Wangoom is a rural village in western Victoria, 10 km north-east of Warrnambool. It was named after the Wangoom pastoral run (1842) which extended southwards to the mouth of the Hopkins River. It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word meaning boomerang or throwing stick.
Farm allotments were taken up in 1854. The land was well timbered, and the freshwater Lake Wangoom (3 km south) was permanent. Methodist and Presbyterian churches were opened in 1859 and 1861, and a school was opened in 1865. General grazing and agriculture were the main farm activities until dairying took over towards 1900. At about that time the lake’s water receded and it was later drained; the peaty bed provided all year grazing.
About 6 km east of Wangoom there are the Hopkins River falls, a favourite destination of excursionists.
Wangoom is a dairying area, and the village has a general store, post office, a memorial hall, a Uniting church and a recreation reserve. The school was closed in 1992.
Wangoom’s census populations have been:
|Wangoom and environs||2006||378|
*included in Purnim
C.E. Sayers, Of many things: a history of Warrnambool shire, Olinda, 1972