Boolarra

A small town situated in the foothills of the Eastern Strzelecki Ranges. Many homes in Boolarra were destroyed by bushfires in February 2009.

Location: 131 km east of Melbourne; 21 km south of Morwell

Natural features: York Hill; The Haunted Hills; Beech Hill; Mount Fatigue; Mount Square Top

Built features: The old railway line, closed in 1974, has become an attractive Rail Trail bush walk from Boolarra to Mirboo North. Boolarra Hotel; Old Boolarra School (now a museum)

The first settler, W.H. Penaluna, arrived around 1878 taking up land along the Morwell River and erecting the Settlers’ Arms Hotel. Land was quickly taken up when a railway line was built in 1884-5, connecting Mirboo North, Boolarra and Yinnar to Morwell, on the main Melbourne-Sale line.


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The hill country south and east of the Morwell River opened up and Boolarra acted as the commercial and agricultural centre of the district. In 1905, the Danish firm Heyman set up a butter factory in Boolarra, and its population then rivalled that of Morwell! At one stage, a black coal and bauxite mine triggered an investment flow into the town.

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