Carapooee is a rural locality 12 km south-east of St Arnaud in west central Victoria.

The locality is crossed by the Carapooee and Strathfillan Creeks. In 1844 the Strathfillan pastoral run was first taken up, and in 1857 the run came into the hands of David Peters. When gold was discovered there in 1858 the resulting settlement was known as Peter’s Diggings. During 1859-60 there was a population of 1300 miners.

Bailliere’s Victorian gazetteer (1865) recorded two quartz crushing mills, three hotels, and a brewery at Peter’s Diggings, with some pastoral and agricultural activity beside the mining.

Carapooee was the name of the parish, and by the 1870s it replaced Peter’s Diggings. It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word meaning hill. The name was also given to a railway station on the line to St Arnaud. Carapooee was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

By the turn of the century Carapooee had one hotel, an Anglican church (1868) and only a small amount of mining. The date of closure of the school is unrecorded, but the brick building was demolished in 1966. The church, made from locally found pebbles, is heritage listed. Damaging floodwaters from the Carapooee Creek and St Arnaud Creek washed through Carapooee in 2011.

Carapooee’s census populations have been:

census date population
1881 323
1891 121
1921 121
1954 67
2011 395

Further Reading

Round about Kara Kara: Peters Diggings (Carapooee), St Arnaud, 1990