About Willsmere

One of Melbourne's most recognised landmarks, Willsmere was originally the Kew Asylum and Willsmere Hospital before being decommissioned in 1988. Placed on the historic buildings register in 1991, the property was redeveloped into 155 residential apartments with a further 101 townhouses added, and officially opened in 1993.

Significant care was undertaken to ensure that the new development preserved the original buildings and that the new townhouses were complementary in style. The fever tents were retained and converted into a gymnasium and function room. Two gazebos were retained, as were the privy buildings, two of which are now used as bicycle sheds, one as a modern bathroom, and one retained in its 1950s state for historic purposes. The perimeter walls have mostly been retained and the ha-ha ditches re-excavated in some places. In addition to some 25 acres of landscaped gardens, Willsmere now also contains two tennis courts, three BBQ facilities, a 25 m solar heated swimming pool, a toddler’s pool, a bowling green, and a half-sized basketball court.

For further information, you can download this brochure, which includes historical notes as well as a map of a self guided walking tour.


Willsmere is located at 1 Wiltshire Drive Kew VIC 3101. Visitor access is via Yarra Boulevard.