Thorpdale is a small country town in the Gippsland area of eastern Victoria, Australia, less than 20 km south of Trafalgar. Famous for its potatoes, it is located amongst the rich farmland of the Latrobe Valley. Thorpdale spuds are eaten around the country and also exported overseas. The name “Thorpdale” means “village in a valley”. The soil in the area is particularly rich as the town is located in a former volcanic crater. It is administered by the Baw Baw Shire.
The town was originally settled by people who found the area by following the McDonalds Track from Lang Lang. At the height of its time it was a business centre for all the farming activity that surrounded it. Much of the town was destroyed during the large Red Tuesday (20 January 1898) bushfire that ravaged Gippsland and the Otway Ranges.
The Thorpdale township is becoming smaller and smaller as more farming families opt to live in larger townships such as Trafalgar. The national decline in consumption of potatoes is making even farming difficult in the small town.
The township holds the Thorpdale Potato Festival each year on the Victorian Labour Day holiday in March. The festival features potato sack races. The lush farming surrounds give the town a peaceful rural atmosphere and there are several scenic sights nearby, including the Narracan Falls, Trafalgar South Lookout and Henderson’s Gully.