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(3037, 21 km NW, Brimbank City)

Until recently a predominantly farming community on the Keilor Plains, Sydenham was settled as a grazing district in the 1840s. The railway station on the Bendigo line opened in 1859. Originally called Keilor Road, it was renamed Sydenham in 1887. The site of a chaff mill in the first half of the 20th century, Sydenham was increasingly subdivided for residential use at that century's end. Its population has expanded in new suburbs such as Hillside and Delahey, named after a local Irish family who came in the 1840s. To the north, the Calder Park Thunderdome has been a major motor sport venue since the 1960s, while the Organ Pipes National Park, with its extraordinary columnar basalt formations, was revegetated and restored from the 1970s.

Jenny Keating