New South Wales
The town and the Murrumbidgee floodplain in July 2005. The Hume Highway can be seen in the middle distance.
|Population||1,925 (2016 census)|
|Elevation||232 m (761 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council|
Gundagai // is a town in New South Wales, Australia. Although a small town, Gundagai is a popular topic for writers and has become a representative icon of a typical Australian country town. Located along the Murrumbidgee River and Muniong, Honeysuckle, Kimo, Mooney Mooney, Murrumbidgee and Tumut mountain ranges, Gundagai is 390 kilometres (240 mi) south-west of Sydney. Until 2016, Gundagai was the administrative centre of Gundagai Shire local government area. In the 2016 census the population of Gundagai was 1,925.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, and certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary, saints and angels. Though especially associated with "portrait" style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term also covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes.
Murrumbidgee River, a major tributary of the Murray River within the Murray–Darling basin and the second longest river in Australia. It flows through the Australian state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It descends 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) as it flows 1,485 kilometres (923 mi) in a west-northwesterly direction from the foot of Peppercorn Hill in the Fiery Range of the Snowy Mountains towards its confluence with the Murray River near Boundary Bend.
Gundagai is an inland town with an elevation of 250 metres (820 ft). Almost all of the shire is located in the South-West Slopes bioregion and is part of the Riverina agricultural region. The eastern part of the shire is considered part of the South Eastern Highlands bioregion.
The Riverina is an agricultural region of South-Western New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The Riverina is distinguished from other Australian regions by the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. This combination has allowed the Riverina to develop into one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse areas of Australia. Bordered on the south by the state of Victoria and on the east by the Great Dividing Range, the Riverina covers those areas of New South Wales in the Murray and Murrumbidgee drainage zones to their confluence in the west.
North Gundagai is situated on top of significant, Jindalee Group, Cambrian period geology from which the chrysotile asbestos bearing Gundagai serpentinite originatesalso indicating prehistoric links to the Gondwana supercontinent.
The Cambrian Period was the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, and of the Phanerozoic Eon. The Cambrian lasted 55.6 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran Period 541 million years ago (mya) to the beginning of the Ordovician Period 485.4 mya. Its subdivisions, and its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name of Wales, where Britain's Cambrian rocks are best exposed. The Cambrian is unique in its unusually high proportion of lagerstätte sedimentary deposits, sites of exceptional preservation where "soft" parts of organisms are preserved as well as their more resistant shells. As a result, our understanding of the Cambrian biology surpasses that of some later periods.
Chrysotile or white asbestos is the most commonly encountered form of asbestos, accounting for approximately 95% of the asbestos in the United States and a similar proportion in other countries. It is a soft, fibrous silicate mineral in the serpentine subgroup of phyllosilicates; as such, it is distinct from other asbestiform minerals in the amphibole group. Its idealized chemical formula is Mg3(Si2O5)(OH)4. The material has physical properties which make it desirable for inclusion in building materials, but poses serious health risks when dispersed into air and inhaled.
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals, which all have in common their asbestiform habit: i.e., long, thin fibrous crystals, with each visible fiber composed of millions of microscopic "fibrils" that can be released by abrasion and other processes. The minerals are chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite.
The Shire has been extensively cleared for agriculture and more than 80% of the area is used for dryland cropping and grazing. Less than 1% of the shire is managed for conservation. There are few remaining examples of the original vegetation cover.
Dryland farming and dry farming encompass specific agricultural techniques for the non-irrigated cultivation of crops. Dryland farming is associated with drylands, areas characterized by a cool wet season that is followed by a warm dry season. They are also associated with arid conditions or areas prone to drought or having scarce water resources. Additionally, arid-zone agriculture is being developed for this purpose.
Gundagai shire is primarily rural, with a small population. Eighty per cent of the shire's population live in the town of Gundagai. There are four villages in the Shire: Coolac, Tumblong, Muttama and Nangus, with populations ranging from 40 to 90 people.
Coolac is a village in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia in Gundagai Council. At the 2011 census, Coolac had a population of 216.
Tumblong is a village community in the central east part of the Riverina and situated about 18 kilometres (11 mi) south east from Mundarlo and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Adelong. At the 2011 census, Tumblong and the surrounding area had a population of 338.
Muttama is a rural community in the central east part of the Riverina. It is situated by road, about 24 kilometres south of Cootamundra and 17 kilometres north of Coolac.
Gundagai has a warm temperate climate.Under Köppen climate classification, the town has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with characteristics of the Mediterranean climate (Csa), since one summer month sees rainfall below 40mm.
In geography, the temperate or tepid climates of Earth occur in the middle latitudes, which span between the tropics and the polar regions of Earth. These zones generally have wider temperature ranges throughout the year and more distinct seasonal changes compared to tropical climates, where such variations are often small. They typically feature four distinct seasons, Summer the warmest, Autumn the transitioning season to Winter, the colder season, and Spring the transitioning season from winter back into summer. On the northern hemisphere the year starts with winter, transitions in the first halfyear through spring into summer which is in mid-year, then at the second halfyear through autumn into winter at year-end. On the southern hemisphere seasons are swapped with summer in between years and winter in mid-year.
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by the Russian climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, notably in 1918 and 1936. Later, the climatologist Rudolf Geiger introduced some changes to the classification system, which is thus sometimes called the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system.
A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitudes 25° and 40° and are located poleward from adjacent tropical climates. While many subtropical climates tend to be located at or near coastal locations, in some cases they extend inland, most notably in China and the United States, where they exhibit more pronounced seasonal variations and sharper contrasts between summer and winter, as part of a gradient between the more tropical climates of the southern coasts of these countries and the more continental climates of China and the United States’ northern and central regions.
|Climate data for Gundagai|
|Record high °C (°F)||43.7|
|Average high °C (°F)||32.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||16.7|
|Record low °C (°F)||5.9|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||39.0|
|Average precipitation days||5.7||5.5||5.4||5.4||7.1||11.7||13.4||11.8||10.9||9.6||8.3||7.1||101.9|
The name 'Gundagai' may derive from 'Gundagair', an 1838 pastoral run in the name of William Hutchinsonto the immediate north of current day Gundagai. The Aboriginal word 'gair' was recorded at Yass in 1836 by the naturalist George Bennett and means 'bird', as in budgerigar or good bird. In that context 'Gundagai' means place of birds but that placename may refer to the area to the north of Gundagai not to Gundagai town. The word 'Gundagai' is also said to mean cut with a hand-axe behind the knee.
In 1911 the total population of Gundagai Shire was 1,921. It changed little in the course of the twentieth century being 2,308 at the time of the 1981 census and 1,998 at the 2006 census.
At the 2016 census, Gundagai recorded a population of 1,925 people. 85.6% of people were born in Australia and 90.4% of people spoke only English at home. The most common ancestries in Gundagai were Australian 38.6%, English 33.2%, Irish 9.8% and Scottish 4.3%. The most common responses for religion were Anglican 39.8%, Catholic 32.5% and No Religion 11.8%.
The Gundagai area is part of the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri speaking people, while there is a considerable folklore associated with Aboriginal cultural and spiritual beliefs in the area. The floodplains of the Murrumbidgee below the present town of Gundagai were a frequent meeting place of the Wiradjuri. [ citation needed ]
The first moves to establish 'Gundagai' as a township were in 1838 with plans for the new settlement of Gundagae on the Murrumbidgee, about 54 miles beyond Yass ... advertised for viewing at the office of the Surveyor-General in Sydney.
Australian-born Hamilton Hume and British immigrant William Hovell passed through the region in November 1824 when they passed to the south, near the future site of Tumut. Hovell recorded seeing trees already marked by steel tommyhawks.
On 25 September 2011, the Right Reverend Trevor Edwards, Vicar General of the Anglican Church and Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, dressed in traditional white mid-nineteenth century garb, led the commemorative church service for the 150th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of St John's Anglican, (formerly Church of England), Church, Gundagai. Bishop Edwards noted that following on the path of the explorers Hume and Hovell, the first Gundagai settlers found a wonderful land on which to establish a town, which was gazetted in 1838 but until 1850, relied on ministry from Yass.A local settler named 'Warby' is recorded as having followed Hume and Hovell's tracks to the junction of the Murrumbidgee and Tumut Rivers and having taken up a pastoral lease of 19,200 acres ... at a rent of thirty-three pounds per annum. ... He called the property 'Minghee' later called 'Mingay'.
Charles Sturt travelled through the area in 1829 at the start of his voyage in search of an inland sea then believed to exist in outback Australia. Sturt again passed through Gundagai on the return leg of this journey in 1830, and returned in 1838 in company with the Hawdon and Bonney overlanding parties.At the time of Sturt's 1829–1830 journey, he found several settlers in the district: Henry O'Brien at Jugiong , William Warby at Mingay and the Stuckey Brothers, Peter and Henry at Willie Ploma and Tumblong . These settlers were beyond the limits of location as the district was not within the Nineteen Counties.
In April 1835 William Adams Brodribb junior moved to New South Wales and became a partner in a cattle station at Maneroo. In 1836 he overlanded the second draft of cattle to Melbourne. On returning from Port Phillip Brodribb relocated to what later became the site of Gundagai. In August Brodribb petitioned for a punt over the Murrumbidgee near his Gundagai hut, and in January 1838 Deputy Surveyor General Samuel Perry reported that 'a better site could not have been chosen for a Town of the first class' in reference to Gundagai.
Lady Jane Franklin, the wife of the governor of Tasmania, Sir John Franklin, travelled through Gundagai on 27 April 1839 and noted Andrews' store and public house establishment, that had a neat verandah and shuttered hut.
Edward John Eyre, Australian explorer and later Governor of Jamaica, left Sydney in late 1838 in an effort to find a practical route to overland stock to Adelaide, and then on to open communication between Adelaide and West Australia.Eyre left the Limestone Plains near today's Canberra with stock on 5 December 1838. On reaching the Murrumbidgee River at Gundagai, Eyre, accompanied by two aboriginal youths, Yarrie and Joey, turned down the river to the westward instead of following further south and travelled along the northern bank of the river for the better supply of water and feed available for his stock. Eyre crossed the river twice at Gundagai to avoid some ranges.
Whilst living and working at William Warby's establishment, Caroline McAlister (wife of Thomas McAlister) gave birth to a son 'John' on 21 June 1832,who may have been one of the first known children of European descent born in the Gundagai area.
The herds of John Macarthur, Throsby and Ellis, were along the Murrumbidgee by late 1831.
In the 1830s, Horatio Wills and his family lived near Gundagai.The Wills' son, Thomas Wills who was born in the Gundagai area, is credited with co-inventing Australian Rules football and for being coach and captain to the first Australian Aboriginal cricket team.
Gundagai Aboriginal Elders, Jimmy Clements and John Noble, attended the 1927 opening of the new Federal Parliament House in Canberra by the Duke of York (later George VI.) Jimmy Clements also known as King Billy whose traditional name was 'Yangar',walked forward to respectfully salute the Duke and Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother), and after that the two Elders were formally presented to the Royal couple as prominent citizens of Australia.
Gundagai Post Office opened on 1 April 1843 as the township (gazetted in 1838) developed.
The railway reached Gundagai in 1886 with a branch line to Tumut from Cootamundra on the Main Southern railway line. The branch line was extended reaching Tumut in 1903and Batlow and Kunama, at the end of the Tumut and Kunama railway lines, in 1923. The line was finally closed after flood damage in 1984.
The original European town that was gazetted as Gundagai in 1838 was situated on the right hand bank of the Murrumbidgee River floodplain at the place colloquially known as 'The Crossing Place'. This town was hit by several large floods of the Murrumbidgee River. The Crown Commissioner for the Murrumbidgee District, Henry Bingham, praised the heroic actions of Aboriginal people at Gundagai in rescuing settlers from the 1844 flood. Bingham also requested a reward for local Aboriginal people.
Gundagai was still considered a frontier town in 1852.The 25 June 1852 Murrumbidgee flood swept the first colonial town of Gundagai away, killing at least 78 people (perhaps 89) of the town's population of 250 people; it is one of the largest natural disasters in Australia's history. Local Aboriginal men, Yarri, Jacky Jacky, Long Jimmy and one other played a role in saving many Gundagai people from the 1852 floodwaters, rescuing more than 40 people using bark canoes. A bronze sculpture of Yarri and Jacky Jacky with a canoe was unveiled in Gundagai in 2017; the number of people whom they saved is estimated as 68, one third of the town's population.
Yarri was also known as Yarree or Coonong Denamundinna, and is believed to have killed John Baxter on the Edward John Eyre expedition in 1841,and also to have killed a young part Aboriginal woman 'Sally McLeod' near Gundagai in 1852. Warrants for Yarri/Yarree's arrest were issued by NSW Police after Brungle Aboriginal people reported him to the police over the Sally McLeod murder. Following an even higher flood in 1853, North Gundagai was redeveloped at its current site on Asbestos Hill and Mount Parnassus, above the river, and at South Gundagai on the slopes of Brummies Hill, using pre-existing surveyors plans. The town commemorated the sesquicentenary of the 1852 flood in 2002.
The flood of June 1891 left several pastoral workers and four rescuers who set out in a boat, stranded in trees just to the south of Gundagai. Edward True dragged a light skiff several miles over hills to the rescue site and managed to save several men from drowning.True also saved a young boy from drowning in a waterhole in 1887 and was awarded a Royal Humane Society of Australasia bravery award for that rescue as well. Edward True could not swim.
In recent years the Gundagai wetlands and marshes that were home to many bird species, have disappeared, largely as a result of ground compaction by cattle and Gundagai Shire Council diverting ground water into underground pipes. These wetlands were on the North Gundagai Common; adjacent to the Gundagai High School; between Bourke and West Streets to the north of Punch Street; to the west and north of the North Gundagai cemetery; and at Coolac.
Major floods also occurred in 1974 and 2012.
As early as 1838 the Gundagai and Yass areas were being terrorised by armed bushrangers. Four men held up Robert Phillips and took a horse, the property of William Hutchinson, (who had possession of the land to the immediate north of Gundagai), of Murrumbidgee.On one occasion in 1843 a gang of five bushrangers, including the bushranger called 'Blue Cap', held up and robbed Mr Andrews, the Gundagai postmaster and innkeeper. Cushan the bushranger was known to be operating in the area in 1846, and in 1850, to the south of Gundagai near Tarcutta, two bushrangers held up the Royal Mail, stole the Albury and Melbourne mailbags and rode off with the mail coach's horses. In 1862 at Bethungra to the west of Gundagai in the Gundagai Police District, the bushranger Jack-in-the-Boots was captured. A plot to rescue Jack-in-the-Boots whose real name was Molloy, from police custody while he was being transferred from Gundagai to Yass gaol, was discovered. In February 1862, the bushranger Peisley was captured near Mundarlo and by that evening was lodged in the Gundagai Gaol. Peisley was later hanged at Bathurst. In 1863, the bushrangers Stanley and Jones were arrested at Tumut after they had allegedly stolen saddles at Gundagai and hatched a plan to rob Mr. Norton's store. Stanley could not be identified. In 1864, Jones was found not guilty. Sergeant Parry was shot and killed in 1864 by the bushranger John Gilbert in a hold-up of the mail coach near Jugiong. Gilbert was a member of Ben Hall's gang that was active in the district in 1863-64. Patrick Gately and Patrick Lawler held up Keane's pub at Coolac in April, 1866. Also in the 1860s, to the north of Adelong, the bushranger Hawthorne mistook a man by the name of Grant for William Williams the gold mine owner, and killed Grant. By 1869, Harry Power, early mentor of famous Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly, was committing holdups near Adelong and as icing on the cake, by 1874 the bushranger prettily known as Jerry Blossom, was entertaining the district. In 1880, bushrangers held up the Chinese Camp at Gundagai then fled on horseback towards Burra, a locality known to harbour louts and for the ferocious fires that roar through the area.
Early in 1879, some Gundagai residents were in fear that the Ned Kelly gang was going to pay the town a visit and while Extra rifles and ammunition to defend the town..were applied for and special constables were sworn in, the Kelly Gang did turn up in the town.
The North Gundagai Anglican cemetery contains the graves of two policemen shot in the district by bushrangers. Senior Constable Webb-Bowen was killed by Captain Moonlite in November 1879 in a hostage incident at McGlede's farm.Trooper Edmund Parry, killed in an encounter with Ben Hall's gang near Jugiong, lies at rest next to the grave of Senior Constable Webb-Bowen. Captain Moonlite is also buried in the North Gundagai Anglican cemetery. Captain Moonlite had asked to be buried at Gundagai near his friends James Nesbitt and Augustus Wernicke . Both had been killed in the shoot-out at McGlede's Hut. Moonlite's request was not granted by the authorities of the time, but his remains were exhumed from Rookwood Cemetery and reinterred at Gundagai near to the unknown location of Nesbitt's grave in January 1995.
In the 1950s bushrangers reappeared in the Gundagai area, jumping into the trailers of heavy transports moving along the Hume Highway and throwing contents out to nearby accomplices.
The old Gundagai Flour Mill in Sheridan Lane was also known as 'The Sundowners' for the swaggies that camped there each night.'Sam the Sundowner' a famous Australian swaggie and principal character in the Australian comedy drama, 'The Road to Gundagai', was a regular resident at the Gundagai 'Sundowners' and was known for the rescues he made of near to drowning people from the inland rivers.
In 1901, there was a very large camp of unemployed men and their families at South Gundagai waiting for the proposed Gundagai Rail Line to begin construction. Five hundred of these men marched from south to north Gundagai accompanied by the town band, to try to move commencement of the project, forward. [ citation needed ]There was a railway worker canvas town near the Gundagai Rail Station. Rail workers and their families who moved to Gundagai to work on the rail line, lived in tents in that area into the 1950s. The Chinese camp was in the area of today's Bowls Club as were the Chinese gardens. Burials of deceased Chinese people were in the pagan ground. All mine sites, of which there were several around Gundagai such as Burra, Reno, Jackalass, Jones Creek and Coolac, had miner's camps at or near them. The hill to the north of Gundagai known as Flower Hill once had a large tent settlement that was larger than the permanent North Gundagai residential area. Likewise the Spring Flat goldfield adjacent to the North Gundagai cemetery resulted in a sizeable tent township appearing there.
There were several riverboats associated with Gundagai. The 'Explorer', the 'Gundagai', the 'Albury', the 'Nangus' and the 'J.H.P.'. Captain Francis Cadell ran the first steamer on the Murray River in 1853. In 1856 the sister steamers, the 'Albury' and the 'Gundagai' were bought from Scotland to Goolwa in pieces, by Captain Cadell, assembled at Goolwa then launched.
In 1855 Captain Cadell was aboard the paddlewheel steamer 'Gundagai' for the first journey in it north of Goolwa,then in 1856 explored the Edward River system as Captain of the 'Gundagai'. By 1865, the steamer 'Gundagai' under the command of Captain Cadell, was providing a transport service between Wanganui and the Waitotara in New Zealand, and getting supplies to troops, in support of the British Crown and the Crown's involvement in the New Zealand Wars. Captain Cadell became 'Superintendent of Colonial Transport (water)' for New Zealand. On 25 June 1866 near Patea New Zealand, the little paddlewheel steamer and expert crosser of sandbars, the 'Gundagai' went onshore and broke in half. All hands were rescued.
On 16 September 1858, the steamer 'Albury', under the command of Captain George Johnston with Captain Cadell on board, moored at Gundagaion the north bank of the Murrumbidgee at what was hoped to be named the 'Albury Wharf', after taking a bit over a month to ascend the Murrumbidgee from Lake Alexandrina. The 'Albury' was the first steamer known to visit Gundagai. The steamer 'Albury' was tied up to an old gum tree at Gundagai by Mr Norton of Gundagai who two years previously had the honour of naming the boat that set off from Gundagai to survey the Murrumbidgee under the command of Captain Robinson, the 'Explorer'. Captain Robinson's 1855 survey of the Murrumbidgee in the 'Explorer' was for the purpose of ascertaining If that river presents any serious impediments to internal navigation and the incentive for that survey came from Captain Cadell.
The steamer 'Nangus' was constructed by the engineer Mr. Chapman of Sydney, at Nangus Station near Gundagai for Mr Jenkins, owner of Nangus Station, to ply the Murrumbidgee River between Gundagai and Hay and she made her maiden journey in 1865. The steamer 'Nangus' was a 12-horsepower, 70 feet long iron vessel, with two side paddles and towing two iron barges.The 'Nangus' sank near Wagga after hitting a snag in 1867.
The steamer 'J.H.P.' was launched in 1866 and sank between Hay and Balranald in October 1868. It was raised but sank twice more than was dismantled in 1879.On 20 September 1870, the 'J.H.P.' then owned by Edward Warby, journeyed up the Murrumbidgee from Wagga to Gundagai without incident.
Gundagai has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
Gundagai is located at a crossing place of the Murrumbidgee River. There were several places at Gundagai that travellers could and did cross the river. The route across the Murrumbidgee at Gundagai eventually became the Great South Road.
The Main Roads Management Act of June 1858 declared the Great Southern Road, from near Sydney through Goulburn and Gundagai to Albury, as one of the three main roads in the colony. However, its southern reaches were described as only a 'scarcely formed bullock track' as late as 1858. The road was improved in the mid-1860s with some sections near Gundagai metalled and all creeks bridged between Adelong Creek (approximately 10 kilometres south of Gundagai) and Albury.In 1914 the road was declared a main road of New South Wales, and subsequently designated as state highway 2 and named the Hume Highway in 1928. The highway bypassed Gundagai in 1977 with the opening of the Sheahan Bridge.
There are several old fords at Gundagai including:
There is also the Wantabadgery crossing place that these days has been replaced by the low level Mundarlo Bridge, downstream of Gundagai.
Often bridges have replaced fords but not always in exactly the same location, as bridges require high stream banks, whereas fords favour low banks. Two known old bridges on Morleys Creek no longer exist. Learys Bridge, a wooden bridge that crossed Morleys Creek in line with Byron Street, Gundagai was burned down by Gundagai Shire Council in the 1990s. Rileys Bridge that crossed Morleys Creek at the midpoint between Byron and Homer Streets was washed away in the 1851 Gundagai flood.
In 1865, a wrought iron truss bridge, the Prince Alfred Bridge, was completed across the Murrumbidgee River. The bridge was designed by William Christopher Bennettand was constructed by Francis Bell and Frederick Augustus Franklin and had a total length of 314 m, including three wrought iron truss spans each of 31.4 m across the river itself, two southern approach spans of timber, and twenty-three northern approach spans of 9.14 m, also of timber, rising on a gradient of 1 in 30 from the level of the floodplain. It was the first iron truss bridge to be built in New South Wales.
Sometime before 1896, the twenty-three northern spans were replaced with a longer structure consisting of 105 timber spans varying from 4.6 m to 9.14 m long, crossing the full width of the floodplain. In that year a ramp was installed on the western side of the bridge six spans north of the three main spans, in roughly the same location as the present ramp, in order to divert traffic from the timber approach spans, presumably because of maintenance problems with these spans.
In 1896, the 105 northern approach spans were replaced by a new approach structure of seventy-six spans on a different alignment, and the southern approach was slightly lengthened, giving a total length of 922 metres, which was 12 m less than the previous length. It remained the longest bridge in New South Wales until 1932 when the Sydney Harbour Bridge was completed, .In this configuration the bridge remained in use until 1977, but extensive repair work was carried out in the early 1930s.
In 1903 a second (railway) bridge across the Murrumbdgee with a total length of 819 metres was built for the extension of the railway from Gundagai to Tumut.[ citation needed ]
In 1977, a third bridge, the Sheahan bridge was opened, a prestressed concrete bridge as part of the Hume Highway bypass of Gundagai, to replace the Prince Alfred Bridge. It closely follows the alignment of one of the options considered in the early 1930s for a replacement bridge as an alternative to the repair of the Prince Alfred Bridge. It is 1,143 metres (3,750 ft) long, 6 m shorter than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was named after Bill Sheahan (1895–1975), who was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Yass from 1941–1950 and for Burrinjuck from 1950–1973 and held various ministerial portfolios. In 2010, it was duplicated to carry the southbound carriageway of the Hume Highway.
Other than tourism generated by bush appeal and the historic bridges, Gundagai's economy remains driven by sheep and cattle, as well as wheat, lucerne and maize production. [ citation needed ]
As of 2005, secondary industries in Gundagai included the Gundagai Meat Processors Plant and D J Lynch Engineering. The meatworks is the shire's largest single employer with over 100 employees.The latter firm has produced work for major construction projects, including building steel spans for the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.
Gold was identified by the geologist Rev. W. B. Clarke at Gundagai in 1842.A gold rush hit the area in 1858 following further discoveries of gold and mining continued initially until 1875 and following a second gold rush in 1894, mines operated again until well into the 20th Century with some mining activity still occurring in 2007. The best known historical mines were the 'Robinson and Rice's Mine' (Long Tunnel Mine) a few miles to the south west of Gundagai and the 'Prince of Wales Mine' (where Herbert Hoover, the future President of the United States, was the mining engineer in about 1900 ) a few miles to the immediate west of Gundagai. Both mines struck the orebody in quartz reefs along serpentine/diorite contact zones with finds of gold telluride (of bismuth origin) also found.
'Nangus Island' in the middle of the Murrumbidgee River at Nangus is marked as one of the early goldfields and was previously named 'M'Arthur Island'. The island is adjacent to where the highly auriferous Adelong Creek enters the Murrumbidgee.
Asbestos was first mined commercially in Australia, at Gundagai.Actinolite was mined along Jones Creek just to the west of the town but there are several deposits in the immediate area. Some fibres were two feet long. Prior to 1918 this was the only source of asbestos in New South Wales. Northern Gundagai is built on a hill sometimes known as 'Asbestos Hill' and excavations in the area free the asbestos into the air.
Chromite, talc, magnesite, copper and slate were also mined at Gundagai. [ citation needed ]
Local monumental mason, Frank Rusconi, carved a miniature Baroque Italian palace from 20,948 pieces of marble collected from around New South Wales. The work is 1.2 metres high and, commencing in 1910, took 28 years to complete. It can be seen in the Gundagai tourist office.Rusconi was also the sculptor of the base of the Dog on the Tuckerbox monument. As bronze was not Rusconi's medium, the rest of the monument was cast at Oliver's Foundry in Sydney.
The Niagara cafe opened in 1938 and was a notable stop on the Hume Highway.The cafe makes much of a brief visit by then Prime Minister, John Curtin, in 1942, with a display in the window of the cafe of the crockery used by Curtin and Curtin's link to the cafe.
A number of places in Gundagai are on the New South Wales state heritage register and on the Register of the National Estate.
Although a small town, Gundagai is a popular topic for writers, including writers of poems and songs,and has become the representation of the typical Australian country town. Gundagai also has a long and strong oral tradition or folklore related to both Aboriginal and European events, as the location was an important gathering place and river crossing for teamsters ("bullockies"), bush travellers, swagmen, shearers and drovers,.
Gundagai, perhaps more than any other Australian locality, is referenced in stories, songs and poems. These include Theta's poem,'Ode to the Dead of Gundagai'.James Riley, 'The Gundagai Calamity', Jack Moses and others in 'Nine Miles From Gundagai', Jack O'Hagan songs 'Where the Dog Sits on the Tuckerbox (five miles from Gundagai)', 'Along The Road To Gundagai', 'Snake Gully Swagger', and 'When a Boy from Alabama Meets a Girl from Gundagai,' Gundagai also features in the song 'The Grand Old Hills of Gundagai,' A 2010 publication 'Purple Threads' by Jeanine Leane has won a major literary award, the David Unaipon Award, and has been shortlisted for a Commonwealth literary award.
Other references in literature include Banjo Paterson's 'The Road to Gundagai,'and the traditional ballad 'Flash Jack from Gundagai'. The great British folksinger A L Lloyd, who spent time in Australia, recorded both the shearing song ‘Flash Jack from Gundagai’ and ‘The Road to Gundagai’. Additionally, the town is mentioned in Henry Lawson's 'Scots of the Riverina,' and C. J. Dennis' 'The Traveller.' Miles Franklin's 'Brent of Bin Bin,' saga is set in the area and it includes an account of the flood of 1852.
Between 1899 and 1900, Dr Louis Gabriel, took up photography, photographing townlife in the period up to c.1906, when his responsibilities for the new hospital took precedence. He is considered one of Australia's best early documentary photographers, partly for his observant, astute and dispassionate approach. However, they are sometimes highly stylised by integrating his and others shadows in the image, or by making full use of the radical perspective of a wide-angle lens. The question of how and why his images are outstanding is central to the novel 'Belonging' written by G McDougall.The equally interesting story of how Gabriel's glass-plate negatives came into the National Library's possession is found in the NLA's 'Gundagai Album'.The negatives were preserved and presented to the National Library of Australia after his death and a selection were published in 1976 as a Gundagai Album.
The Snake Gully Cup festival is held each November featuring the Snake Gully Cup two-day racing carnival. It is one of southern New South Wales' premier race events. The idea of conducting a race called the Snake Gully Cup was originally floated in a committee meeting of the Gundagai Adelong racing club in the early 1970s. [ citation needed ] The race however did not materialise due to the lack of he support from the committee of the day. The idea gained real momentum at the unveiling of the statues of Dad, Dave, Mum and Mabel at the Snake Gully Service Centre in November 1979 when Ted Tout, one of the principles of the centre mentioned the possibility of a Snake Gully Cup being run as a picnic race meeting similar to the very popular Bong Bong Cup meeting. In November 1982, the Gundagai Adelong Racing Club conducted a mid-week race meeting as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Dog on the Tuckerbox. The feature race at the meeting was the Snake Gully Flying Handicap, a 1000 metres. [ citation needed ] The Snake Gully Flying Handicap remained as the feature race of the clubs November meeting for the next two years. In 1984 the Club applied for TAB status for the 1985 meeting when the proposal was to conduct the first Snake Gully Cup over 1400 metres. The application was unsuccessful. This was the beginning of the Snake Gully Cup in its current format. In 1990 the club once again applied for TAB status for the Cup and were successful in securing this for the 1992 Cup. From that date the Cup has only been conducted on a Friday. The second day of the meet is called 'Hair Of the Dog' and is a more family orientated race day.
Gundagai has a 'Mud Muster' put on by the Nowra Mud, Sweat and Beers people and in 2016 it is being held on 2 April 2016. Gundagai Shire Council sponsor the event. The event involves digging large mud pits throughout the highly significant and documented Aboriginal ceremonial ground on the North Gundagai Common and filling those very large and deep holes with water, then hundreds of competitors wallow through these pits and other obstacles.
The town's rugby league team competed in the Maher Cup.
The Turning Wave Festival (a music and cultural festival celebrating Irish and Celtic migration to Australia) was held in Gundagai up to 2011, but moved to Yass in 2012.
The Snowy Mountains Highway is a 333-kilometre-long (207 mi) state highway located in New South Wales, Australia. Its two sections connect the New South Wales South Coast to the Monaro region, and the Monaro to the South West Slopes via the Snowy Mountains. The higher altitude regions of this road are subject to snow over the winter months, and the road also provides access to many parts of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. The highway bears the B72 shield along its entire length.
Tumut is a town in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia, situated on the banks of the Tumut River.
William Francis Sheahan also known as Bill Sheahan or Billy Sheahan, was an Australian politician, elected as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.
Tumbarumba Shire was a local government area in the eastern Riverina region, located in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, on the upper reaches of the Murray River in New South Wales, Australia. The Shire included the town of Tumbarumba and the small towns of Rosewood, Tooma, Khancoban and Jingellic.
The Deua River, being the main perennial river of the Moruya River catchment, is located in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia.
The Tumut and Kunama railway lines are disused railway lines in the south of New South Wales, Australia. The Tumut line was a 104 kilometres (65 mi) long branch of the Main South line, branching southwards from it at Cootamundra and heading to the town of Tumut. The line served the towns of Tumut and Gundagai, where the line crosses the Murrumbidgee River with a large iron girder bridge and wooden viaduct. Villages on the line included Brawlin, Muttama, Coolac and Tumblong.
The Tumut River, a perennial stream that is part of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the Snowy Mountains and South West Slopes districts of New South Wales, Australia.
Gundagai is a place of considerable reputed Aboriginal cultural significance, with both archaeological sites and anthropological associations related to sacred and spiritual beliefs of the local clan group and wider cultural associations.
The Prince Alfred Bridge is a wrought iron truss and timber beam road bridge over the Murrumbidgee River and its floodplain at Gundagai, New South Wales.
The Tumut and Adelong Times and Batlow District News is an English language newspaper currently published in Tumut, New South Wales. It was first published as The Tumut and Adelong Times and has absorbed Adelong and Tumut Express and Batlow District News, Tumut-Batlow-Adelong District News, The Tumut Advocate and Farmers & Settlers' Adviser and The Adelong Argus, Tumut and Gundagai Advertiser.
Yarri also spelled "Yarrie" or "Yarry" was an Australian Aboriginal man of the Wiradjuri language group who rescued 49 people from the flooded Murrumbidgee River in Gundagai on the night of 24 June 1852.
The Gundagai Independent is a newspaper published in Gundagai, New South Wales, Australia since 1898. It was previously published as The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural and Mining Advocate.
The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong, and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser was a newspaper published in Gundagai, New South Wales, Australia from 1868 to 1931. It was also published as Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser and Gundagai Times and was absorbed into The Gundagai Independent in 1931.
Mr Meeson's Will is an 1888 novel by H. Rider Haggard. It was based on a well known anecdote of the time. The plot concerns a marooned man's will tattooed on the back of a woman.
Bongongolong is an Australian district and cadastral parish of rural smallholdings within the bounded locality of Burra Creek of Gundagai Shire in the Riverina region of New South Wales. It is located approximately 17 km (11 mi) north west of Gundagai, within the Jones Creek district.
The Adelong Creek, a perennial river that is part of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the South West Slopes, and Riverina regions of New South Wales, Australia.
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council is a local government area located in the South West Slopes and Riverina regions of New South Wales, Australia. The council was formed on 12 May 2016 through a merger of the Cootamundra and Gundagai shires. Originally named Gundagai Council, the name was changed Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council on 7 September 2016.
Whyman McLean was an Australian Aboriginal man, a religious missionary who later served as an Aboriginal tracker in the New South Wales Police Force for thirty years until his retirement in 1925.
The Murrumbidgee River railway bridge is a heritage-listed railway bridge across the Murrumbidgee River located on the Tumut railway line at Gundagai in the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council local government area of New South Wales, Australia. It was built in 1903. It is also known as the Gundagai Rail Bridge over Murrumbidgee River and the Murrumbidgee River Railway Bridge. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
His name must never be mentioned on the farm by Gundagai— // They were Scots of the Riverina with ever the kirk hard by. ... There were tears at the Grahame homestead and grief in Gundagai; ...
As I rode in to Gundagai, //I met a man and passed him by // Without a nod, without a word. // He turned, and said he'd never heard // Or seen a man so wise as I. // But I rode on to Gundagai.
This book first appeared in 1936 in 'The Bulletin' as a serial under the pen-name of 'Brent of Bin Bin' and it presents Stella's grandfather [Joseph Franklin] with some accuracy. ... Because family fortunes were at low ebb, Joseph then set out for the Victorian gold-fields in 1852, the year that floods washed away the first settlements at Gundagai, Tumut and even part of Yass. Crossing a flooded river south of Gundagai, Joseph lost his saddle and swag and almost died of hunger as a consequence.