Small village in scenic setting
Trawool is a small township located in a scenic
river valley which has some repute with
holidaymakers. It is an agricultural and
dairying district bounded in the east by the
Bald Hills and to the west by Warrigul Rocks.
There is a resort in the town which is located
99 km north of Melbourne via the Hume Freeway
and 9 km south-east of Seymour.
The first Europeans in the vicinity of the
present townsite were the party of explorers
Hamilton Hume and William Hovell in 1824. They
were followed by Major Thomas Mitchell in 1835.
In his wake came overlander Joseph Hawdon who
took up the Tallarook Run in 1837 and it was on
a portion of this enormous sheep station that
Trawool would later emerge. Governor La Trobe
was a visitor at Tallarook in the early 1850s.
Farming began to emerge later in the century as
the pastoral estates were subdivided.
The Trawool Hotel was established at a river
crossing site, presumably in the 1870s. A punt
was used to ferry passengers across the river
until a bridge was built.
When a railway branch line from Tallarook to
Yea was created in 1883 the Trawool station was
built. The Trawool School was established in
1885, the post office in 1886 and a reservoir
was created at Trawool from 1889 to 1895 in
order to supply the people of Seymour with
water. The site was initially known as 'Traawool',
an indigenous word meaning 'wild water',
although the spelling had been changed by 1910.
After a period of growth in the 1880s the
burgeoning settlement went into decline amidst
the general depression of the following decade,
although a granite quarry was established in the
early 1890s which had its own railway siding,
known as 'Granite'. A couple of timber mills
also operated briefly around the turn of the
century. The fluctuations of the small
settlement's fortunes are reflected in the
vacillation of the school from full-time to
part-time status and in the transference of the
post office to Wittingslow from 1893 to 1900.
At the outset of the 20th century people
began to frequent the area owing to its scenic
qualities, the attractive Trawool Falls and the
increasingly popular Trawool Hotel. Special
extra-length trains were run to convey
holidaymakers who camped on the riverbanks and
purchased foodstuffs from the locals. Army
manoeuvres in Trawool in 1910 were overseen by
Lord Kitchener who was then visiting the
Bad floods hit the area in 1916 and 1920 and
both Anglican and Methodist church services
commenced in the schoolhouse in the 1920s.
Australian and American troops were stationed
at Trawool during World War II and the Americans
insisted on the chlorination of the water
supply. Electricity arrived in the district in
1945. Trawool school closed in 1959, the post
office followed suit in 1972 and the last train
travelled on the local railway line in 1978.
Discussion emerged in the 1970s regarding the
possibility of flooding the Trawool Valley to
create a hydro-electric scheme which caused
concern among locals who sought a classification
of the area by the National Trust which, in
1983, awarded it a Scenic Classification which
recognised its importance as a scenic,
geological and cultural site.
Hang-gliding from Warrigul Rocks (525 m above
sea-level) has been popular since 1977. A more
idiosyncratic local event is the Rotaract Raft
Race which sees hundreds of people rafting their
way from Trawool to Seymour every Labour Day.
The local custom is to stand upon the Trawool
bridge and shower the competitors with
Things to see:
Tourist Information and Bushwalking
The Seymour Visitors' Centre carries information
on Trawool, including a pamphlet outlining
bushwalks in the area, tel: (03) 5799 0233. The
major walk is a lengthy ramble along the
Rosehill Cottages and Gifts
Rosehill Guest Cottages and Bed-and-Breakfast,
at 5470 Goulburn Valley Highway, has a craft
shop, gallery and cafe. Gifts, pottery and
souvenirs are made on the premises. It is open
Thursday to Monday from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.,
tel: (03) 5799 1595.
The old schoolhouse (1885) at 5570 Goulburn
Valley Highway now functions as an art gallery
selling glassware, pottery and Australian art.
Morning and afternoon teas and light lunches are
served in the 100-year-old garden. The gallery
also operates as a bed-and-breakfast