Gundagai is a charming, historic medium-sized country town set at the foot of Mount Parnassus above the Murrumbidgee floodplains. It is hard to explain why it has become such an iconic Australian country town but, over the years, its association with the famous folklore image of the Dog on the Tuckerbox and its location in the heart of south-western New South Wales has resulted in a string of vernacular poems – ‘On the Road to Gundagai’, ‘Flash Jack from Gundagai’ and, most famously the sentimental song ‘Along the Road to Gundagai’ which, in 1922, became an international success and the signature tune for the popular radio show ‘Dad and Dave’. One explanation is that Five Mile Creek, to the north of town, was a popular meeting place for teamsters, drovers, shearers and bush travellers. It was a natural place for storytelling.
Today it is a model for any town aspiring to attract visitors interested in its history. Most of the historic buildings in Sheridan Street – and that includes the Court House, the pubs and the beautiful 1929 Gundagai Theatre – have been tastefully painted in heritage colours. The iconic Niagara Café, a classic country town Greek café, is still open and largely untouched from its golden era when it hosted Prime Minister John Curtin. And, as a neat counterpoint, next door is a very chic café serving classy coffee. Sheridan Street has been paved in modest, grey paving stones; the wide street has had small gardens added to give it a pleasing shape and to break up the main thoroughfare; and, in spring and summer, the bushes that line the main street are in flower. Add to this an interesting and impressive collection of historic signs (they are large, well designed and accompanied by historic photographs) so that exploring Sheridan Street is a celebration of the history of this remarkable town. The town’s main industries, unchanged since the nineteenth century, are sheep and cattle with a healthy dose of passing trade from people moving between Sydney and Melbourne (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).
Road trip to Gundagai – Adelong Falls Gold Mill
The Adelong Gold Rush began in 1852 with the discovery of alluvial gold at upper Adelong. The Adelong gold field was declared in 1855 and reef gold was discovered in 1857 in the hills above Adelong .The Reef ore was processed in the ore crushing mills along the creek. The biggest and most important of these mills was the Reefer ore crushing machine built by Scotsmen William Wilson and William Ritchie, which remains for all visitors to view from the platform or wander through to interpret how reef ore was processed.
After the short drive from Tumut, we arrived at Gundagai Cabins & Tourist Park for our final leg of our 19 caravan Bailey journey.
After 14 fantastic days of travel, exploration and making of new friends it was time to have our final dinner at the Gundagai Services Club with a private function roomed booked. It was really like a “last dinner” with us all arranged around a large “u-shaped” table.
Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory
This morning we said our farewells to our extended Bailey family and now the tour group is down to 2 caravans with Neil & Sharon and Neil & Merrisa.
We headed off to Junee (maplink) to check out the Junee Licorice Factory. What a hidden gem this place is, located in the old flour mill of Junee. We enjoyed a beautiful lunch in their cafe. They also have a fantastic array of goodies to be purchased.
After lunch we took a stroll thru the motor museum, which is a bit tired but still worth a look.
Here is a video about the Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory…