The suburb is bounded by Rossack Drive, Princes Highway, the Geelong to Warnambool railway, Reservoir Road, Draytons Road, Pigdons Road, Deakin University and Honeys Road. It is home to the main Geelong campus of Deakin University and the regional Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre.
The town was named after the Waurn chain of ponds, a watercourse that flows from Mount Moriac over 30 km into the Barwon River. Two early hotels - the Victoria Inn (1845–60) and the Waurn Ponds Inn (1856) were located on the Princes Highway serving travellers on the road. The Albert and Victoria vineyards, owned by David Pettavel, began growing grapes in 1848 and the area was better known as Pettavel in the 1860s. The Pettavel Post Office opened on 12 January 1865 and remained open until 1952. The Waurn Ponds Post Office opened on 1 December 1871 and closed in 1968.
A quarry for limestone was opened in the 1840s, with quarrying continuing from 1964 to today at the nearby Blue Circle Southern cement works. Kilns for making mortar lime operated until the 1970s.
Waurn Ponds started to become part of the outer suburbs of Geelong from the 1970s, with the opening of the Deakin University campus and the Waurn Ponds Hotel on the highway. Major development did not begin until the early 1990s, based around Ghazeepore Road. The intervening years have seen housing developments spread across the hillside towards Grovedale.
- Suburb:Waurn Ponds