There is a folktale behind the history of Pannawonica. Many believe that thousands of years ago Pannawonica was part of an island called Collanbogan located offshore near Mardie Station. Two tribes, the Anailya "mob" and the Boogada "mob", fought over this beautiful island and the mainlanders, the Boogada, conspired to steal it for themselves. It was during a time when there were many ghosts around that the Boogada tribe made their crossing to ask the Anailya if they may have Pannawonica.


The islanders were, however, unwilling to part with their pride and joy. So the other tribe waited until their enemy went fishing and crept out to Collanbogan and stole the hill away. No one is sure how they carried the mountain from the island to its present resting place, but according to legend its track left a scar across the landscape known today as the Pannawonica track. Somewhere along its length a gap was made when the tribe forced it through the hillside.

Once the hill had been stolen it was finally delivered to its resting place high above the Robe River and was used over the years to shelter and protect the tribe who had made it their own. The Boogada found themselves occasionally defending the hill and when the enemy was sighted they made their way to the top. And that, according to Aboriginal legend, is how Pannawonica got its local landmark, Pannawonica Hill.