A small town in the Strzelecki Ranges. Thorpdale’s rich red volcanic soil is ideal for growing potatoes.

Location: 19 km south of Trafalgar; 140 km south-east of Melbourne.

Events: The town hosts the Thorpdale Potato Festival every Labour Day Holiday March.

The Haunted Hills: these hills received their name because drovers, moving cattle through this area, repeatedly experienced the animals spook and stampede as they passed through. The drovers claimed that an unearthly sound also emanated from the ground. There are numerous stories about the phenomenon and one explanation is that the underground brown coal deposits in the area left caverns under the ground which caused echoes. Today there is little or no chance of studying the phenomena because the ground beneath has been disturbed by exploratory digging and testing and the open cut brown coal mines nearby.

Brief history: the first european settlers accessed the area from Lang Lang in the south by travelling along McDonalds Track, which followed the ridges. The original town was established in the 1860s, but was virtually razed in the bush fires which ravaged Gippsland in 1898.

Grand Ridge Road: snakes 132km along the ridge of Victoria’s Strzelecki Ranges between the Latrobe Valley and South Gippsland. The ever-changing scenery encompasses the green Latrobe Valley to Mt. Baw Baw to the north and to the sandy beaches and blue waters of the Bass Coast and Wilsons Promontory to the south. It has been rightly called one of the most scenic roads in the world.

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