Kamarooka is a rural district about 35 km north of Bendigo. It was named after a pastoral run of about 80,900 ha taken up by Myles Patterson in 1857. The run was on the Bendigo or Piccaninny Creek, and its original name was the Piccaninny Creek Station. The new name Kamarooka, is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word meaning wait a while.

During the 1860s there was a brief spurt of gold mining in Kamarooka, involving companies and individuals. Farm selections also began in that decade, and a hotel, post office and store were opened during 1870-75. A scattering of schools follows: Drummartin (1874), Kamarooka West (1876-91), Kamarooka Central (1880). The centenary history of Victorian schools records seven schools with Kamarooka in their names. None now exist.

A Methodist church was opened and a public hall was built in 1901. The large Kamarooka pastoral estate and the Tandera property to its south were subdivided for closer and soldier settlement, but a considerable amount was kept back as a reserve for timber and public purposes. In 1910 the Waranga Western channel brought irrigation water to the northern part of Kamarooka. In 1903 Kamarooka was described in the Australian handbook:

The relative proximity of Bendigo, Elmore and Rochester, along with the scattered farm population, militated against a strong community centre. The Methodist church building was sold to the Anglicans in 1961, and they in turn disposed of it in 1981 as attendances fell. The post office and store closed in 1980. Dry farming methods were assisted in 1981, however, with a local storage filled by water pumped from the Waranga channel.

The public purposes reserve (6900 ha) is part of the Kamarooka and Whipstick State Parks (9200 ha). It contains valuable remnant vegetation and understorey flora.

The Kamarooka district is served by the Drummartin primary school which in 2014 had 10 pupils. Its most famous pupil was Hugh Victor McKay whose family took up a Drummartin selection in the early 1870s. McKay built a prototype wheat stripper-harvester at Drummartin in 1885, the forerunner of his Sunshine Harvester Company (1893).

Kamarooka has a few buildings, a hall, a recreation reserve and tennis courts. The country is mildly undulating to flat, with low lying land to the north and along the Bendigo Creek. Its census populations have been:

census date population
1911 211
1933 190
1947 133
1961 82

Further Reading

Geoff Dedersen, A brief history of the Kamarooka district, Back-To-Kamarooka, 1987