Gorae and Gorae West

Gorae and Gorae West are rural localities about 15 km north-west of Portland. It is thought that the name derives from an Aboriginal word for kangaroo.

The localities were originally forested, partly cleared for grazing. The Portland township used the forest for building and fence timber, and there was a mill settlement by the late 1880s. As the timber was cut out selections were taken up, and several were used for orcharding.

Gorae primary school was opened in 1881 and a Wesleyan church was built in 1898. Orchards grew apples for home and export markets from about 1910 until 1939.

Gorae West is on the Portland-Nelson Road and has more cleared farmland than Gorae. It had a school (1937-87), and has the district CFA station and hall (1957). Its recreation reserve is home to the Gorae-Portland Cricket Club.

East of Gorae, near the railway line (1877) from Portland to Heywood, there is the relic cool store for the apple industry. There was also a sawmill, and both were adjacent to the Gorae railway station. Gorae’s school continued after Heywood consolidated school opened in 1951, but closed in 1986.

There are pine and bluegum plantations at Gorae and Gorae West, and farming (including dairying) accounted for 18% of employment at the census of 2011. Widespread flooding occurred in Gorae West in 2013.

Census populations have been:

census date population
  Gorae Gorae West Both
1921 87 27  
1947 100 135  
1961 137 190  
2011     433

Further Reading

Annette Downs, Children dears it’s a good country: the Gorae story, the author, 1981