The name is thought to derive form Tullamareena,a small boy of the Wurrundjeri tribe, according to an advisor of the first government surveyor, Robert Hoddle.
Tullamarine village was on the Bulla or Lancefield Road, which is now Melrose Drive. It was positioned at the intersection of three municipal boundaries (Broadmeadows, Bulla and Keilor),which came together at Victoria Street and Melrose Drive. The primary schoolwas on land now in the Airport (south of Victoria Street) and the post office was near the present day Tullamarine reserve. Originally Tullamarine extended westwards to the Organ Pipes National Park, and the nearby area bounded by the Maribyrnong River, Jacksons Creek and Deep Creek was called Tullamarine Island because of the difficulties faced by inhabitants in getting across the watercourses during wet weather.
When the land in the Tullamarine Parish was subdivided into farm lots in 1842 only one lot sold, and the rest were sold by selection in 1850. A Wesleyan school was opened in 1855 and two other schools in 1859 and 1864.The Wesleyan one continued until the State primary school was opened in1884. By 1865 Tullamarine also had a post office and a hotel, and a district population of about 200 persons.
By the 1930s the Tullamarine village also had a church, tennis and footballclubs and a progress association. The chief activities were hay production and grazing. During the mid 1950s Tullamarine village became an agricultural and residential township. Later in that decade the Federal Government announcedthat it was examining a site north and west of the township for a new airport,and land acquisition began in the early 1960s. The school was moved to anew site in 1961.
Between 1967 and 1970 a freeway to the Airport was built, dividing Tullamarine from its eastern area, which is Gladstone Park. The part west of the freeway has housing, a large industrial estate and is skirted by the Western Ring Road with interchanges where it crosses the freeway. The housing area hasa new Tullamarine Reserve with tennis courts and a community hall, other smaller reserves and a small shopping area.
The eastern part is described under Gladstone Park.
In 1987 the median house price in Tullamarine was 97% of the median for metropolitan Melbourne, and in 1996 it was 82% of the metropolitan median.
Tullamarine had census populations of 82(1891), 190 (1921) and 204 (1947). Later population estimates were 385 (1955) and 1,666 (1966).