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Christmas Hills

(3775, 37 km NE, Nillumbik Shire)

Christmas Hills is a predominantly agricultural district whose name possibly derives from that of an early shepherd, David Christmas. In 1865 the district was opened for selection, with woodcutting a major industry until the 1930s. Tourism became popular from the 1890s after the railway was extended to nearby Yarra Glen. Bushfires ravaged the area in 1939 and 1962. In the 1970s 445 ha were inundated by the Sugarloaf Reservoir to feed Melbourne's water supply via the Winneke Treatment Plant, the reservoir now also a popular recreational site. The Bend of Islands on the Yarra River is a natural bushland conservation zone.

Jill Barnard