The Dog on the Tuckerbox – Gundagai
“And the dog sat on the tuckerbox, nine miles from Gundagai”,
according to a popular Australian folk song.
Well, actually the tourist attraction at Snake Gully is a little over 4 miles or 7 kilometres from Gundagai.
Then Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons unveiled the bronze cast statue in 1932 as a tribute to pioneers and “bullockys” who made the highway possible. During the pioneering days, the highway was little more than a treacherous bush track.
The Dog on the Tuckerbox memorial was inspired by the folk song “Bullocky Bill”. The bush ballad tells the woes of a drover whose dog had sat on his lunch as the final misfortune of the day.
Today the The icon is a popular stop off between Sydney and Melbourne, with garden areas to stroll through, a cafe and a gift shop where you can pick up a little “Australiana”. It was also the fitting place for four hungry dogs to stop for a drink and a bite to eat on our way to Melbourne.
For a major tourist attraction, it is surprisingly un-commercialised and retains a lot of it’s integrity as a remote bullocky post.
Great stop off for dogs
It may seem a little kitsch, but the area is actually a great stop-off when travelling with dogs. There is a huge grassed area, where you are welcome to let well behaved dogs off-leash. They even provide a “Doggy Loo” where you can dispose of your dog’s waste.
Just be mindful if exercising your dogs in this area, that not all dogs will appreciate your dog bounding up to say hello.
Ours had a wonderful time running around the paddock, and exploring all the fun things around the precinct.
Five Mile inn
The “Five Mile” inn was initially developed as an overnight stop for bullocky’s on the Sydney to Melbourne overland route, which was opened in 1836. The area had a brief gold rush during the 1860’s but was primarily agricultural. During the 1880’s vineyards flourished in the area. A number of relics of the area’s bullocky days can be seen around the site today.
Relics from the bullocky days
Joseph and Rosanna Carberry established “Limestone Inn” on the site in 1858. The twelve rooms, stone stables and outbuildings catered to the passing trade on the Sydney to Melbourne road. The inn lasted only until 1876, and the ruins can be seen in the grounds today. Even looking around today, you can imagine how remote the surroundings would have been during this time and how easy it would have been for bushrangers to raid the pub back in 1861.
Even the giftshop and cafe are very doggy-themed. Anyone who has a fur-kid will enjoy browsing through some of the souvenirs while they wait for a quick burger to eat on the picnic tables outside.
The Dog on the Tuckerbox precinct has a number of interesting areas to browse through and a number of eateries. It provides a perfect stopping place for anyone travelling with dogs from Sydney to Melbourne.