Traralgon (locally /təˈræl.ɡən/) is a town located in the east of the Latrobe Valley in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. The urban population of Traralgon at the 2016 census was 25,485.[1] It is the largest and fastest growing city in the greater Latrobe Valley area, which has a population of 74,170[3] at June 2016 and is administered by the City of Latrobe.

View south over the Traralgon urban area from Tyers lookout
Location in City of Latrobe
Coordinates38°11′45″S 146°32′25″E
 • Density1,066.3/km2 (2,762/sq mi)
Elevation60 m (197 ft)(45-75m)
Area23.9 km2 (9.2 sq mi)
LGA(s)City of Latrobe
State electorate(s)Morwell
Federal Division(s)Gippsland
Localities around Traralgon:
Tyers Glengarry Traralgon East
Yallourn North Traralgon Traralgon East
Morwell Hazelwood North Hazelwood North


The origin of the name Traralgon is uncertain. The name was used for the pastoral lease of the Hobson brothers in 1844, which may have been called Tarra Algon and later changed to Traralgon.[4] The property name is popularly believed to be derived from Gunai language words tarra meaning "river" and algon meaning "little fish".[5] However, these words are not reflected in modern linguists' knowledge of the Gunai language, where, for example, the word for river is wun wun or wurn wurn.[6]


Traralgon is situated on the traditional lands of the Indigenous Gunai/Kurnai nation, which includes the lands of the Braiakaulung clan of Bunjil Kraura, who lived to the north of Latrobe River (called Durt'yowan in Gunai language), as well as the clan of Woollum-Woollum, who lived to the south of the river and were more affiliated with the Brataualung people.[7][8]

Gunai/Kurnai people manufactured stone tools, as long as 5,000 years ago, from silcrete quarries in the Haunted Hills, west of Morwell. Scarred trees and rock sites with axe-grinding grooves are also found in the local area.[9] The Gippsland region was inhabited by the Gunai/Kurnai people for a period in excess of 20,000 years, according to evidence of occupation found at the New Guinea II cave near Buchan, Victoria.[10] In other parts of Victoria evidence of Indigenous occupation has been found for a larger time period, such as Moyjil in Warrnambool, where occupation is estimated at 120,000 years.[11]


The first non-Indigenous visitors to the area of Traralgon included the party of Count Paweł Strzelecki on their journey from the Snowy Mountains in April 1840, after Strzelecki had named Australia's highest peak as Mount Kosciuszko. Charley Tarra, a Burra Burra man from the NSW town of Taralga, was the Indigenous guide for the party, which included Strzelecki; the New South Wales men James MacArthur and James Riley; and their servants, Irish convict James Nolan[12] and African convict John Rent.[13][14][9]

The party crossed Latrobe River and travelled along Traralgon Creek to a heavily forested area, where the party was forced to abandon their horses and equipment. The location was commemorated by monument at Traralgon Creek, Koornalla, erected in 1927.[15] The team's rations were reduced to a slice of bacon and a biscuit per day, but Tarra hunted for animals to end their hunger.[16] They traversed the headwaters of Morwell River, before making a difficult journey across the heavily forested mountain range. They reached Anderson's run in Western Port in May 1840, then walked to Melbourne.[9]

To honour the men, the mountain range was named the Strzelecki Ranges, part of the forest was named Tarra Valley, later merged into Tarra-Bulga National Park,[17] and the river running from the valley to Port Albert was named Tarra River. Strzelecki named the region as Gipps' Land, later becoming Gippsland, in honour of his sponsor NSW Governor George Gipps.[9]

In June 1840, a party consisting of Tarra, Riley, John Rutledge and Shoalhaven Indigenous man John Pigeon went on a second expedition to retrieve the lost horses and managed to retrieved one, by travelling through the mountains of West Gippsland, across a path that would roughly trace the present-day Princes Highway. A third expedition was made from Port Albert to Latrobe Valley in March 1841 that included William Brodribb, Alexander Kinghorne, Norman McLeod and Kirsopp with Tarra as their guide.[18] In June 1841, a fourth expedition was made along the same route by William's brother Albert Brodribb, pastoralist Edward Hobson, Dr Edward Barker and four Boon wurrung men.[9][19]

Pastoral leases

The area around Traralgon was first settled by Europeans in the 1840s. Due to the Latrobe Valley having relatively high rainfall, the land is very fertile, and farming was quickly established. As with much of central and western Gippsland, this was mainly dairy farming. In the Gippsland region between 1840 and 1860, the population of settlers grew from a few to 2,000 and the recorded Gunai population fell from 2,000 to a handful.[9]

The first Europeans to take land in Traralgon were the brothers Dr Edmund Hobson and Edward Hobson who purchased 19,000 acre pastoral lease in 1844, which they called Traralgon. In April 1844, Edward to a large mob of cattle out from their station near Arthur's Seat to Traralgon arriving two months later. Albert Brodribb and William Bennett started Hazelwood Station in 1844 and the following year James Rintoul had taken a run in Loy Yang and Thomas Gorringe had taken up a run at Maryvale.[20]

Township established

The township was established in the early 1860s, the first Post Office opening on 1 January 1861.[21]

In 1877 the railway line from Melbourne was completed with a railway station at Traralgon giving the town a major economic boost.

Traralgon was part of the area administered by the Rosedale Roads Board, before the Shire of Traralgon was established in 1879. In the latter part of the 19th century the Shire grew strongly.

The current Post Office building, a local landmark, was completed in 1886

It was not until the 1930s however that Traralgon began to move away from a farming based economy. In 1936 Australian Paper Manufacturers established a paper mill at Maryvale, around 8 kilometres (5 mi) from Traralgon.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited on 3 March 1954. The president of the Shire of Traralgon, Cr Clem Little met and welcomed the Queen, who was flown by the Royal Australian Air Force from Sale. She returned to Melbourne by train.[22]

In 1960 Traralgon's most famous son Sir Macfarlane Burnet jointly won the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine.

In 1961 Traralgon formed its own borough, the Borough of Traralgon following a decade of lobbying to separate the urban areas of Traralgon from the Shire.

Traralgon was proclaimed a city in 1964.

The old town hall and mechanics institute were demolished in 1973.[23]

Further development resulted from the expansion of the power generation industry following World War II, particularly through the now defunct State Electricity Commission of Victoria. This included large expansions at Yallourn and Hazelwood Power Stations and the construction of the massive Loy Yang Power Station in the 1970s and 1980s.

The first Loy Yang power station was completed in 1985.

An Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) information processing centre was established in the early 1990s, at the time employing around 400 people.

The City of Traralgon and Shire of Traralgon continued a separate existence until they were amalgamated into the Shire of Latrobe in 1994.

Completion of the Loy Yang power stations, extensive voluntary departures from the electricity industry and privatisation of the Victorian electricity industry in the early 1990s had devastating effects on the economy of the Latrobe Valley. Traralgon, with a more diversified economy, suffered to a lesser extent than the neighbouring towns of Morwell and Moe both of which relied almost exclusively on the power stations for their livelihood.

Traralgon grew strongly in the mid 2000s, with a figure of 2.7% making it the largest and fastest growing city in the Latrobe Valley.[24]

Heritage listings

Traralgon contains a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Traralgon is situated on expansive flat land in the Traralgon Creek valley catchment between the Great Dividing Range in the north and the Strzelecki Ranges in the south. The Traralgon Creek runs through the city's centre and its green belt separates its eastern and western suburban areas. The urban area is hemmed to the south east by the Loy Yang Open Cut.

Urban Structure

Stockland Traralgon in the CBD

Traralgon is part of the Latrobe Valley tri-city urban area, a small area of industry and agricultural land separates it from neighbouring Morwell. Traralgon together with adjacent Morwell forms an urban area with an estimated population of 41,984 as at June 2018.[28] In the five years prior, the urban area had experienced a modest average annual growth in population of 0.5%.[28] The Traralgon portion the combined Morwell area had a population of 27,958,[2] also at June 2018. Greater Traralgon includes localities such as Traralgon, the suburb of Traralgon East and the relatively sparsely populated satellite localities of Hazelwood and Traralgon South to the south, and Tyers and Glengarry to the north.

The Traralgon central business district is centred around Seymour and Franklin Streets. An indoor shopping mall called Stockland Traralgon was opened in 1985 as Traralgon Centre Plaza, but renamed after the acquisition by Stockland in 2003.[29] Commercial and light industry sprawl along most of the eastern stretch of the Princes Highway. Notable heritage buildings include the Post Office and Courthouse erected in 1886 and Ryans Hotel erected in 1914, both in Franklin Street.


Loy Yang A power station

The economy is primarily driven by the primary sector, natural resources and the secondary sector including coal mining, processing and fossil-fuel power generation[30] for the National Electricity Market. Along with electricity production, Traralgon benefits from the mining for oil and natural gas in the nearby Bass Strait fields.

A significant forestry industry operates including logging of both plantation and natural forest timber, The largest paper mill in Australia is located nearby in Maryvale and provides local employment for over 2000 people.

The local agriculture industry is involved in the production of wool and dairy products, as well as vegetable growing.

The tertiary sector of the economy is also important for employment with major government administration offices for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning (DELWP), and the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).


Traralgon features a number of primary and secondary schools, including state, catholic and independent schools.

The local primary schools include Grey Street Primary School (formerly Traralgon Primary School), Kosciuszko Street Primary School, Liddiard Road Primary School, Stockdale Road Primary School, St Michaels Primary School, St Gabriels Primary School, Chairo Christian School (formerly Flinders Christian Community College) and St Pauls Anglican Grammar School. St Paul's Anglican Grammar School and Chairo Christian School are also secondary schools. In addition Traralgon has the Latrobe Special Developmental School catering for students from 4.5 to 18 years of age with an intellectual and physical disability.

The local government secondary school, Traralgon College, has two campuses, the junior campus (years 7–9) located on Liddiard Rd in Traralgon's east, with the senior campus (years 10–12) on Grey St in Traralgon's west. There is also a Catholic secondary school, Lavalla Catholic College. Lavalla has two campuses in Traralgon's West end, and a third campus in Newborough, Moe. The junior campus, St Paul's, neighbours Traralgon College's senior campus on Grey St. The senior campus, Kildare, is located in Kosciuszko St. Chairo Christian School on Liddiard Rd is a P– 8 school.

Flinders began its first year as Chario in 2018.

A number of Traralgon families also send their children to the three independent Anglican grammar schools in the region, two of which are about 40 minutes drive from Traralgon: St. Paul's Anglican Grammar School, which has a campus in Traralgon as well as Warragul, or Gippsland Grammar School in Sale.

TAFE and University education is also available within the region. Traralgon is a 15-minute drive from Federation University Australia's Gippsland Campus, located in the neighbouring town of Churchill. Traralgon is also home to one of a number of campuses for the region's TAFE provider, Federation Training.


Australian rules football GFL match in 2010 between Traralgon and Moe

Australian rules football is popular. There are two senior clubs, the Traralgon Maroons (which briefly competed in the Victorian Football League between 1996–1997) currently competing in the Gippsland Football League and Traralgon-Tyers United competing in the North Gippsland Football League. There is also a junior league, Traralgon and District Junior Football League, with most games played from the West End Sporting Complex.

Cricket is also popular, with a local league, the Traralgon and District Cricket Association (TDCA) operating.

Soccer is represented by two clubs - Traralgon City and Traralgon Olympians - who both play in the Latrobe Valley Soccer League. The Victorian regional leagues are the eighth level of soccer in Victoria, and the ninth nationally. The home grounds are Harold Preston Reserve and Harold Preston Park respectively.

There is a local basketball league, the Traralgon Basketball Association with a stadium at the Traralgon Sports Complex. The Traralgon Sports Stadium played host to preliminary round games of the Basketball competition during the 2006 Commonwealth Games which were held in Melbourne.

The local baseball team is the Traralgon Redsox.

Traralgon has a horse racing club, the Latrobe Valley Racing Club, which schedules two race meetings a year including the Cup meeting in December.[31]

The Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club holds regular meetings at Glenview Park.[32]

Golfers play at the course of the Traralgon Golf Club on the Princes Highway.[33]

The Traralgon Harriers are a running club that runs 5 or 6 km races every Thursday night and also organise Victoria's oldest marathon, the Traralgon Marathon, held every June.[34]

The Latrobe Valley Cycling club hold road and track racing events on most weeks throughout the year.

Traralgon Pistol Club and Traralgon small bore rifle Club also located in the town with a healthy membership at both clubs.


The entertainment precinct which spans Kay, Grey and Franklin Streets attracts people from surrounding towns to several nightclubs, bars and restaurants located there.

Local media


The twice weekly Latrobe Valley Express newspaper is delivered to all homes on Monday and Thursday nights, in Traralgon, Morwell and Moe. Smaller, weekly papers the Traralgon Journal, Moe and Narracan News, along with the Morwell and Churchill Advertiser are delivered to all homes on Monday nights with The Latrobe Valley Express. The Traralgon Record newspaper has been digitised from 1886 to 1932 as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program.[35]

Melbourne Newspapers such as The Weekly Times, The Age and the Herald Sun and national newspapers like The Australian and the Australian Financial Review are also available.


The three main commercial television networks (Seven, Nine and Ten) are all re-broadcast in the Latrobe Valley by their regional affiliates – Prime7 (Seven), WIN Television (Ten) and Nine Traralgon. The area was the first in Australia to receive its own regional television station, GLV-10 Gippsland (now Southern Cross Nine), when it launched on 9 December 1961.

Of the three main commercial networks:

  • WIN Television airs a half-hour local WIN News each weeknight at 6pm, produced from a newsroom in the city and broadcast from studios in Wollongong.
  • Southern Cross Nine airs a regional Victoria edition of Nine News from Melbourne each weeknight at 6pm, featuring opt-outs for Gippsland.
  • Prime7 airs short local news and weather updates throughout the day, produced and broadcast from its Canberra studios.

Television transmissions from Mount Dandenong for the Melbourne market (Seven, Nine and Ten) can also be received in digital in Traralgon with a suitable roof-top antenna.

New channels broadcast by the commercial networks in addition to the ones listed above are available on the digital service called Freeview (Australia) to viewers in Traralgon and the Gippsland/Latrobe Valley region. These channels include One HD, Eleven, 7Two, 7mate, GEM and GO!.

Both national public broadcasters, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (including channels ABC1, ABC2, ABC3 & ABC News 24) and Special Broadcasting Service (including SBS One & SBS Two), are also broadcast to the Latrobe Valley.

Subscription television service Foxtel (previously Austar until 2014) is available via satellite.


There are two radio stations with studios located in Traralgon – TRFM and Gold 1242, both owned by Ace Radio. The FM station is broadcast along with the television channels from Mount Tassie while Gold 1242 is broadcast from an AM transmitter near Sale. Warragul radio stations Star FM and 3GG also service this region. Most Australian Broadcasting Corporation stations are rebroadcast locally and available in Traralgon, along with 774 ABC Melbourne which is able to be received directly from Melbourne.


Road transport and the motor vehicle is the main form of transport.[36] The Princes Highway runs through the city and close to the CBD which received heavy regional traffic (although a Traralgon Bypass road is undergoing planning[37]). The Hyland Highway also originates at Traralgon.

Rail transport includes both passenger rail and freight rail. The city's only station is Traralgon railway station which is on the Orbost railway line. Both the Traralgon V/Line rail service and the Bairnsdale V/Line rail service stop there. Traralgon is currently the terminus for VLocity trains with a two way hourly service. Travel time to Melbourne Flinders Street ranges at approximately 109 minutes during peak travel times.[38] Victoria's electronic ticketing system, Myki, was implemented on rail services between Traralgon and Melbourne on 8 July 2013.[39]

Latrobe Valley Buslines provides local services around Traralgon and other cities in the Latrobe Valley.

Latrobe Valley Airport is located close to Traralgon in nearby Morwell and provides general aviation.

Traralgon has a minimal bicycle infrastructure, with few segregated cycle facilities. An exception is the 63-kilometer-long Gippsland Plains Rail Trail which connects Traralgon to Stratford via Cowwarr, Heyfield, Tinamba and Maffra.


Traralgon experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb). Nights in Traralgon are about 2 °C colder than in Melbourne[40]

Climate data for Traralgon
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.1
Average high °C (°F) 26.2
Average low °C (°F) 12.5
Record low °C (°F) 1.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50.1
Source: [41]

Notable people


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Traralgon". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  2. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016: Population Estimates by Statistical Area Level 2 (ASGS 2016), 2017 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  3. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016: Population Estimates by Statistical Area Level 2 (ASGS 2016), 2006 to 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2016.
  4. Cuthill, William J (1970). The River of Little Fish. Traralgon & District Historical Society Inc.
  5. "Nomenclature, etc., of some Gippsland towns". Rosedale Courier. 24 (12). Victoria, Australia. 19 March 1914. p. 3. Retrieved 17 August 2020 via National Library of Australia.
  6. Gardner, PD. 1992, Names of East Gippsland; their origins, meanings and history, Ngaruk Press, Ensay
  7. Howitt, Alfred William (1904). "Chapter 7" . Native Tribes of South-East Australia. p. 393 via Wikisource.
  8. Fesl, Eve (1985). Ganai: a study of the aboriginal languages of Gippsland based on 19th century materials. Monash University.
  9. Legg, S M (1992). Heart of the Valley: A History of the Morwell Municipality. City of Morwell.
  10. Flood, Josephine (2004). Archaeology of the Dreamtime. Marleston: J.B Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 1-876622-50-4.
  11. "The Moyjil site, south-west Victoria, Australia". Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria. 130 (2). 2018.
  12. "Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki Expedition". Monument Australia. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  13. Frew, Ron; Frew, Catherine (2012). Sounding the Ground: Nineteenth Century Journeys to Tumbarumba and the South East. Tumbarumba, NSW. ISBN 9780980653137.
  14. Skurjat-Kozek, Ernestyna. "Strzelecki's team: pioneers of multiculturalism". Puls Polonii. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  15. "Sir PauEdmund de Strzelecki Expedition". Monument Australia. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  16. Smith, Keith Vincent. "Charley Tarra". Eora People. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  17. "History of the Park". Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  18. "THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY IN AUSTRALIA". Southern Australian. IV (212). South Australia. 1 June 1841. p. 4. Retrieved 7 October 2020 via National Library of Australia.
  19. "Minor Explorations 1840 and 1841" (PDF). The Morwell Historical Society News: 16. 15 August 1975.
  20. Power, J F. "Traralgon: A Brief Introductory History (Circa 1995)". Traralgon & District Historical Society Inc. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  21. Phoenix Auctions History, Post Office List, retrieved 21 January 2021
  22. Chapter 7 The River of Little Fish by WJ Cuthill
  23. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. "Traralgon Post Office (Place ID 106141)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  26. "Traralgon Engine Shed and Turntable". Victorian Heritage Database (Victorian Heritage Register). Victorian Heritage Council. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  27. "Azarole Hawthorn Tree". Victorian Heritage Database (Victorian Heritage Register). Victorian Heritage Council. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  28. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2008 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  29. Jimenez, Cher. "Make way for Traralgon plaza". Latrobe Valley Express. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  30. "Economic profile for Latrobe City".
  31. Country Racing Victoria, Latrobe Valley Racing Club, archived from the original on 28 July 2008, retrieved 7 May 2009
  32. Greyhound Racing Victoria, Traralgon, archived from the original on 31 March 2009, retrieved 15 April 2009
  33. Golf Select, Traralgon, retrieved 11 May 2009
  34. Traralgon Harriers
  35. "Traralgon Record (Traralgon, Vic. : 1886–1932)". Trove. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  37. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 February 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. Traralgon - Melbourne Public Transport Victoria
  39. "Myki to start on VLine Commuter Services". VLine Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 August 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  40. "Melbourne Airport". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. February 2014.
  41. "Climate statistics for Traralgon (Latrobe Valley Airport)". Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
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