Set in Victoria’s Gippsland Region, Traralgon is the fastest-growing metropolitan centre in the Latrobe Valley. The city grew up in the late-19th century at a railway junction. It must be noted that one of those disused lines has become a rail-trail. It guides cyclists and walkers over more than 60 kilometres of rural Gippsland. Coalmining in a big business here. In fact, there is nature all around, in the foothills at the southern tip of Australia’s Great Dividing Range. The vaunted Narkoogee winery is nearly on Traralgon’s doorstep. It is combined with open-air museums, exquisite gardens and a first-rate regional art gallery. Below are the things to do in Traralgon you shouldn’t miss while you tour Australia.
10 things to do in Traralgon
Listing down the top 10 things to do in Traralgon –
- Gippsland Plains Rail Trail
- Morwell Centenary Rose Garden
- Gippsland Wine Region
- Gippsland Immigration Park
- Old Gippstown
- Latrobe Regional Gallery
- Newman Park
- Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve
- Wirilda Environment Park
- Morwell River Falls
1. Gippsland Plains Rail Trail
The Gippsland Plains Railway Line was built in 1883, linking Traralgon with Maffra and Stratford. This was closed down in the 1980s and 1990s. Since then this place has become a fantastic greenway crossing historic bridges. Some of the panoramas along the trail are extraordinary. Furthermore, you will never be more than a few kilometres from the nearest settlement. All along the route, you can see cafes and restaurants. You can also see wineries at Glengarry, Tinamba, Powerscourt and Stratford. This makes this a great way to discover the Gippsland Wine Region. Do not forget to include this rail-trail in your list of 10 things to do in Traralgon or near Traralgon.
2. Morwell Centenary Rose Garden
This garden, set up in 1992 to celebrate Morwell’s centenary is an astounding horticultural accomplishment. You can see more than 3,500 rosebushes, selected from over 400 traditional varieties and recent hybrids. These are spread across two hectares of manicured beds. You can also see miniatures, tea roses, hybrid teas, floribunda, rugosas, heritage and many more. The garden is also enriched with lots of beautiful elements like a gazebo, a pergola and many more. This place is near Traralgon and no wonder it has made to the list of 10 things to do in Traralgon and its nearby places.
3. Gippsland Wine Region
Traralgon lies within a vast wine region that has developed a great deal since the 1970s. In fact, this place has a history of producing wine going back to the 19th century. Dominated by boutique, family-run vineyards and wineries, you can see it nourished by a temperate climate that makes for intense reds like Pinot Noir and Merlot, and complex Chardonnays. Just 15 minutes from Traralgon, you will come to Narkoogee, resting in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range and granting impressive views of the Strzelecki Ranges. The cellar door is open daily 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, pouring from a selection namely – Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Interested in wine tasting? Then head to this beautiful place and include it in the list of top 10 things to do in Traralgon with your loved ones.
4. Gippsland Immigration Park
Immigration is at the heart of Gippsland’s story, and a few minutes away in Morwell there’s a park filled with statues paying tribute to this aspect of the region’s past and present. Wall of Recognition displays a graphic history of immigration here, but also lists the migrant families who have made Gippsland their home. At the centre, you will find a statue of an immigrant, suitcase in hand, while shielding his face from the Australian sun. Around Lake Kernot in the park, you will come across Heritage Walk, made up of 72 separate information panels leading you through the history of Gippsland through the Aboriginal Gunaikurnai people, European settlement, infrastructure, rule of law, education, emergency services, Gippsland in wartime and much more.
5. Old Gippstown
This open-air museum in Moe has been in the market for almost 50 years. It has collected upwards of 40 buildings to document the European settlement of Gippsland. The period covers from 1850 to 1950, and among the many monuments, there is a school, waterwheel, bank building, church, a prefab “iron” house from the mid-19th century Gold Rush, a general store and a Masonic lodge. You can find this place all the more engaging by tremendous collections of antique furniture, documents, newspapers, art, books, tools, machinery, home appliances, militaria and a big fleet of horse-drawn vehicles. Every few weeks there is a new seasonal event here, whether it is a car show on Father’s Day, high tea on Mother’s Day, Carols by Candlelight at Christmas or patriotic fun on Australia Day.
6. Latrobe Regional Gallery
Morwell highlights one of the largest local galleries in eastern Victoria, with seven exhibition spaces and an outdoor sculpture courtyard. At the Latrobe Regional Gallery, you can also check out curated projects and national touring exhibitions. It features works by regional artists, interdisciplinary performances and exhibitions that draw on the gallery’s own rich collections. These covers Asian art, glassware, Impressionism, Modernism and Australian post-war art. Furthermore, the gallery’s calendar is packed with display tours, artist talks, educational workshops and a program called the Project Space, to give a platform to up-and-coming talent.
Also read: National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
7. Newman Park
At Traralgon’s main public space, you will find a neat and well-equipped metropolitan park. You can find this place easily from the railway station and the town’s central business district. The highlight of the place is the enormous children’s playground with a vast array of play equipment. This has a big sandpit with mechanical scoop, a whole range of slides, a flying fox, walkways, ladders and a four-person pommel bounce. Of course, Newman Park also has green lawns, picnic and barbecue areas. But do forget to visit the miniature train, running on the fourth Sunday of the month. People travelling with their children must definitely include it in their list of things to do in Traralgon, Australia.
8. Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve
History, culture and natural magnificence come together at this 30-hectare reserve in the south of Traralgon. The reservoir here was dammed in 1883 to provide water for steam trains on the lately established railway. There is a building at the reserve giving a chronology of Traralgon, covering the original Gunaikurnai People and the story of European settlement. The reserve includes woodland, wetlands and grassland, and that reservoir overflows with aquatic plants like water lilies and attracts scores of ducks. You can witness Kookaburras frequently in the woods, made up of various gum trees and acacias, with a forest floor decked with wildflowers in spring and early summer.
9. Wirilda Environment Park
If you are in the state for a picnic in nature, the nearest spot is this park in front of the hills of the Tyers Region. Spread across 100 hectares of riverside farmland, reclaimed by the bush. The river water is shining clear and popular with swimmers in summer, while you can barbecue and camp on the banks. If you are a confident hiker, you could follow the park’s trails back up the river, into the gorgeous Tyers Gorge and eventually up to the Moondarra Reservoir.
10. Morwell River Falls
Last in the list of 10 things to do in Traralgon or its nearby places is Morwell River Falls. This journey takes a little longer and involves a drive along the gravel Morwell River Road near Boolarra. The remoteness of the Morwell River Falls is part of their attraction. A trail also invites you to many glorious cascades along the river’s upper reaches in the Strzelecki Ranges. The falls are nestled in deep, wooded valleys, with ferns and moss-covered rocks and tree limbs lining the tracks. Furthermore, there is a picnic area at the reserve, and in summer you can go swimming. But you will need to take care as there are rocks just below the surface.
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