A beautiful suburb on the Mornington Peninsula, Dromana is located just minutes past Mount Martha.
Its beaches are a lot calmer than the back beaches because they face Port Phillip Bay, and as a result they are inundated with families in the summer months.
Along the coastal boulevard of Point Nepean Road you will find Dromana's main commercial centre, with Arthurs Seat and its surrounding bushland providing a scenic backdrop to the shops and cafes along this route. Along this strip there are lively cafes and restaurants that are interspersed with shops and a supermarket and there is also the historic Dromana Hotel, which is regularly crowded with both locals and visitors.
Dromana's foreshore reserve lines the coast and consists of grassy picnic areas, shelters, walking tracks and designated camping areas. The calm, sandy beaches provide safe swimming and boating opportunities for the whole family. Points of interest along the coast include the Dromana Pier and the rocky cutting at Anthonys Nose where a boat ramp is situated.
Retirees and holidaymakers are particularly drawn to the scenery and solitude of the area, and like many surrounding coastal towns, Dromana's housing prices are on the way up.
Heronswood is a historic property situated on an elevated 2 hectare allotment on Latrobe Parade, overlooking the bay. The house and surrounding gardens date back to 1871 and are open for visitors to explore and enjoy. The property includes a cafe which serves organic produce from the gardens and fresh food from local growers where possible.
Dromana also has an increasing reputation for producing good wines, and many of its wineries operate cellar door tastings. More than 22 separate vintners operate within Dromana, as well as several vineyards. The Dromana Drive-in cinema is a popular entertainment spot for locals and holidaymakers alike which still shows new release movies today. For families, Dromana Primary School and Dromana Secondary College cater to students in the greater Peninsula region.
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It is believed that the name Dromana is of Irish origin and that it came about from the influx of gold prospectors in the late 1830s. There is a Dromana on the tidal section of the Blackwater River, near Cappoquin, County Waterford in Ireland, and this is the most likely origin of the name.
The first subdivision of Crown lands in Dromana occurred in 1854. Dromana Post Office opened on 12 April 1858. The completion of its pier took place in 1872, allowing the shipping of produce to the city markets. In 1881, Dromana was well established as a seaside resort.
A travel brochure of the time describes it as follows: "Sheltered from the untempered violence of the elements by the lofty ranges by which it is encircled, Dromana presents an air of homely comfort, singularly foreign to the majority of watering places." Dromana was proclaimed a town in February 1861.
A major contributor to the development of Dromana was Spencer Jackson. One of his greatest achievements was the facilitation of the construction of a road to the summit of Arthurs Seat in 1929. Dromana's pier was much longer in those days and Dromana shared with Sorrento the ability to accommodate the bay steamers which did much to promote Dromana as a tourist destination.
One of the oldest buildings that remains is the Dromana Hotel but it was a much more beautiful building before Lou Carrigg remodelled it in 1927. There was a racecourse behind the hotel for years, as well as one near the site of the Dromana Secondary College. The Arthurs Seat Hotel, which stood between Permien and Foote St was destroyed by a fire that swept down the mountainside in 1898.
Much of the early work in the area involved cutting, sawing and dressing timber from Arthurs Seat for the construction of piers around the bay and at Flinders. Farmers were involved with this livelihood and were carting the wood on Bullock drays to Captain Peter Pidoto's Little Angelina to Sheepwash Creek.