In 1854, Colonel John Bruce, Military Commandant, brought land in this area, intending it to be left to his son Edward. He is said to have referred to the estate as "Ned's Land". Development of the area mainly ocurred between 1910 and 1920.
Nedlands has a large quantity of public open space, the most significant area being Charles Court Reserve including the Edward Bruce Foreshore. It has 6 parks covering nearly 9% of it's total area. Another significant recreational facility includes Malvista park which adjoins the Nedland Golf Club and includes football, croque and tennis clubs.
The Perth CBD is 6km to the east whilst Fremantle is about 12km drive West and the renowned beach at Cottesloe is about a 6km drive.
Retail facilities are provided by the Hampden Road shopping precinct, located on the north eastern boundary of the suburb which include many restaurants and cafes. There is also some retail development along Broadway which borders the suburb of Crawley.