Pomonal

Overview

This picturesque village, is close to Lake Fyans and below Mt Cassell, famous in the 1900s for its apple orchards and then tobacco crops, Pomonal's present hallmark is its variety of spectacular wildflowers.

A pleasant walk around Wildflower Drive will enable you to view some beautiful wildflower gardens.

We are only 36 kms northwest of Ararat. Come and visit us !

Today tourists are attracted to a variety of destinations:

  • Visit Lake Fyans
  • Spend some time at the Halls Gap Wildlife and Zoo
  • Visit the Wildflower Gardens in Wildflower Drive
  • Visit the Orchard Village Market
  • Do the Mt William Walk from Bomjinna Picnic Ground
  • Enjoy the fine local wine at The Gap Vineyard
  • Enjoy antiques, art and the craft shops

Places to picnic

Grampians Paradise Parkland - 03 5356 6309 - picnic or barbecue by the lake in a rural botanic garden and parkland. Explore night skies through a giant 60cm telescope. Nature walks. Wetlands.Kalymna Falls - Mt William picnic ground: Creek, Picnic tables, barbecue, and toilets. Walk to Kalymna Falls, one hour return.

Lake Fyans - Inlet on western side of Lake. Tree lined beach. Toilets. Take sealed road from Tunnel Road.

Millers Creek - In the centre of Pomonal, Picnic table, BBQ, fire places, toilets, seasonal creek, spring wildflowers. Bomjinna Picnic Ground - On Mitchell Road. Picnic tables, fire places.

Walks

Pomonal Nature Walk - An easy one hour walk linking Pomonal with the historic water supply tunnel. Tack notes available at start of walk at Pomonal. From the tunnel a walking track continues over to Lake Bellfield, the National Park Visitors Centre and Halls Gap.

The Outlet Of the Tunnel - Parkin at the west end of Tunnel Road. The outlet of the tunnel was dug mainly by hand in the 1880's through the Mount William Range.

Bomjinna – Mount William - Drive to Bomjinna on Mitchell Road. A track follows up a crest of a foothill on the eastern side of Mount William. The track passes through a gap in the Lower Cliffs and ends at the car park. Follow the sealed road to the top of Mount William. (two to three hours one way.)

Bridle Trail to Lake Bellfield - An easy grade track from the Tunnel Outlet passes Blaze Rock to the top of Mount William Range (allow four hours return).

History

Source - “Pomonal – A Picturesque Place” by Isabel Armer
 
In the 1850’s Pomonal was a rather insignificant part of the Lexington Run in the south western foot of the Grampians Mountains.
 
The first genuine Pomonal selector was a Frenchman named Peter DeMey with his property surveyed in 1866.  The property became an orchard and a vineyard of 2 acres each surrounded by a post and rail fence.  His residence was a log and bark hut.  Thomas May grew carrots, turnips, wheat and oats and ran a piggery in the 1860’s and built a house for himself.  Alexander H McMurtrie arrived in 1878 holding 23 acres sewn to oats and potatoes. He built a two-roomed weatherboard house with a shingle roof.  Some of the difficulties faced by early settlers were bushfires, rabbits and grasshoppers.
 
Fruit growing began in the 1890’s, peaked around 1913/14 and had begun to decline by the 1940’s.  Tobacco growing began in the 1920’s, peaked around 1929 and began to decline by 1935 – 39. Both orchards and tobacco properties were decimated by the 1939 bushfires.
 
Centrally located close to the main intersection, is the Grampians Store, which has served the community since 1927, and an important social hub.  
 
Originally Pomonal was named Pomona.  The name Pomona was chosen because of its mythological association with orchards and fruit.  Then, because there was at least one other place with the same name in Australia it was changed to Pomonal in 1904.
 
In late January 2006, the Grampians bush fires that burnt out 130,000231 hectares in the region, swept through Pomonal destroying bushland, wildlife, stock, homes, farms and businesses. Residents John and Sylvia Cope and Jan & Gary Monssen compiled locals’ stories into a book “Pomonal Bushfires – Stories Told By Those Who Were There”. The stories tell of loss, of courage, and of a strong community spirit that helped in healing and recovery.
 
Today there are a variety of small businesses in the village with approximately 150 households making up the village and its outlying district.   Pomonal boasts retail/wholesale plant nurseries, art/craft outlets, bar & bistro, several accommodation establishments, an earthmoving business, an olive grove, a lavender farm, a winery, a wildlife park, a horse stud, a natural therapies centre, a day spa and a glass blowing business and gallery.