One of the major industrial cities in the heart of the Latrobe
Valley. Surrounded by Gippsland’s brown coal fields, its main
industries are the manufacture of coal briquettes, wood pulp and paper,
textiles, clothing and shoes. the area produces dairy cattle and sheep.
A power plant at Morwell, along with one at Churchill and Yallourn,
generate three quarters of Victoria’s electricity needs.
Location: 147 km south of of Melbourne on Princes Highway.
Gippsland Food & Wine and Yarragon Visitor Information Centre
123 Princess Highway, Yarragon, Victoria 3823
Ph: (03) 5634 2451
Brief history: In 1841, pastoralist Angus McMillan and Polish explorer
Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki each made journeys of exploration through
the region which would later be named Gippsland. During the 1840s the
squatting runs of Maryvale, Merton Rush and Hazelwood were taken up in
the area which is now Morwell. Founded in 1861, the town became a
popular stopping place for miners on their way to and from the
Victorian Alps goldfields including Walhalla and Tanjil. Full scale
mining of the brown coal deposits ort the area began in 1916.
Development of the areas boomed after World War II when the satellite
town of Churchill was built, it being predominantly Victorian Housing
Commission built homes.
Origin of name: known originally as Maryville, the present name is
taken from the Morwell River. The Latrobe Shire was created in December
1994 with the amalgamation of the former Cities of Moe, Morwell, and
Traralgon, the Shire of Traralgon, and parts of the Shires of Rosedale
and Narracan. It takes its name from the Administrator and later
Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Victoria, Charles Joseph La Trobe.
Morwell National Park: Situated in the northern foothills of the
Strzelecki Ranges, this park is small in size but of great value in
preserving a remnant of the area’s original plant and animal
life. The best was to enjoy Morwell National Park is to walk through
it. Fosters Gully Nature Walk provides an excellent introduction to the
Built features: Hazelwood open cut mine (extracts 14 million tonnes of
brown coal each year for briquettes), Energy Brix Australia briquette
works; Hazelwood Pondage (water sports); Hazelwood Power Station
(1970); Morwell Power Station (1963); Jeeralang Gas Power Station
(1979); APM pulp mills; Morwell Rose Garden; Power Works Visitors