Located in West Gippsland, Thorpdale sits high in the Strzelecki Ranges, 14 km south of Trafalgar and 134 km east of Melbourne.

The district, at the head of the Narracan Creek valley, was settled from the mid-1870s and was known as Narracan West. A small settlement 2 km south of present Thorpdale, soon had a school (1878), hall (1879), stores and hotel. In 1884 its name was changed to Thorpdale, from the Saxon word, thorp, meaning village, hence village in the valley.

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