Tootgarook is a residential suburb and beach resort on the Mornington Peninsula, 63 km south of Melbourne. Facing Port Phillip Bay, it is between Rye and Rosebud West.
The name was derived from the pastoral run taken up by Edward Hobson in 1838 (first known as Kangerong or White Cliff), extending from Dromana to the tip of Point Nepean. It is thought that 'Tootgarook' was derived from an Aboriginal word describing a land of croaking frogs. The settlement of Tootgarook developed at present day Rye, and the latter name probably grew from the Rye Hotel (c1850). 'Rye' officially overtook the old place name in 1884. Tootgarook primary school was opened in 1855 and the post office was opened in 1858. The settlement's later history is described in the entry for Rye.
In the years after World War II camping and holidaying along the Port Phillip Bay foreshore proliferated and local businesses and accommodation were established along Point Nepean Road. Broadbent's guide to Mornington Peninsula (1949) omits a description of Tootgarook but notes it as a locality name on road maps.
Inland from Tootgarook there are remnants of the Tootgarook swamp, a former tideway with peat, limestone and marine deposition. Most of it was drained for pastoral, and later, residential land.
In the immediate postwar years a Tootgarook Progress Association was formed, and it succeeded in having a school (separate from the old Rye school) opened in 1950. Tootgarook then became a beach suburb with foreshore holiday camping but with fewer commercial beach attractions than neighbouring Rosebud. Tootgarook has a small shopping centre, a public hall and a senior citizens' centre. The Tootgarook primary school had 239 pupils in 2014.
The action group Save Tootgarook Swamp have successfuly challenged further development of the swamp at Rosebud West and in 2014 produced a wetlands management strategy.
Tootgarook's census populations have been: