History and Heritage

The City of Whitehorse was created in December 1994 following the amalgamation of the former cities of Box Hill and Nunawading. The birth of the City reunited the suburbs which formed the original Shire of Nunawading more than 100 years ago.

The municipality derives its namesake and logo from a white horse dating back to the 1850s, when a white horse statue adorned the front entrance of the City’s first hotel and two-storey building. Today, a memorial stands on the former site of the hotel and the white horse symbolises the City’s identity.

There are over two hundred and fifty individual heritage properties and 16 precincts containing 914 properties in Whitehorse.

The City is also recognised as the home of the arts, stemming from its relationship with Box Hill as the original site of the Artists Camp. In 1885, artists established the first of their camps at Box Hill, and while the camp only lasted three years, some of the artists, including Frederick McCubbin, returned to the area often. The City has an impressive art collection containing a total of nine works by members of the Box Hill Artists Camp, including works by McCubbin, Roberts and Streeton.

Schwerkolt Cottage is a historic museum complex surrounded by 2.25 hectares of bushland. Established in 1884, the historical buildings, walking tracks, cottage garden, barbecue area and family playground are the perfect place to explore early Colonial history in Whitehorse.

Discover Whitehorse Heritage and Artists' Trails

Explore the rich culture and heritage of Whitehorse in an interactive map showcasing our artistic heritage and local history including the iconic Schwerkolt Cottage.