PORONGURUP is the name of a small mountain range in the Shire of Plantagenet in Western Australia and of a small village on the northern slopes of the range. At the 2006 census, it had a population of 370. The name is derived from the Aboriginal place name, and consequently arrived with no spelling as such. A common alternate spelling is Porongorup (which I usually use) and while some maps still show this spelling, state government signs around the town use "Porongurup"
This is Karribank where we enjoyed several wonderful holidays. Sometimes just the two of us, as on our honeymoon, but also at times when family would join us here. Our daughter, her husband and daughters would really enjoy ourselves picnicking in the ranges and we did quite a bit of climbing (oh to be fit like that now) and our son and his wife also came down to Karribank on one occasion so some great family holidays. They served a good breakfast and great dinner at night and I believe the establishment is still flourishing under different owners. (The people that owned and ran it years ago (Fred and Pat) were two very special people and we always felt so special when we stayed there).
Across the road from Karribank are these tearooms where we two often enjoyed a quite cuppa:
The main industry in the region is dairying, but there are some vegetable crops grown as well. Tourism based on the Porongurup Range's giant karri forests is limited by the difficulty of access because the nearest public transport is in Albany or Mount Barker. As with other parts of the Lower Great Southern region of W.A., silviculture, specifically plantations of Tasmanian blue gums (Eucalyptus globulus), is becoming a notable, and sometimes controversial, industry in Porongurup.
Viticulture is a relatively young but flourishing industry with eleven local wineries listed in 2007 (I am sure several more have been established since then). A very popular wine festival is held at a different winery in March each year.
In July and August, 2006 eight Noisy Scrub-birds were released in the Porongurup Range by the Department of Environment and Conservation (I once worked for them when they were the Forests Department and my daughter Karen still works for them to this day) as part of a trans-location programme for the conservation of this endangered species. I was worried about those birds because of the following event but it seems two of the birds did survive this fire and more may be released in this area in future.
In February, 2007 about 2,500 hectares of the Porongurup National Park were burnt in a bushfire, resulting in the loss of habitat for many species including the ringtail possum, quenda, and some invertebrates. However, there has been widespread regeneration and good recovery of flora species that can germinate from the seed bank in the soil. Despite its small size this range is home to 10 species of plants found nowhere else in the world. (This image provided by 'earthobsevatory.nasa.gov". The area of the national park is outlined in red.)
My first husband had a cousin who lived on farm in the Porongorups with her husband and 4 children for many years. Unfortunately we never got to visit them as he and I didn't go to this part of the state, whereas my other half and I have visited the area as often as we could over the years but not recently.