Thorpdale, Victoria

Last updated

Thorpdale - town sign.JPG
"Welcome to Thorpdale - Heart of Potato Country"
Australia Victoria Shire of Baw Baw location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 38°17′0″S146°10′0″E / 38.28333°S 146.16667°E / -38.28333; 146.16667 Coordinates: 38°17′0″S146°10′0″E / 38.28333°S 146.16667°E / -38.28333; 146.16667
Population447 (2006 census) [1]
Postcode(s) 3835
LGA(s) Shire of Baw Baw
State electorate(s) Narracan
Federal division(s) Monash

Thorpdale is a town in the Gippsland area of eastern Victoria in the Shire of Baw Baw. Famous for its potatoes, it is located amongst the rich farmland of the Latrobe Valley. Thorpdale spuds are eaten around the country and also exported overseas. The name "Thorpdale" means "village in a valley". [2] The soil in the area is particularly rich as the town is located in a former volcanic crater. It is administered by the Shire of Baw Baw. At the 2006 census, Thorpdale and the surrounding area had a population of 447.



John Longstaff's Gippsland, Sunday night, February 20th, 1898 Gippsland, Sunday night, February 20th, 1898.jpg
John Longstaff's Gippsland, Sunday night, February 20th, 1898

The Thorpdale district, known at first as the Narracan district, was settled by Europeans in the 1870s. The first European settlers arrived from the old Melbourne – Sale Road via McDonalds Track, a stock route that had been surveyed in 1862 through the hills from Lang Lang to Morwell Bridge, but which later became disused and very much overgrown. Land selection began at Narracan (near the eastern end of the track) in 1873, and progressed steadily along the track, reaching Narracan West in 1876.

A Post Office opened on 1 October 1879 as Narracan West. It was renamed Thorpdale in 1884, Thorpdale South in 1888, and closed in 1968. The present town of Thorpdale (situated about 2 km north of the old town) was founded in 1888, following the opening of a branch railway line from Moe. A new Thorpdale Post Office opened in 1888 near the railway station. [3] The railway line closed in December 1958. [4]

At its height, Thorpdale was a business centre for all the farming activity that surrounded it. Much of the old town was destroyed during the large Red Tuesday (20 January 1898) bushfire that ravaged Gippsland and the Otway Ranges.

The Town today

Today, the Thorpdale township is becoming smaller and smaller as more farming families opt to live in larger townships such as Trafalgar.[ citation needed ] The national decline in consumption of potatoes is making even farming difficult in the small town.[ citation needed ]

The town has an Australian rules football team competing in the Mid Gippsland Football League.

Potato farming

In late 2008, the town was hit by the news that a potato disease ( potato cyst nematode ) had been found among its crops. The disease is not harmful to humans but can significantly reduce crop yields. Thorpdale farms were quarantined and banned from exporting potatoes interstate and overseas. [5] Interstate trade has since resumed. [6]


The township holds the Thorpdale Potato Festival each year on the Victorian Labour Day holiday in March, although it was not held from 2002 to 2015, after the insurance cost became too great for the small community to bear. [7] The festival features potato sack races, Historic machinery, eating contests, market stalls, and much more. The lush farming surrounds give the town a peaceful rural atmosphere and there are several scenic sights nearby, including the Narracan Falls, Trafalgar South Lookout and Henderson's Gully.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Traralgon</span> City in Victoria, Australia

Traralgon is a town located in the east of the Latrobe Valley in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia and the most populous city of the City of Latrobe. The urban population of Traralgon at the 2021 census was 26,907. It is the largest and fastest growing city in the greater Latrobe Valley area, which has a population of 77,168 at the 2021 Census and is administered by the City of Latrobe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gippsland</span> Region in Victoria, Australia

Gippsland is a rural region that makes up the southeastern part of Victoria, Australia, mostly comprising the coastal plains to the rainward (southern) side of the Victorian Alps. It covers an elongated area of 41,556 km2 (16,045 sq mi) located further east of the Shire of Cardinia between Dandenong Ranges and Mornington Peninsula, and is bounded to the north by the mountain ranges and plateaus/highlands of the High Country, to the southwest by the Western Port Bay, to the south and east by the Bass Strait and the Tasman Sea, and to the east and northeast by the Black-Allan Line.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Warragul</span> Town in Victoria, Australia

Warragul is a town in Victoria, Australia, 102 kilometres south-east of Melbourne. Warragul lies between the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Mount Baw Baw Plateau of the Great Dividing Range to the north. As at the 2021 census, the town had a population of 19,857 people. Warragul forms part of a larger urban area that includes nearby Drouin that had an estimated total population of 37,928 at June 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Latrobe Valley</span> Region in Victoria, Australia

The Latrobe Valley is an inland geographical district and urban area of the Gippsland region in the state of Victoria, Australia. The traditional owners are the Brayakaulung of the Gunai nation. The district lies east of Melbourne and nestled between the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Baw Baw Ranges, part of the Great Dividing Range, to the north. Mount St Phillack is the highest peak to the north of the Latrobe Valley, due north of Moe. The highest peak to the south is Mt Tassie, south of Traralgon.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shire of Baw Baw</span> Local government area in Victoria, Australia

The Shire of Baw Baw is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, in the eastern part of the state. It covers an area of 4,028 square kilometres (1,555 sq mi) and in June 2018 had a population of 52,015.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">City of Latrobe</span> Local government area in Victoria, Australia

The City of Latrobe is a local government area in the Gippsland region in eastern Victoria, Australia, located in the eastern part of the state. It covers an area of 1,426 square kilometres (551 sq mi) and in June 2018 had a population of 75,211. It is primarily urban with the vast majority of its population living within the four major urban areas of Moe, Morwell, Traralgon, and Churchill, and other significant settlements in the LGA include Boolarra, Callignee, Glengarry, Jeeralang, Newborough, Toongabbie, Tyers, Yallourn North and Yinnar. It was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of the City of Moe, City of Morwell, City of Traralgon, Shire of Traralgon, and parts of the Shire of Narracan and Shire of Rosedale. The Yallourn Works Area was added in 1996. When formed, the municipality was called the Shire of La Trobe, but on 6 April 2000, it adopted its current name.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Drouin, Victoria</span> Town in Victoria, Australia

Drouin is a town in the West Gippsland region, 90 kilometres (56 mi) east of Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria. Its local government area is the Shire of Baw Baw, and is home to the shire council’s headquarters despite being the second-largest town in the shire, behind neighbouring Warragul. The town’s name is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning "north wind". New housing developments have accelerated the town's residential growth in recent years. As at the 2016 census, Drouin had a population of 11,887 people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Moe, Victoria</span> Town in Victoria, Australia

Moe is a town in the Latrobe Valley in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. It is approximately 130 kilometres east of the central business district of Melbourne, 45 kilometres due south of the peak of Mount Baw Baw in the Great Dividing Range and features views of the Baw Baw Ranges to the north and Strzelecki Ranges to the south.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Walhalla, Victoria</span> Town in Victoria, Australia

Walhalla is a small town in Victoria, Australia, founded as a gold-mining community in late 1862, and at its peak, home to around 4,000 residents. As of 2016, the town has a population of 20 permanent residents, though it has a large proportion of houses owned as holiday properties. It attracts large numbers of tourists and is a major focus of the regional tourism industry. The town's name is taken from an early gold mine in the area, named for the German hall of fame, the Walhalla temple.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Neerim South</span> Town in Victoria, Australia

Neerim South is a town in West Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, located in the Shire of Baw Baw, 109 kilometres (68 mi) east of Melbourne and 19 kilometres (12 mi) north of Warragul. At the 2016 census, Neerim South had a population of 1,305.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boolarra, Victoria</span> Town in Victoria, Australia

Boolarra is a small township located in the Latrobe Valley, in central Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. At the 2016 Census, Boolarra had a population of 973 with 48% males and 52% females and an average age of 50. The Boolarra Folk Festival is held in the town every year in March and attracts music lovers from around Australia and the world. The town is also infamous for producing the Boolarra strain of carp which, after their release into the Murray River near Mildura, spread throughout Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gippsland railway line</span> Railway line in Victoria, Australia

The Gippsland line is a railway line serving the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland regions of Victoria, Australia. It runs east from the state capital Melbourne through the cities of Moe, Morwell, Traralgon, Sale and terminating at Bairnsdale.

Newborough is a town in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Australia which shares a border to its west, mostly along the Narracan Creek, with the town of Moe. It can be divided into three areas, Old Newborough, East Newborough and North Newborough. The latter two areas were developed by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria in the 1950s as residential housing for workers at the nearby Yallourn coal mining, power generation and briquette making works. Newborough now has a higher than average proportion of retirees and aged residents, and it has been suggested that it owes its generally quiet character to this fact. At the 2016 census, Newborough had a population of 6,763.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Latrobe River</span> River in Victoria, Australia

The Latrobe River is a perennial river of the West Gippsland catchment, located in the West Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria. The Latrobe River and its associated sub-catchment is an important source for the Gippsland Lakes, draining the south eastern slopes of the Great Dividing Range.

West Gippsland, a region of Gippsland in Victoria, Australia, extends from the southeastern limits of metropolitan Melbourne and Western Port Bay in the west to the Latrobe Valley in the east, and is bounded by the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Mount Baw Baw Plateau in the Great Dividing Range to the north.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gordon, Victoria</span> Town in Victoria, Australia

Gordon is a small town in Victoria, Australia, named after settler George Gordon. The town is located on the Old Melbourne Road in the Shire of Moorabool local government area, 95 kilometres (59 mi) west of the state capital, Melbourne. At the 2011 census, Gordon had a population of 1,151.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nyora</span> Town in Victoria, Australia

Nyora is a town in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, approximately 84 kilometres (52 mi) south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the Shires of Baw Baw, Cardinia and South Gippsland local government areas. Nyora recorded a population of 1,644 at the 2021 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shire of Narracan</span> Local government area in Victoria, Australia

The Shire of Narracan was a local government area about 120 kilometres (75 mi) east-southeast of Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, Australia. The shire covered an area of 2,300 square kilometres (888.0 sq mi) and existed from 1878 until 1994.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Moe Football Club</span>

The Moe Football Netball Club, nicknamed the Lions, is an Australian rules football and netball club based at Ted Summerton Reserve in the town of Moe, Victoria. The club teams currently compete in the Gippsland Football League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim Balfour</span> Australian politician

James Charles Murray Balfour, was a long-serving Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and Cabinet Minister in the Legislative Assembly, in the State Parliament of Victoria, Australia.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Thorpdale (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
  2. "Trafalgar". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 February 2004. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  3. Phoenix Auctions History. "Post Office List" . Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  4. Harrigan, Leo J. (1962). Victorian Railways to '62. Melbourne: Victorian Railways Public Relations and Betterment Board. p. 287.
  5. Mallia, Shaun (23 October 2008). "POTATO PLIGHT". Latrobe Valley Express. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  6. "Interstate trading to resume for Thorpdale potatoes". ABC News. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  7. "Thorpdale Potato Festival". Name of Template. Retrieved 22 June 2020.