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(3781, 59 km E, Cardinia Shire)

Cockatoo's name comes from the abundance of the birds by the nearby creek. Gold prospectors, who named Cockatoo Creek in the 1850s, had little success, and early settlers found clearing the land for agriculture an almost impossible task, so thick were the forest and the blackberries. By the end of the 19th century the main industry was timber-cutting, with timber transported by bullock wagons through Beaconsfield Upper to the city. The building of a narrow-gauge railway to Gembrook attracted sawmills, with wooden tramlines linking the mills to the railway. Tourists, attracted by the scenic hills and forests, came for day-trips and camping, and built weekend shacks. Cockatoo features part of the Puffing Billy line, and is adjacent to the suburbs of Monbulk, Nar Nar Goon and Emerald. Suburbanisation in the 1980s and 1990s brought population growth to the area.

Jenny Keating