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Wonthaggi is a town located 132 kilometres (82 mi) south east of Melbourne via the South Gippsland and Bass Highways, in the Bass Coast Shire of Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. The town, known originally for its coal mining, is now the regional service centre for tourism, beef and dairy industries, and at the 2006 census, it had a population of 6,529.

The name "Wonthaggi" is an Aboriginal word (from the Woiwurrung - Eastern Kulin) which means "to drag, carry or pull with the wind."

Cyclists on the Bass Coast Rail Trail stop at the historic reserve for the McBride Tunnel entrance of the Central Area Mine

Coal was discovered by explorer William Hovell at Cape Paterson in 1826, and was subsequently mined from the Powlett River fields in the region, between 1859 and 1864. However transporting the coal by whale boat through the surf to larger ships anchored offshore proved costly and dangerous and mining activity was soon curtailed. The coastal sands off Wonthaggi occasionally uncover the remains of ships wrecked along the coast.