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 park.

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 Centre.

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