Thursday, 3 May 2012


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 south-west of Sydney, the state capital and largest city in Australia. At the 2006 census the population of Gundagai was 1,998.

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'.  It is referenced in Scottish band Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie's song 'Dust'.

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'. 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.

The most famous landmark is the Dog on the Tuckerbox. Read the sign for the history!

This post is part of Lesley's Signs, Signs meme.

Here is 'Along The Road To Gundagai' performed by Jack Davidson & His Dandies in 1938.


  1. I always get this dog mixed up with a dog that sat on someone's grave!!!

  2. What fantastic place names you have in Aus. They have such rhythm it's no wonder they are included in so much poetry.

  3. The beginning of the musical sounded familiar, but I have no recollection of hearing this story (or the rest of the song!)

  4. You Aussies have the greatest stories. But what, pray tell, is a tuckerbox for those of us who are uneducated in the Aussie vernacular?

  5. Ah, Kathy! Sorry everyone, I keep forgetting that we Australians talk funny...

    "Tucker" is food, so "Tuckerbox", a box to store your food in!


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