads were owner-occupied compared with 78.9 per cent in 2016.


Barwon Heads image.jpg


Population: 3,880

Male: 49.1%

Female: 50.9%

Median age: 39

5 year population change: 9.8%

Median house price: $1,016,000

Change in Median Price: (5yrs) is 36.5%

Median asking rent per week: $500

Average length of ownership: 14

Owner occupiers: 81%

Renters: 19%


Historic median house price:

July 2019: $1,016,000

July 2018: $920,000

July 2017: $942,500

July 2016: $800,000

July 2015: $762,500


House sales per annum:

Period ending July 2019: 76

Period ending July 2018: 104


Land median sale price:

July 2019: N/A

July 2018: N/A


Land sales per annum:

Period ending July 2019: 2

Period ending July 2018: 4

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