15 December 2019

Canberra Day Trips: There’s plenty to see on the road to Gundagai

| Canberra Day Trips
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Gundagai’s best known canine – the Dog on the Tuckerbox. Photo: Denisbin,

Gundagai is an iconic town in the Riverina region of NSW, made famous by its association with the Dog on the Tuckerbox and songs like On the Road to Gundagai. If you’ve ever done the drive down the Hume Highway to Melbourne, you may have stopped in Gundagai for a break, but it’s also an excellent location for a day trip. The town has a rich cultural heritage, and there’s also plenty of great fishing, some wineries and plenty of history to explore.

Things to do in Gundagai

Frank Rusconi’s marble masterpiece consists of 20,948 pieces of hand-cut and polished Australian marble. Photo: Tatters.

  • The Dog on the Tuckerbox statue is just out of town off the highway at Snake Gully. It depicts a faithful dog guarding his dead owner’s lunch box and is a popular stopping point for a picnic. Keep an eye out for boxes of freshly-picked apples and cherries for sale. They come straight from the orchards around the region in season.
  • In the town itself, there’s plenty to see, including Frank Rusconi’s Marble Masterpiece – an unusual artwork constructed over 28 years from 20 different kinds of marble. It stands 1120 mm high and can be seen at the Gundagai Visitor Information Centre.
  • Just across the road is another unique collection of statues – the Dad and Dave, Mum and Mabel Sculptures. The characters were the creation of Steele Rudd and gained fame via the popular radio serial Dad and Dave.
  • Take a walking tour around the town and discover gems like the Art Deco Theatre and a statue that honours the Wiradjuri flood heroes in what is known as the Great Flood of 1852. It’s estimated that around 100 people drowned and it remains the single worst natural disaster in Australia’s history. For something more upbeat, wander among the historic homes and admire the architecture of bygone times.
  • The Gabriel Gallery provides a unique record of the town between 1887-1927. The museum’s collection includes such rarities as Henry Lawson’s walking stick, dictionary and chair, items relating to Banjo Paterson, and the first X-ray machine brought into country NSW.
  • The Gundagai Historical Museum is another treasure trove of memorabilia with the displays depicting pioneer life in the region, bushranger history and accounts of the floods.
  • Head to the top of Mt Parnassus or drive up to the Rotary Lookout to enjoy panoramic views across the Murrumbidgee floodplain and see the town laid out before you.

Dad and Dave, Mum and Mabel statues in Carberry Park, Gundagai. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Getting there

Travel via the Barton and Hume Highways, past Yass. Gundagai is well signposted as you drive along the Hume, and just off the highway.

When to go

Check out the events calendar before you go. You’ll find all kinds of interesting activities to consider, including several jackaroo and jillaroo competitions and the Gundagai Rodeo.

Key details

  • Duration: 1 ¾ hours.
  • Distance from Canberra: 160km each way.
  • More information: Visit Gundagai

The Dog on the Tuckerbox is Gundagai’s most well-known landmark, but there are plenty of other reasons to love the town. Let us know your favourite places in Gundagai to visit.

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