Woodlands is named after the original estate that was on the land, and development only began in the 1960s is still growing.
Woodlands is part of the original 'Woodlands Estate', which was owned by John Daniel Manning. Part of the area that is now Woodlands was originally assigned to Thomas William Mews in 1831. However, as Mews could not fulfil the location duties, the grant passed to T. R. C. Walters in 1840. It was later part of the extensive lands owned by John Daniel Manning.
In 1842 the locality was recorded as 'Jackadup', which was the Aboriginal name for the area. This was later adapted to 'Jackadder', the name that is still borne by the lake at the centre of Woodlands.
Development in Woodlands began in earnest in the 1960s and growth is still occurring, as the Floreat Lakes Estate to the south east was only subdivided in 1991 and still contains vacant land.
To echo the title of the suburb, many of the streets in Woodlands are named after trees such as oak, elm, birch, sandalwood and willow.
The dominant type of dwelling in Woodlands is the single detached home, although there are some higher density developments beginning to be established in the area. The prolonged development of Woodlands has ensured a varied mix of housing designs.
The majority of dwellings are built of brick and date from the 1960s and 1970s, while many of the newer homes are architecturally designed.
Woodlands is well serviced by parks and reserves. The most significant open space surrounds Jackadder Lake and provides primarily for passive recreation. Jackadder Lake was first recorded as "Mews Lake" in 1831 and provides a local recreation area.
There are several smaller parks in the locality, including Sweeting Reserve and Woodlands Reserve.
The neighbourhood retail area is called 'Woodlands Village' and is conveniently located in the centre of the suburb. Ribbon development along Scarborough Beach Road in the north of Woodlands forms part of the Stirling Regional Centre and supplements local shopping.
The locality also contains two primary schools and a retirement village, while entertainment is provided by Event Cinemas on Liege Street.