Bruthen is situated on the Tambo River, 24 km north-east of Bairnsdale and 300 km east of Melbourne. Bruthen, or Brewathan as the area was first called, is thought to be a word of Aboriginal origin meaning bracken or place of evil spirit. In the 1840s, the first pastoralists used the Tambo Valley as a route from the Monaro to the Gippsland plains. Matthew and Thomas Macalister took up the area as Kilmorie run in 1845.

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