The Shire of Carnamah extends to the coast and access is possible at Coolimba, Gum Tree Bay and Illawong. The coast is popular with fishermen
and bird watchers. Over 180 bird species have been identified including 17 seabird species that breed on the offshore islands.
Lakes Lookout, just a kilometre from town, gives a view over Yarra Yarra lakes. These lakes are the western end of a salt lake system stretching
east towards Yalgoo. A long time ago this was part of a large inland river system but changes in sea levels and rainfall mean the lakes now only
fill after good winter rains. The main lake is 25 kilometres long and 9 kilometres wide. The lakes cover and area of about 120 square kilometres.
The Historical Society in Carnamah is notable for the detailed information they make available on the web and through the museum. Carnamah is indeed luckly
to have a group of such hard working people who are so comitted to preserving and sharing the history of the area. They have even complied an online
History Museum. The amount of information collected by the Historical Society is
Duncan Macpherson and George Slater took up leases in the area in 1861.
James Nairn appears to have been the first settler in the area in 1866.
(One source quotes the 1888 as the settlement date but appears to be wrong.) Duncan Macpherson and his family moved into the area in 1868 and
named their property "Carnamah". It is possible that this is a Gaelic word meaning 'cairn of the cattle.' Another suggested possibility are
the Aboriginal words karna meaning fat and mah meaning more.
Construction of the homestead started in 1869 and it took 5 years to complete. In 1874 a telegraph station was established at the Macpherson homestead.
Eventually the homestead was abandoned and fell into ruin. Restoration started in 1979. The cook-house is still un-restored and shows what state
the main house was in before it was restored. A grant in 1995 enabled more restoration to be done and the homestead is now classified by the
In 1894 the railway reached the town and the town site was gazetted in 1913 but settlement in the area was slow in coming. The post war
settlement schemes saw some growth after both world wars.