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Norlane, Victoria facts for kids

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Ford stamping plant Geelong.jpg
Ford stamping plant on the Princes Highway, 2009
Population 8,306 (2016 census)
 • Density 1,629/km2 (4,220/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 3214
Area 5.1 km2 (2.0 sq mi)
LGA(s) City of Greater Geelong
State electorate(s) Lara
Federal Division(s) Corio
Suburbs around Norlane:
Lovely Banks Corio Corio
Lovely Banks Norlane North Shore
Bell Post Hill Bell Park North Geelong

Norlane is a northern suburb of Geelong, in Victoria, Australia. Norlane is bordered in the south by Cowies Creek, in the north by Cox Road, in the west by Thompson Road and in the east by Station Street. It is about 7 km from the Geelong central business district and approximately 70 km from the state capital, Melbourne. It is about one kilometre from the shore of Corio Bay. At the 2016 Census, Norlane had a population of 8,306.


The suburb of Norlane was named after Norman Lane, a local serviceman from the district who died working on the Burma Thai Railway in 1943, after being captured in Singapore.

The Post Office opened on 17 December 1945 as development of the suburb began. Later, the Post Office of Norlane West opened on 13 October 1958.

With the enormous pressure on housing in the early 1950s, residents resorted to small dwellings, tents and partially completed buildings. The Housing Commission of Victoria provided accommodation for families unable to rent or to afford the purchase of their own home.

In 1947 the government Housing Commission began its house-building program in Norlane, and by 1976 when its program was completed there were 2,464 commission houses available for low income renters. Much of the housing was for employees at the nearby Ford Motor Company, International Harvester, Shell, Pilkington Glass, Hendersons and Pivot Phosphate factories.

As workers hungry for employment (among them wartime migrants building new lives) flocked to Geelong to take up jobs the Victorian Government responded through its Housing Commission by buying up broad acres north of the Ford plant and building homes by the hundreds. Norlane was quickly transformed from paddocks to busy working class suburbia in a decade. By 1960, the urban landscape of streets, roads, crescents, courts and boulevards which we know today had extended as far as Corio Village. For Geelong, it was an amazing and exciting time.

Many of the houses built in Norlane were prefabricated units imported from the Netherlands and France.

The suburb contains one site listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, the Ford Motor Company Complex on Melbourne Road.


Norlane oct1925
A 1925 view of the area that became Norlane.
Ford norlane
The Princes Highway (Melbourne Road), near Cowies Creek, in 1957. The Ford Motor Company factory is visible in the background.

In the 2001 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing, the population of the Norlane census area was 8,628 people, in an area of 5.1 square kilometres. Females outnumbered males, with 4,436 females and 4,192 males as of 2001. Some 24% of the population of Norlane were born outside of Australia. The predominant age group in Norlane is 40 – 49 years.

The three most common forms of dwelling were (in decreasing order): a separate house, a flat or apartment, and a semi-detached house. Residents enjoy generous land parcels, ample backyards with single story weatherboard housing built during the 1960s on 600 to 800 square metres blocks, progressively brick based sud-division buildings and double story dwellings on approximately 300 square metre lots are beginning to become more common, with higher rise especially where views of the peninsula from a higher rise viewpoint are applicable. In August 2010 the median sale price of houses in the area is $184,500 up 15% from the previous year but generally raising by a modest 10% per year on average. 2002 saw a 38.9% growth in real estate value. Given the socio-economic status of the suburb, there is a high demand for rental accommodation in Norlane, with an expected rental return of $180 to $220 per week for a three-bedroom house. In 2018 saw a median 3 bedroom house price rise to approximately $350,000 with 2017-2018 period jumping over 20%. Rental yield is approximately 4% depending on quality of the property. Two bedroom unit saw a jump to $283,000 with rental yield of just over 5%.

A majority of residents of are employed (in decreasing order) in engineering (6.83%), management and commerce (2.2%) and food, hospitality and personal services industries (1.5%).

Norlane has several churches. In 2001, the five strongest religious affiliations in the area were (in descending order): Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, Presbyterian and Uniting.


Affordable housing close to shopping, transport and Geelong's largest employers make Norlane a popular suburb. Norlane's Waterworld boasts 2 25m indoor heated swimming pools, spagymnasium, two water slides, diving pool, outdoor children's pools and a splash-pad. Water World is located at Cox Road on the northern border of the suburb. Labuan Square shopping centre opened in 1954. but has since been largely superseded by the Corio Shopping Centre. Labuan Square, and other smaller shopping precincts around Norlane provide residents convenience within walking distance. Norlane Hotel on the Princes Highway is the largest local gambling venue and its bistro offers reasonably priced food. Additionally, there is the Norlane RSL Sub-Branch situated at 29 Rose Ave. Bunnings opened a new store on Princes Highway in early 2013.

Norlane has several churches. There are three nearby boat ramps: Corio Bay Boat Club, Grammar School Lagoon Boat Ramp and St Helens Boat Ramp. There are seven parks covering nearly 9% of the total area, with ovals and facilities for skating and ball games.


North Shore railway station, located in Station Street, provides two-hourly rail transport to both Melbourne and Geelong from Norlane.

Cars are the preferred method of transport in Norlane, followed by walking and bicycles.

North Shore railway station is located in Station Street, Norlane on the south eastern border of the suburb, with V/Line providing two-hourly rail transport on the Geelong line to both Melbourne and Geelong central business districts. The train between Geelong and Melbourne stops at the station in the south-east corner of the suburb.

Several highways provide convenient and speedy transport with the Princess highway being the main arterial from Melbourne to Norlane or from Norlane to Geelong city centre. The new Geelong Ring Road providing a Geelong city centre and greater Geelong bypass for faster access to coastal areas including the popular surfing and holiday destination, Torquay and other coastal towns along the south west of Victoria such as Lorne and Apollo Bay. The Midland Highway provides direct route to Ballarat and to northern Victoria and Bacchus Marsh Geelong Road as the name suggests. There is also a ferry from Queenscliff to Portsea twice daily.

A number of bus lines serve Norlane, they are as follows.

  • Route 1 - to Geelong and Waurn Ponds and to Corio. Every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 40 minutes on weekends.
  • Route 20 - to Geelong and to Corio. Every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends.
  • Route 22 - to Geelong. Every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends.
  • Route 23 - to Corio. Every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends.

Census populations

  • 1947 - 347
  • 1971 - 12,098
  • 2001 - 8,616
  • 2001 - 8,945 Norlane and North Shore combined
  • 2006 - 7,935
  • 2006 - 8,254 Norlane and North Shore combined

Norlane photo gallery

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