Although a relatively new township, according to Maryborough Historical
Society records, Poona has an intriguing history.
The name 'Poona' comes from the Butchulla language meaning Bloodwood tree.
Our traditional owners (a number of tribes) were generally hunters and gatherers in the area of the Great Sandy Strait and Fraser Island (K'gari). Like all places adjacent to Fraser Island, the area is high in remnant evidence of Butchulla occupation and has immense marine and terrestrial resources available.
Traditional owners have undertaken cultural assessments in the Poona area and we know Poona Point is of noted cultural significance to the Butchulla people and so too, there are many parts of the adjacent bushland that have identified aspects of cultural significance. The large Fig Tree on Poona Point was recently listed on the Council's 'Register of Significant Trees'.
The South Sea Islanders (Kanakas), first arriving in 1867 and working on the cane farms around Maryborough, are understood to have regularly trekked many miles to Poona to a great source of fresh seafood and are said to have utilised the Butchulla established fish traps, the remnants of which can still be seen today.
Poona, has a link to the early timber industry being a staging point in the transfer of cut logs by water from the Tin Can Bay area to Maryborough.
The Cliffs on Poona Creek were the site of an early dugong hunting industry with the oil extracted and used for medicinal purposes. A dugong processing factory operated on Stewart Island but the decline in dugong numbers led to the industry closing in the 1880's.
The Great Sandy Strait was exploited for its huge oyster beds from about 1870 for around 30 years until the industry was wrecked by an introduced disease. It is understood that a number of the oyster men at the time, had their camp on the Poona shore.
Early pioneers of Poona were the Jamieson family; graziers from Tiaro. There was a single dwelling on a clearing at Poona Point which was believed to have been constructed around 1900. Access to the property was via a sand track and a crude log bridge across Stony Creek. In the adjacent aerial photo of 1940 you can see evidence of the track and where it crosses Stony Creek.
The home was at one stage in the ownership of a Captain Moffat and later another seafarer Captain Middleton. The last owners of the house were the Armstrong family having acquired the house together with the freehold of one square mile (640 acres). This transfer of title was believed to have taken place in the 1930's. The Armstrong's were the original developers in Poona having gained approval for the first parcels of land (27 lots) to be subdivided on the road known then as New One Chain Rd.
However, before the sale of the land the Cypress trees which were in abundance were cut and transported to the Armstrong's timber mill at Tiaro. The original subdivided lots sold at auction on 11 February 1967 with prices generally in the $100 to $200 mark. As can be seen in the adjacent photo, the original subdivision was on the corner of what is now known as Boronia Drive and Outridge Avenue.
In the 60's and 70's there were a number of fishing shacks dotted around the foreshore and on Poona Creek. Unsealed roads and sand tracks were the standard but the township really started to take shape in the 70's with a number of houses erected along the foreshore side of Boronia Drive and Outridge Avenue. In the early 90's Poona took a new direction with the development of new housing estates. Roads were sealed and kerb and channelling more the standard.
The population grew and has been increasing at about 20 newcomers
per year. The town now has 471 private dwellings, a permanent population of 576 with a median age
of 66. (Census 2021)
Within, and on the surrounds of the township there are several walking trails many of which follow the historic fishermen/crabbers' tracks, leading to foreshore areas, creeks and fishing spots. These tracks are now more the domain of people wishing to explore the local fauna and flora.