Toongabbie

A quiet country town which is home to a number of historic buildings.

Location: Toongabbie is 2 hours drive east of Melbourne; 17 km north of Traralgon on the Traralgon-Maffra Road.

Restored historic buildings including the heritage listed Mechanics Institute and Free Library, one of only two existing two storey timber building still standing in Victoria and St Davids Uniting Church with 13 different pressed metal designs internally. The towns’s cemetery has many graves dating from the late 1800s.

The line from Traralgon to Stratford via Maffra was built in 1883, and served as an alternative route to East Gippsland. It was very busy until the 1950’s carrying sugar beet from Maffra, and timber from Heyfield. In its later years, the main purpose of the line was servicing the dairy industry in the Maffra area. The line closed in stages, the first stage being Traralgon to Cowwarr in 1986, and then Cowwarr to Maffra in 1994.

Gippsland Plains Rail Trail follows the 67km route from Traralgon to Stratford of the original Centra; Gippsland Railway. This trail traverses through the picturesque countryside of the many small communities en route including our important historic township of Toongabbie.

The Ned Stringer memorial recalls the engaging story about his discovery of gold at Stringers Creek (Walhalla) and its importance for gold heritage in Victoria. Transported to Tasmania as a convict in 1842, he later found his way across Bass Strait to Melbourne where he joined the many and various gold rushes. In November 1862 Stringer led a group of miners down the Aberfeldy and Thomson rivers prospecting tributaries along the way where has was successful in finding gold on a tributary. This creek that became known as Stringers Creek, and his find started the East Gippsland gold rush.



Brief history: Toongabbie Township came into existence as a supply town on route to the goldfields in the mountains. People, supplies and equipment poured up the roads from Port Albert via Sale and Rosedale. The Toongabbie to Walhalla road became the main artery between the two. Toongabbie owes its origins to the transport industry or carrying trade as it was called then. The pack horse and mule reigned supreme and that is why the Thomson Valley Bush Riders Club relives history every year with the annual packhorse ride from Toongabbie to Walhalla. Increased movement through Toongabbie created interest stimulating investment and it eventually evolved into an English style village. While the links between Toongabbie and Walhalla developed, the first faltering steps towards the formation of an agricultural industry, which today is the town’s main source of income, were being made.

Ned Stringer Memorial

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