|Population||11,490 (2021 census)|
|• Density||679.9/km2 (1,761/sq mi)|
|Elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
|Area||16.9 km2 (6.5 sq mi)|
|Location||13 km (8 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Hobsons Bay|
Altona is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 13 km (8.1 mi) south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Hobsons Bay local government area. Altona recorded a population of 11,490 at the 2021 census.
Altona is a large suburb consisting of low density residential in the south-eastern half and mixed industry in the north-western half. A feature of the suburb is Altona Beach, which is one of only two swimming beaches in the western suburbs (the other being Williamstown Beach).
Altona takes its name from the then-independent German city of Altonawhich is today a borough of Hamburg.
Prior to arrival of Europeans, the Altona area was home to Kurung-Jang-Balluk Aboriginal people, of the Woiwurrung clan.
Altona was first permanently settled in 1842, with the construction of The Homestead by Alfred Langhorne. The name 'Altona' first appeared on maps in 1861.It was named by Frederick Taegtow, a German who hailed from Altona, then a town just outside of Hamburg. Taegtow believed that coal was to be found in the area, and in 1881 he formed the Williamstown (Taegtow) Prospecting Company. From 1886, housing in the Altona and Merton Street estates was sold, and by 1901 the Victorian Government owned an explosives reserve in the west of Altona.
On 20 February 1911, J. J. Hammond flew the first cross country flight between towns in Australia from Altona Bay to Geelong in Victoria, and on 23 February, also at Altona Bay, he undertook the first powered passenger flight in Australia.
Coal mining formed the basis of the local economy from 1908 to 1919. However, this was brought to an end in 1930 when open cut mining was developed in the Latrobe Valley.
By 1918 the population was sufficient to justify a Post Office which opened on 14 January 1918.
Following the Second World War Altona received a large influx of immigrants, primarily from the Mediterranean, Central Europe and a smaller number from the Middle East.
From 1862 Altona was a town in the Shire of Werribee, but in 1957, the Altona Riding of the Shire, which included Altona itself as well as Altona North and Altona Meadows, was severed, and became the City of Altona in 1968.This was merged into the City of Hobsons Bay in June 1994 under local government amalgamations undertaken by the Kennett government.
On 24 June 2010, Altona became home to Australia's first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, a then resident of Altona. Gillard was voted in by the governing Australian Labor Party to replace Kevin Rudd as its leader, making her Australia's 27th Prime Minister.
According to the 2016 census, there were 10,762 people in Altona, with 64.6% of Altona residents born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 4.8%, New Zealand 2.3%, Malta 2.1%, India 1.7% and Italy 1.6%. 73.3% of residents only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Italian 2.3%, Maltese 2.2%, Mandarin 1.7%, Vietnamese 1.3% and Greek 1.3%. The most common responses for religion in were No Religion 33.2%, Catholic 30.5% and Anglican 8.9%.
Altona has many significant parks and gardens, including some important environmental conservation areas and wetlands along the shores of Port Phillip. These are also used by visitors and residents recreationally and include a long promenade along the bay. Notable areas include:
Altona has four primary schools consisting of Altona Primary School, Seaholme Primary School, Altona College (a merger between the former Altona Secondary College and Altona West Primary School) and St. Mary's Catholic Primary School. The secondary schools include Mount St. Joseph Girls' College and Altona College (Altona Secondary College changed its name in 2007 to Altona P-9 College, then in 2019 included years 10-12).
Altona has a library branch, which contains the Environmental Resources Centre. This centre provides the community with access to media related to environmental initiatives in Hobsons Bay, including Industry Environment Improvement Plans from local industry.
The Altona Beach Festival is a free event held annually at the Logan Reserve precinct, (located on the Esplanade and includes the Logan Reserve parklands, part of Pier Street and the Esplanade), to promote and celebrate Hobsons Bay and the western suburbs. The festival includes a twilight street parade, beach market, double-decker bus tour, professional entertainers, RAAF fly-overs and fireworks off the Altona Pier.
The Altona Beach Festival was previously known as the Bayside Festival and also Operation Recreation, and some residents still refer to it by one of these names. The 30th anniversary of the festival was held in 2007. It enjoyed a brief period of heightened prominence in 2002 when it was featured on the Channel 9 travel program Postcards in a segment hosted by Geoff Cox. Scouts Australia is a major feature of the parade and the many community activities that take place close to the beach front.
The Altona City Theatre is a production company based in the Altona Civic Theatre, producing two major musicals and a smaller pantomime annually. The pantomime coincides with the Bayside Festival and was originally intended as an outlet for young directors.
Scouts Australia has two groups in Altona. The 1st Altona Scout Group runs from the Scout Hall. The 4th Altona Scout Group are located at the Pines, an old camp owned by the City of Hobsons Bay.
Altona is home to many sporting clubs including Australian rules football, soccer, hockey, basketball, cricket and lacrosse. Melbourne Ballpark is a baseball complex in the west of Altona.
Altona is represented by many sporting teams, including the Altona Magic soccer team which competes in the Victorian State League Division 1, the third tier in Australia behind the A-League and the Victorian Premier League. Altona City SC plays in Victorian State League Division 2 N/W.
Altona has an Australian Rules football team competing in the Western Region Football League.
The Altona Roosters complete in the Victorian Rugby League, and play home games at Loft Reserve, in neighbouring Newport.
Golfers play at the course of the Kooringal Golf Club on Wilga Avenue.
The area of Altona beach directly west of Altona Pier is one of Melbourne's most popular spots for kitesurfing.
Altona has two railway stations; Altona and Westona, both of which are on the Altona Loop. This is one of the two lines that runs between Newport and Laverton stations (the other being a Newport direct Express to Laverton track that operates along the former Geelong railway line, located along the northern boundary of Altona). Early morning and late night services to Werribee, as well as all weekend services, run via the Altona loop. At other times, the Altona loop is serviced by Laverton services.
The Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail, a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians, follows the coast through Altona. It links up with a path around Cherry Lake. Most major roads have on-road cycleways.
Local industry includes petrochemical storage, manufacturing and distribution. The Altona Petrochemical Complex was established in the early 1960s, utilising feedstocks from the nearby Altona Refinery, and later the Bass Strait gas fields, to produce a wide range of products for the chemical and plastics industry.The complex grew to become the largest petrochemical installation in the southern hemisphere and included major global chemical companies such as Dow Chemicals, Union Carbide, Hoechst, BF Goodrich and BASF. This was a major environmental concern to residents in the 1970s and 1980s. Strict environmental controls and local projects involving industry, government and environmental groups have reduced these concerns, cleaning up coastal areas that were once neglected.
The Toyota Australia Altona Plant is located in the neighbouring suburb of Altona North. The plant built Camrys and Aurions, 80% of which were for the world market. The plant was closed in 2017.
The City of Hobsons Bay is a local government area in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It comprises the south-western suburbs between 6 and 20 km from the Melbourne city centre.
Brooklyn is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 10 km (6.2 mi) west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the Cities of Brimbank and Hobsons Bay local government areas. Brooklyn recorded a population of 1,979 at the 2021 census.
Laverton established in 1886, is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 17 km (11 mi) south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the Cities of Hobsons Bay and Wyndham local government areas. Laverton recorded a population of 4,760 at the 2021 census.
Newport is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 10 km (6.2 mi) south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Hobsons Bay local government area. Newport recorded a population of 13,658 at the 2021 census.
Williamstown is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 11 km (6.8 mi) south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Hobsons Bay local government area. Williamstown recorded a population of 14,407 at the 2021 census.
Newport railway station is the junction for the Werribee and Williamstown lines in Victoria, Australia. It serves the western Melbourne suburb of Newport, and opened on 1 March 1859 as Geelong Junction. It was renamed Williamstown Junction in January 1869, and renamed Newport on 1 November 1881.
Seaholme railway station is located on the Werribee line in Victoria, Australia. It serves the western Melbourne suburb of Seaholme, and opened on 26 January 1920.
Altona railway station is located on the Werribee line in Victoria, Australia. It serves the south-western Melbourne suburb of Altona, and it opened on 1 December 1917 as Altona Beach. It was renamed Altona on 3 October 1938.
The Werribee railway line is a commuter rail passenger train service in Melbourne, Australia, operating between Werribee in the western suburbs to Flinders Street in the central business district. The line traverses the flat plains of Melbourne's western suburbs, and after leaving Footscray, has no significant earthworks. The area around the outer end of the line has seen significant residential growth in recent years, resulting in strong patronage growth. It is part of the Melbourne metropolitan rail network operated by Metro Trains.
Altona North is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 10 km (6.2 mi) south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Hobsons Bay local government area. Altona North recorded a population of 12,962 at the 2021 census.
Altona Meadows is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 17 km (11 mi) south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Hobsons Bay local government area. Altona Meadows recorded a population of 18,479 at the 2021 census.
The Division of Gellibrand is an Australian Electoral Division in Victoria. The division was created in 1949 and is named after Joseph Gellibrand, a pioneer settler of the Melbourne area. It is located in the industrial inner western suburbs of Melbourne and includes Altona, Altona North, Altona Meadows, Kingsville, Laverton, Newport, Seabrook, Seaholme, Seddon, South Kingsville, Spotswood, Williamstown, Williamstown North and Yarraville; and parts of Brooklyn, Footscray, Laverton North, Point Cook, West Footscray and Williams Landing.
Yarraville is an inner-city suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 6 km (3.7 mi) west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Maribyrnong local government area. Yarraville recorded a population of 15,636 at the 2021 census.
West Footscray is an inner-city suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 8 km (5.0 mi) west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Maribyrnong local government area. West Footscray recorded a population of 11,729 at the 2021 census.
Seaholme is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 12 km (7.5 mi) south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Hobsons Bay local government area. Seaholme recorded a population of 2,067 at the 2021 census.
The City of Altona was a local government area about 13 kilometres (8 mi) west of Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, Australia. The city covered an area of 40.18 square kilometres (15.51 sq mi), and existed from 1957 until 1994.
Port Phillip, sometimes referred to as Port Phillip Bay, is a large bay in southern Victoria, Australia, 1,930 km² in area, with a coastline length of 264 km (164 mi). The bay is extremely shallow for its size, but mostly navigable. The deepest portion is only 24 m, and half the region is shallower than 8 m. Its volume is around 25 km³. The city of Melbourne is located at its northern end, near the mouth of the Yarra River.
The Truganina Coastal Parklands are located 15 km west of Melbourne CBD, on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, stretching from Altona to Altona Meadows and adjacent to the Cheetham Wetlands and the Point Cook Coastal Park. They were formed through the 'recycling' of more than 300 hectares of parks and former industrial land and are now the largest cluster of parks on Port Phillip Bay, interlinked by cycling and walking trails and featuring a surprisingly high diversity and abundance of landscapes, natural environment and recreational areas, including beachside recreation, picnic & barbecue facilities, grassfields and wildlife conservation areas. The wetlands form part of the Cheetham and Altona Important Bird Area.
The Altona Treatment Plant of City West Water is a small sewage treatment plant in Altona, Victoria, approximately 16 km west of Melbourne, Australia. Located on Queen Street between Laverton Creek and Altona Meadows, it services over 20,000 residential and business properties in the Altona, Altona Meadows, Laverton and Point Cook areas and treats close to 13 million liters of sewage a day.
Williamstown Racecourse was a horse racing track located at Altona, Victoria, Australia.