Purpose - This research provides an analysis of the disparate notions and ideas, to form an overview of the possible trends in residential property for the Victorian coastal areas of the Surf Coast and the Bellarine Peninsula. Design/methodology: Whilst examining the patterns of urban development in these areas of coastal Victoria over the last 20 years, the research also investigates possible reasons for the changes that have occurred. The data used in this research comes from both primary and secondary sources. The primary data was developed on the basis of responses to a mail out questionnaire to residents from seven towns on the Bellarine Peninsula and the Surf Coast. The secondary data comes primarily from the Australian census results, which occurs every five years, the most recent being in 2011.Findings - These coastal communities and their environment are at serious risk from the increased growth of both population and tourism. It is only with the support of all three tiers of government that the future requirements of coastal communities will be met. Social implications - There needs to be a policy framework of sustainable growth and a funding approach to enable the local councils, not only on the Bellarine Peninsula and the Surf Coast, but on all Australian coastal areas, to embark on an extensive program to provide the necessary services and infrastructure for these changing environments.Originality - This research brings into question the need to control residential development to protect the fragile environment in the Australian coastal areas.