Cranbourne is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 43 km south-east from Melbourne’s central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Casey. At the 2006 Census, Cranbourne had a population of 14,750.
The greater Cranbourne area consists of Cranbourne, Cranbourne North, Cranbourne East, Cranbourne South, Cranbourne West. Some suburbs and townships that surround Cranbourne are Narre Warren South, Devon Meadows, Langwarrin, Clyde, and Junction Village.
Prior to European settlement the Cranbourne area is thought to have been occupied by the Boonwurrung Aboriginal people. The first white settlers, the Ruffy brothers, arrived in 1836. They later opened the Cranbourne Inn.
The area was greatly opened up by settlers from the 1860s. Cranbourne Post Office had opened on 1 August 1857.
Progress in developing the land around Cranbourne was hampered by the Koo Wee Rup swampland. However William Lyall (who bought land in the swamp area) assisted in coordinating the draining of the swamp to make it usable as farmland.
In 1850’s a number of meteorites were unearthed in the area. The largest, at 3.5 tonnes, was then considered the world’s largest.
Cranbourne was, from 1860 until 1994, the administrative centre of the Shire of Cranbourne, (known for most of 1994 as the City of Cranbourne). The council building is still in existence, and is now used as a health care centre known as ‘The Cranbourne Integrated Care Centre’. Prior to 1978, Council met at the Old Shire Offices, on the corner of Sladen Street and South Gippsland Highway.