Bullengarook is a rural locality 9 km west of Gisborne, on the road from Gisborne to Bacchus Marsh. Immediately to the south there is Mount Bullengarook, the Lerderderg State Park and the headwaters of the Coimadai Creek which supplies a water storage for Bacchus Marsh. It is thought that the name Bullengarook, originally a pastoral station (1841), was formed from Aboriginal expressions describing a lonely place and a big lake.

Farm settlements were apparently taken up in the area in the 1860s. A post office was opened in 1868, along with a Catholic school. Three quarters of the pupils were Catholic, and families' adherence to their faith caused a government school to close in 1879. Settlements were scattered along the Bacchus Marsh Road. Other schools opened at Bullengarook East (1873) and Bullengarook Forest (1886-93). Ultimately the school at Bullengarook East prevailed, and continued until 2007.

There were hotels at Bullengarook East and Bullengarook (West), several sawmills and attempts at mining. Bullengarook was described in 1903 in the Australian handbook:

There was a slate quarry at Bullengarook East, not far from charcoal producers in Waterloo Flat Road where the remains of charcoal retorts and sawdust heaps were left.

Bullengarook was an out-of-the-way place, and mains supply electricity came in 1962. There are the remains of huts, small farm orchards and a eucalyptus distillery recorded by Heritage Victoria. Bullengarook's census populations have been:

area census date population
Bullengarook 1911 179
  1954  67
Bullengarook and environs 2006 681
  2011 603

The primary school became the senior campus of the Sunbury-Macedon Ranges specialist school. The Bullengarook Recreation Reserve in Bacchus Marsh Road is home to a number of sporting clubs and community groups.

Further Reading

Shirley McKeown, Bullengarook Primary School centenary history 1877-1977, 1977