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(3815, 75 km E, Cardinia Shire)

First known as Bunyip South, Iona, like nearby Vervale and the neighbouring Cora Lynn, was created by the draining of the Koo Wee Rup Swamp. It was later named after the Scottish island, while Cora Lynn, originally Koo Wee Rup Central, is apparently named from the Gaelic words 'coire' and 'linn' meaning 'cauldron' and 'pool'. Although the area remained vulnerable to flooding, the rich soil attracted settlers in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Dairying was the most important industry. Iona, which was linked to Bunyip by a tramline in the early 1900s, had both a creamery and a cheese factory until the 1920s; Cora Lynn had its own cheese factory until the 1940s.

Jenny Keating