About the Thorpdale District, Potato Industry and Festival History...

The Thoprdale Potato Festival celebrates the long history of potato farming in the Thorpdale district, nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Strzlecki Ranges in Gippsland, Victoria. Since the area was settled, potatoes have been the crop of choice for most farmers in the area, thriving in our rich volcanic soil.

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Our Festival...

Thorpdale, meaning ‘village in the valley’...

Prior to white settlement the whole of the Thorpdale area lay under one unbroken forest of giant Mountain Ash trees and dense undergrowth. The world’s tallest hardwood trees grew at Thorpdale South, the biggest of which was measured at 375ft in height.

The soil in the area is particularly rich, as the town is located in a former volcanic crater. This fertile earth, along with plentiful and reliable rainfall, has proven to be Thorpdale's blessing: a perfect environment for crops such as potatoes, onions and fattening lambs to thrive.

The humble beginnings of the Thorpdale potato industry...

The early settlers found a potato crop an important ally in clearing the ferny hills and establishing a good pasture, as well as sometimes creating a small income. Until the mid 1950's most potatoes left the district by rail. Before the 1930's they arrived at the Thorpdale and Narracan stations by bullock dray or wagon, after a laborious journey through deep mud and over rutted, rough roads. As the roads improved motor transport became available, the loads increased and the task became less arduous.

ross liccardi bagging thorpdale potatoes
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We hope that you, and your family, can come and spend the day celebrating the humble spud with us.

Thorpdale Potato Festival Committee