The area of Upwey was originally know as "Mast Gully" as several masts for ships were cut down in the 1850s. To this day, Mast Gully Creek and Mast Gully Road still remain. In 1897 the Tullidge sisters bought a homestead and named it after an English village "Upwey on the River Wey", and in 1900 when the narrow gauge railway from Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook was opened, a station was built along the way which was named Upwey. The name was adopted locally. The station is now on the electric railway service to Melbourne.

In the early 1930s the Victorian Government opened up housing in the Dandenong Ranges and the population grew steadily.

Today, Upwey is a thriving community of over 6,800 residents. The Main Street boasts a wide variety of shops and services, with a traditional community village atmosphere, just 32km east of Melbourne.