The Latrobe Valley is a regional centre in the Gippsland region in the state of Victoria, Australia. The Latrobe Valley region lies east of the Melbourne along the Princes Highway. The Valley is its known locally has three major centres such as Moe, Morwell and Traralgon. These 3 bigger towns are supported by smaller towns such as Churchill, Yinnar, Glengarry, and Tyers. The population of the Latrobe Valley is approximately 125,000.
The Latrobe Valley is usually a resting stop for people travelling from Melbourne to the Walhalla, The Gippsland Lakes and beyond, sometimes all the way to New South Wales. The major towns of the Latrobe Valley often host regional events which draw families in for weekends.
Traditionally the Latrobe Valley has had a rather poor reputation as the home of some of the dirtiest coal power stations in Australia. These power stations employ a large portion of the population. This has been slowly changing with Hazelwood Power Station closing down and the others slated to close towards the middle of this century.
Have you stopped in the Latrobe Valley?
For us here at Wyld Family Travel we regularly pass through the Latrobe Valley on our way to Melbourne. Traralgon is also a shopping destination for people east of the Valley. Traralgon is the largest town along Highway 1 from the next 400 odd kilometres. There are some great educational and fun things to do in Gippsland located in the Latrobe Valley.
Power Works Museum – Morwell
As mentioned earlier the Latrobe Valley has a long history associated with coal mining and power generation. PowerWorks was officially opened in November 1994 on the edge of the Morwell open cut mine by the State Energy Commision of Victoria. Powerworks was created to ensure broad community awareness of the history, operations and policy initiatives of the Victorian power industry. Today PowerWorks acts more as an education and conservation centre for all things Latrobe Valley Coal related.
It’s run by ex-workers who are happy to run tours through the centre explaining both the broader history and their own in the industry. You will see a short film explaining how rich in coal the Latrobe Valley is and where it can be found. You will see old pictures and operating machinery that has been taken out of the old decommissioned stations, you will see scale models of diggers that worked the coal fields. It was a real eye-opener to see pictures of the first miners living in tents in paddocks as the coal mines where being established.
The Number 21 dredger on display at Power Works is Victorian heritage listed as an example of an early bucketwheel excavator. It was made in Germany in the early 50′ and worked till the mid 90’s. This machine is huge and weighs 750 tonnes. My first thought was its a transformer in hiding! There are some interactive electricity displays and much more. We visited earlier this year and loved it. The guys who volunteer there are amazing and answered all the questions our kids put to them. This was an excellent learning experience for both adults and kids. This is one of the best things to do in Morwell for families.
For more information check the PowerWorks website
When is PowerWorks open:
PowerWorks is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. It’s best to contact them as they do open in school holidays and other times of the year.
Where is PowerWorks:
Ridge Rd, Morwell VIC 3840. Follow the exit signs off the M1 bypass of Morwell.
Things to do in Moe – Old Gippstown
Old Gippstown has been around for what seems like forever. I remember first visiting it when I was in primary school. This would have been around 35 years ago. My daughters are now in primary school and have both visited Old Gippstown in the last few years on school excursions. It is one of the oldest Gippsland attractions.
Old Gippstown is exactly what it says it is. A collection of authentic buildings from Gippsland dating back from the 1840s through to the 1930s. The site covers a large area of 8 acres and features several National Trust classified buildings. The minute you walk into Old Gippstown it is like being taken back in time, I half expected to see a horse-drawn cart coming up the street!
One of the most prominent buildings in the park is the Bushy Park Homestead. The homestead belonged to Angus Mcmillian an infamous explorer and pioneer pastoralist from Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Today McMillian is more know for his slaughter of the local indigenous people. Rhodes Cobb & Co Inn once serviced the needs of drivers and passengers of the once thriving stagecoach transport business.
The inn was once located in Pakenham on the line stretching east that transported passengers and mail towards Gippsland. The police station was of the most interest to us as it comes from our hometown of Maffra. You will find old fire trucks and tractors on display and an old town store selling goodies. Old Gippstown is a great display of what life was once like in this region of Australia.
For more information check the Old Gippstown website
When is Old Gippstown open:
Open 7 Days a week 10 am till 4 pm except on the important days like Christmas day.
Where is Old Gippstown:
211 Lloyd Street Moe, 3825 Victoria Australia. If coming from Melbourne take the exit off the Princes Highway at the Mcdonalds and Old Gippstown is next door.
Morwell 10 Pin Bowling – WYNCITY BOWL & ENTERTAINMENT
More of an all-around entertainment centre than just a bowling alley. Recently re-opened after a 6-month closure for renovations this is a standout fun centre for people looking for things to do in Gippsland. Featuring 16 bowling alleys for family fun. All lanes have side bumpers to make it more fun for the small kids. Send the kids on a mission to far away land with Space age laser tag. Make your way through the laser lights and smoke and score the most hits to win. You will also find indoor mini golf, bumper cars, arcade games and pool tables. I have found the prices to be pretty reasonable here. Morwell 10 pins generally have some sort of multi-activity pass that suits where you can combine 2 or 3 of the attractions for one price. There is a cafe onsite that seels kids favourites such as chicken nuggets, hot dogs and similar fare, you know the type, something to suit everyone at Morwell ten-pin bowling
For more information check the WYNCITY website
When are Morwell 10 pins open:
Monday – Thursday 9-10pm, Friday and Saturday 9 am – 11 pm, Sunday 9 am – 8.30pm
Where is WYNCITY Morwell:
44- 48 Chickerell St, Morwell, Victoria
Fun things to do in Traralgon – Jump and Climb Centre
The newest of Traralgon attractions on the map in the Latrobe Valley is Jump and Climb. Boasting the largest trampoline in Australia measuring 5 meters long by 5 meters wide. In all Jump and Climb has over 50 trampolines for your enjoyment. They are set up for tramp basketball and slam dunks. This can be great fun and one can live all their Jordon and Lebron dreams. Another favourite was the airbag jump and dodgeball. Launch yourself like a stuntman. For kids from 4 years up there is the clip and climb. 16 different climbs will challenge everyone during the 1-hour sessions available.
You are given a safety brief before starting and strapped into your harness to avoid any accidents. It is then off to challenge yourself and the walls at Jump and Climb Traralgon. This place was mega fun if you were like my children and myself you would have grown up with a trampoline. This gives you a chance to relive the fun and build some great memories on your visit to the Latrobe Valley. Looking for things to do in Traralgon look no further.
For more information check the Jump and Climb website
When is Jump and Climb Traralgon opened:
Monday: 10am-5pm, Tuesday: 10am-6pm, Wednesday: 10am-6pm Thursday:10am-6pm, Friday:10am-7pm, Saturday:10am-6pm, Sunday:10am-5pm
Public holidays: 10am-3pm (please note, some public holidays we may close)
Where is Jump and Climb Traralgon:
62 Eastern Road, Traralgon 3844 Victoria
There will be even more things to do in Traralgon soon with the construction of the Traralgon cinemas going full steam ahead opposite the Stockland Traralgon shopping Centre. The Traralgon Cinema will open sometime in 2019.
Kernot Lake – Morwell
Latrobe City Council along with Fisheries Victoria stock Kernot Lake with fish every year. Kernot Lake is a great place to take the kids fishing right in the middle of Morwell. Morwell Lakes is a popular destination with anglers from Traralgon and the Latrobe Valley. The Lake has bbq facilities and toilets for your use.
There is a Gippsland Heritage Walk that takes you around the lake and explains the history of Gippsland for you. The Gippsland Heritage Walk is not to be missed as far as combing a little learning with fun things to do in the Latrobe Valley such as fishing.
For those that are happy to just go and see a movie, the Village Cinemas Morwell is an 8 screen complex that is located at the Mid Valley Shopping Centre. The Village Cinemas Morwell show the latest blockbusters for all the family. If you have a few spare hours a trip to Walhalla or the Tarra Bulga National Park is well worth it. We hope you have a great time in the Latrobe Valley.
Where to eat in the Latrobe Valley:
The Kitchen at Traralgon RSL: The onsite Bistro operates 7 days a week (excluding Christmas Day) for both lunch and dinner service, with a selection of great value meals there is sure to be something for everybody. I have eaten here many times for Lunch and always had a great meal. Prices start from $12 for lunch
Address: 116/109 Grey St, Traralgon VIC 3844
Emilio’s Bistro Italian Australian Club Morwell: Emilio’s is open for lunch and dinner every day. The bistro has a large menu containing all the favourites you’d expect, plus modern and exciting additions by Chef Antonio. A games room for the kids is great to keep them occupied while the adults enjoy a relaxing meal in the bistro.
Address: 499-501 Princes Dr, Morwell VIC 3840
For more great eating option you can check out TRIP ADVISORS recommendations
Parkys Fun Park Traralgon
Parkys is not quite in Traralgon and not quite in Morwell. It lies between both cities on the Princes Highway. It’s definitely one of the things to do around Traralgon. Parkys Fun Park in Traralgon now consists of 4 different play facilities. These include our 18-hole mini golf, Parky’s Putt Putt, Parky’s Adventure Rope Course, Parky’s Laser Tag and of course, everyone’s favourite Parky’s Wonderland Indoor Play Centre. Parkys fun park is part of the Big 4 Caravan Park. You can stay at Parkys Big 4 Tourist Park and receive a discount on your entry fee. This multi-activity fun park is definitely one of the best things to do in Gippsland with kids.
Where is Parkys Wonderland: 5353 Princes Highway, Traralgon VIC 3844
Things to do near Traralgon
The Gippsland Plains Rail trail starts just on the edge of Traralgon on the Traralgon – Maffra road. The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail extends 63km from Traralgon to Stratford in Central Gippsland, Victoria. The first section Traralgon to Glengarry is a manageable 12 Kilometer return trip. You will find a skate park and BMX track at Glengarry. The Rail Trail is a great Traralgon things to do option if you have kids that need to burn off some energy and enjoy bike riding.
Hazelwood Pondage is another great thing to do in and around Traralgon and Morwell. The Pondage was set up to help cool the machinery of the nearby Hazelwood Power Station which closed earlier in 2018. The Hazelwood Pondage features a camping ground with toilet and bbq facilities and the local Latrobe Valley Yacht Club. A visit to Hazelwood Pondage is very popular thing to do in the Latrobe Valley for residents looking to do a spot of fishing or go swimming.
Where to stay in the Latrobe Valley:
- Traralgon has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms.
- Budget Traralgon accommodation can be found at Big 4 Park Lane Traralgon. Check prices here
- You can search Airbnb for there Iceland offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE
- Hotels accommodation in Traralgon generally starts from 98$ a night says google
- You can compare and book your stay on Agoda
Please find below two more articles from Wyld Family Travel. We hope you can enjoy some of Melbourne’s famous sporting events or find more things to do in Gippsland like visit the Koalas at Raymond Island. Just click the image to be taken to the article.
- Some of the images are courtesy of the Old Gippstown Website, Wyncity website and Jump and climb Traralgon Website