Town by town snapshot: Barwon Heads

December 17, 2020 BY

This older style 4 bedroom Barwon Heads home sold recently for $1,052,500 which is just shy of the current median house price for the area.

The size of Barwon Heads is about 6.8 square kilometres and has 1 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 remains the jewel of the Bellarine with house prices to match.

What does hit the market is snapped up quickly as regional and local buyers compete with escapes from the city. rate Barwon Heads as a high demand market with 1,734 visits per property.

The charms of Barwon Heads got national attention 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.

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. By the early 1920s the township had a hotel, boarding houses and a golf links (1907) with the river bridged in 1927.

Barwon Heads became 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.

By 1970 there were nearly 1,000 sites for caravans and tents with an estimated population of 2,100 (1996) – the peak summer population reached 7,400 with holiday-makers.

The golf club house (1924) and the bridge over the Barwon River (1927) are heritage listed. The town, and its heritage listed timber bridge, came to national attention with the filming of SeaChange (1998-2000), in which Barwon Heads was named Pearl Bay.

A new road bridge and separate pedestrian bridge opened in 2010 and soon the town itself was the destination of real life seachangers.

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.

AGENT PERSPECTIVE: “During November we sold seven properties in Barwon Heads above $2 million; sometimes we will sell seven a year in this price range.” – Levi Turner, Bellarine Property.

TIDBIT: The waters around the heads have claimed about a dozen ships between 1853 and 1890.



Population: 3,880

Male: 49%

Female: 51%

Median age: 43

5 year population change: 9.8%

Median house price: $1,075,000

Change in Median Price: (5yrs) is 41.4%

Median asking rent per week: $500

Average length of ownership: 11 years

Owner occupiers: 81%

Renters: 19%

Historic median house price:

August 2020: $1,075,000

August 2019: $1,010,000


August 2018: $900,000

August 2017: $930,000

August 2016: $835,000

House sales per annum:

Period ending August 2020: 71

Period ending August 2019: 75

Land median sale price:

August 2020: N/A

August 2019: N/A

Land sales per annum:

Period ending August 2020: 4

Period ending August 2019: 2