Sunshine Coast, Queensland
|Population||2,910 (2016 census)|
|Location||30 km (19 mi) W of Noosa Heads|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Noosa|
|Federal Division(s)||Wide Bay|
South-east Queensland (Australia) and the Sunshine Coast in particular contain a series of volcanic lava plug mountains that feature prominently in the landscape. North of the well-known Glasshouse Mountains, named by Capt. James Cook, are the distinctive mountains of the Noosa Shire Hinterland, the best known being Mt Cooroora, at the centre of Tuchekoi National Park. It is within walking distance of Pomona, Noosa’s designated heritage town. The surrounding area holds high importance to Aboriginal people and there are many sites of Indigenous cultural importance across the region. Mt Cooroora has significant landscape, social and economic values to the town, while its vertical columns are an attraction to geologists. It is a popular site in the cooler months for visiting tourists climbing to the summit to appreciate excellent views looking east to the Sunshine Coast and west into the Mary Valley. Hikers, horse riders and mountain bike riders use the excellent trail network at its base.
Pomona is located around 135 kilometres north of Brisbane, and is an approximate 30 minutes drive from the beachfront at Noosa Heads. It is located at the base of Mount Cooroora (439 meters) at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast. It is within the local government area of Shire of Noosa (between 2008 and 2013 it was within Sunshine Coast Region).
Pomona is bounded to the south by the Bruce Highway and along most of its northern boundary by Six Mile Creek. The North Coast railway line passes through the locality from the south-east to the north-west, with the town served by the Pomona railway station. The township of Pomona sits adjacent to Tuchekoi National Park and is surrounded by residential acreage properties and small farms. A significant portion of the locality is within Yurol State Forest, a legacy of days past when the town once was a centre of forestry activities. The forest is now preserved as koala habitat.
Pomona is a lifestyle town, the historic heart of the Noosa Biosphere recognised by the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2007 as a World Biosphere Reserve. These reserves are learning communities that cultivate harmony between people and nature in support of conservation and sustainable development.
Pomona State School was established on 31 August 1897, and was originally located on Reserve Street near the business centre of the town, in what is now called Stan Topper Park. From 1945 the school included a secondary department (Grades 8-10). In 1976 the school was relocated to Station Street and in 1996 the Pomona Secondary Department moved to Summit Road. The Pomona Secondary Department site on Summit Road is now part of Noosa District State High School, forming the junior secondary campus.
Many of the town streets were named after the functions of buildings located along them including Ambulance Street, Church Street, School Street, Rectory Street, Hospital Street, Pottery Street and Factory Street.
The early colonial dairy industry at Pomona was replaced by a patchwork of small cropping farms.
The town became the administrative centre of the Noosa Shire Council when it was established in 1910, however on 1 December 1985 the Council chambers moved to Tewantin. The site of the original headquarters for the Shire which were constructed in 1911 are now used by the Cooroora Historical Society and Noosa Shire Museum. The main streets of the town were devastated by fires in 1939 and 1942. Many buildings were re-constructed with brick or in the "Art Deco" architectural style of the era. Colonial buildings are also a feature of the town and can be viewed along a signed history walk.
The state electoral district to which Pomona was part of from 1912 until 1992 was named Cooroora. The seat was renamed Noosa following the 1991 electoral district's re-shuffle. Pomona is in the Wide Bay federal electoral division.
On 22 April 2018, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex conducted a royal visit to the town.
Pomona is Noosa Shire's 'living heritage town'. It has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 3 Factory Street: Majestic Theatre
- 29 Factory Street: Noosa Museum
- Red Street: former Pomona Police Station and Court House
- 9 Station Street: Cooroora Masonic Temple
The 100 km Noosa Trail Network of walking tracks through the surrounding forests, farmlands and villages is popular with visitors, but especially every second October when the Great Noosa Trail Walk is held. Visitors may also walk to the top of Mount Cooroora, the solidified lava plug of an ancient volcano worn away over time. Every July, thousands of people cheer 100 runners who race to the top of the mountain and back in under 30 minutes in the annual King of the Mountain event. In the past, those not fit enough to race up the mountain participated in 'billy cart' races or the world thong throwing championships (thongs of the footwear variety) with the rules stating that a size 10 thong, or larger, was required. As at 2010, the record throw was 42.8 meters.
The district's rural roots are celebrated every September with the staging of the annual "show" (county fair). The Noosa Country Show has been a local institution since 1909.
Local food and craft markets are held every second week. Every month, environmentally aware enthusiasts collect and distribute seeds of native plants. A weekly swap of home-grown food is another activity enthusiastically embraced, as is permaculture.
Pomona is a service centre for a town and regional population of 8000 people. The largest employer in Pomona is Pages Furniture Factory. Noosa Landcare is the second largest employer. Some farms produce edible goods for South-East Asia markets. To promote rural-based tourism, Noosa Council and Tourism Noosa have devised a 'Noosa Country Drive' through the picturesque rolling countryside and small hinterland towns, including Pomona. The town is seeking to diversify its economy further through adventure and recreational tourism, utilizing the surrounding national parks, forests and trail network. The 50 sq km Lake Cootharaba and Noosa Everglades are a 20-minute drive away. Hinterland agri-business is fostered by Country Noosa, whose aim is to promote sustainable agriculture, horticulture and other rural enterprises in the area.
As lifestyle industries continue to establish and flourish, a gin-making facility is proposed for the town. Pomona hopes to grow as a centre for mountain biking, along the trails surrounding Mt Cooroora, which lies a short walk from the business centre. Tourism Noosa, Noosa Council and Noosa and District Landcare have cooperated to prepare a Noosa Trail Network Master Plan, which will guide associated tourism-related initiatives. Its preparation has been funded by the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation.
Pomona is notable for three things: a relaxed streetscape of distinctive timber and art deco buildings, the heritage-listed Majestic Theatre and the annual King of the Mountain race up the nearby Mount Cooroora. The Majestic, built in 1921, is claimed to be the world's oldest continuously operating silent movie theatre built for that purpose. However, it is not the first theatre in the world in which silent films were screened. The Majestic has been a community-owned enterprise since October 2006.
The Noosa Shire Museum contains objects, photographs and historic documents that explain much of the early history of the area. It is also a Keeping Place of indigenous sacred objects.
The Shire of Noosa operates a mobile library service on a weekly schedule at the corner of Reserve and Station Streets. There is a community swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, a lawn bowls club and a full range of retail facilities in town. Ambulance and fire stations sit adjacent to each other at the centre of town. Two medical centres serve the local population.
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Media related to Pomona, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons