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(3815, 70 km E, Cardinia Shire)

Until the 1890s this district, east of Pakenham, remote and densely forested, remained unsettled. In the early 1890s the State Government set up a village settlement. In return for a small wage and flour allowance, unemployed settlers would be allocated blocks of land to clear and cultivate. Clearing was, however, an almost impossible task, and by 1895 the settlement was abandoned. Most settlers returned to Melbourne, although a few went to blocks by the Koo Wee Rup Swamp. Afterwards sawmills and eucalyptus stills were established. As the land was cleared, settlers planted orchards, although by the 1940s dairying and grazing predominated. Tonimbuk is thought to derive from an Aboriginal word meaning 'to scorch or burn'.

Jenny Keating