Pakenham

Pakenham – which is not named for the process of storing pork, no matter what you may have heard – is not particularly famed for anything much. It is, metaphorically and literally, the end of the line: the suburban train line running from the city via Richmond, South Yarra, Caulfield and Dandenong, terminates at Pakenham. (Although the country line it is on goes on deep into Gippsland.) It’s not even, really, a suburb – not until the recent growth of housing developments following that train line – but it’s considered one by courtesy.

The reason why it has taken so long, why for a long time Pakenham was little more than a township located closely around the train station, is simple. There’s a phenomenon called the Pakenham Stink. It’s a terrifying stench that the area is prone to, although it does come and go, sometimes for decades at a time. It smells organic, like rotting flesh, but it has no discernable origin point. There aren’t huge piles of rotting corpses in Pakenham, there’s no slaughterhouse or necropolis. There’s just Pakenham, the fields, and the Stink.

The legends of the Kulin peoples mention the Stink – in fact, the reason why otherwise quite pleasant land of the Pakenham region was more or less uninhabited, and lay on the border between the lands of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong peoples, not particularly wanted by either of them, was the Stink, and none other. They knew of, and knew to avoid, the Stink. When the white man came to this land, he, of course, ignored the hard won wisdom of the Kulin nations, and stubbornly built a settlement in Pakenham. He even made the trains stop there, rather than having the good sense to end the train line somewhere less smelly.

And the Stink goes on…

Suburbs near Pakenham:

Emerald Dewhurst Mount Burnett Mount Burnett Gembrook
Dewhurst Dewhurst Pakenham Upper Pakenham Upper Gembrook
Beaconsfield Upper Dewhurst Pakenham Upper Pakenham Upper Nar Nar Goon North
Beaconsfield Upper Beaconsfield Upper Pakenham Upper Pakenham Upper Nar Nar Goon North
Officer Pakenham Pakenham Pakenham Nar Nar Goon North
Officer Pakenham Pakenham Pakenham Nar Nar Goon
Officer South Pakenham Pakenham Pakenham Nar Nar Goon
Officer South Officer South Pakenham Pakenham Nar Nar Goon
Officer South Officer South Pakenham South Pakenham South Koo-wee-rup North
Cardinia Cardinia Pakenham South Pakenham South Koo-wee-rup North
Cardinia Cardinia Rythdale Koo-wee-rup North Koo-wee-rup North