11 fascinating things to do in Gundagai

Located in the heart of New South Wales’ Riverina area, Gundagai is an easy detour off the Hume Highway, on the drive between Melbourne and Sydney. Stop for an hour to stretch your legs, spend the night, or dive deeper, as you discover fun and interesting things to do in Gundagai.

One of the many historical buildings in Gundagai, framed by flowers.
Gundagai has some gorgeous buildings.

Located in the heart of the Riverina region of New South Wales, Gundagai has a rich history.

Being almost smack bang in between Melbourne and Sydney, this gorgeous town is the perfect stopover on this long drive.

Discover things to do in Gundagai, regardless of whether you’re stopping for a short period of time, or making a day/night of it.

Unmissable things to do in Gundagai

People horse riding in South Gundagai.

Where to stay in Gundagai

Having done the drive between Melbourne and Sydney more times than I can count, I can recommend both the Tuckerbox Motor Inn and Gundagai Motel as fine places to kip for the night.

If you’re looking to make a night of it, consider Nimbo Fork Lodge, which is a ten minute drive from the town centre. Set on a hillside, the lodges offer views of the surrounding region. Or enjoy the rustic rural life in a cottage or glamping tent at Hillview Farmstay.

Close up of the Dog on the Tuckerbox monument just outside of Gundagai. Viewing this sculpture is one of the top things to do in Gundagai.
The Dog on the Tuckerbox, a local landmark.

1. Say hi to the Dog on the Tuckerbox

A top Gundagai attraction, this is one of the most famous statues in Australia.

It’s based on the legend of the ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’, which itself originates from a poem – ‘Bullocky Bill’.

The poem centres around the bullockies, ‘pioneers’ who transported supplies before the advent of rail. I use pioneer loosely, as this land was already settled and occupies by First Nations Australians, long before Europeans arrived.

The bullockies were often accompanied by dogs, who guarded their possessions. Hence, the dog on the tuckerbox, guarding its masters food.

The Dog on the Tuckerbox statue was unveiled 28 November 1932. These days, it sits 8 kilometres up the road from Gundagai, just off the Hume Highway and is one of the top things to do in Gundagai.

Snap a photo with the famous statue, grab a bite to eat from the onsite cafe, buy a souvenir or simply walk around and stretch your legs.

View of farmlands, mountains and canola fields from the Rotary Lookout.
The Rotary Lookout in Gundagai offers up panoramic views.

2. Take in views of the town & surrounding valley

Nestled in the picturesque valleys of the Riverina, there’s a few places you can head to, for stunning views across Gundagai:

  • Rotary Lookout gives you a panoramic view of South Gundagai. Drive straight up Luke Street to get there
  • head to Mount Parnassus atop Hanley Street for sweeping views of the Murrumbidgee Valley
  • hike to the top of nearby Mount Kimo and be rewarded with a view from the top.

3. Visit Old Gundagai Gaol

If it’s one thing Australia has in abundance, it’s old gaols. Many are now historic sites and Gundagai’s is no exception.

Past inhabitants include bushangers John ‘Jack’ Peisley and Captain Moonlite, who is also buried in town.

The gaol is open 9am-3:30pm, during which time you can take a self-guided audio tour. At the time of writing, this is $10 AUD and can be organised at the Gundagai Visitor Information Centre.

Corner First Avenue & Byron St.

A birdhouse, with a sign that reads 'In 1832 on this spot nothing happened.'
Is that right?

4… & take a ghost tour

Scare yourself silly, exploring the old gaol after dark.

Tours are held around once a month. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.

5. Poke around Gundagai Historic Museum

There’s plenty to see in the local museum. Displays of pioneer life, farm machinery, a T-Model Ford and even Phar Lap’s saddlecloth.

One item of note are the gorgets (medallions) presented to Yarri and Jacky. These Wiradjuri men saved many lives during the great flood of 1852.

A statue in the centre of town commemorates their heroism.

Entry is $5.

1 Homer St.

Old petrol station in Gundagai with bright red petrol pump out the front.
Take in Gundagai’s gorgeous architecture while you’re there.

6. Wander along Gundagai’s Architectural Heritage Walk

The first thing you’ll notice on entering Gundagai, is that it’s chock-a-block full of gorgeous, historic buildings.

You can see the town’s main highlights on a dedicated two kilometre stroll, which starts and finishes at the Gundagai Visitor Information Centre.

The walk will take you pass places of interest such as the Old Gundagai Gaol, the Heritage Railway Station and several notable statues.

Drop into the Centre to pick up a brochure – or better yet, save paper by downloading the Cya on the Road app to your phone.

7. Drop into the Australian Road Transport Heritage Museum

Car mad? Then of all the things to do in Gundagai, this is a must for you.

The Australian Road Transport Heritage Museum contains a display of key vehicles and equipment used to develop the Australian road transport industry.

Entry is $5 – drive on in to learn about the history of the Hume Highway and the role Gundagai plays to this day.

Corner Tor St & Jack Moses Ave.

Statue of a small puppy. A plaque reads 'Tuckerbox Pup 'Chip'. Artist: Darien Pullen'.
One of the Tuckerbox pups, ‘Chip’.
The Great Rescue of 1852 in Gundagai.
The Great Rescue of 1852

8. Take in the town’s many sculptures

While the Dog on the Tuckerbox is the town’s best-known sculpture, there’s plenty more scattered around the place.

Alongside the aforementioned ‘The Great Rescue of 1852’, you’ll find ‘Dad Dave Mum & Mabel’ in Carberry Park – paying homage to the stories of author Steele Rudd.

There’s even three Tuckerbox Pups littered around town. They’ve been ‘adopted’ by local businesses – try to find all three!

9. View Rusconi’s Marble Masterpiece

Frank Rusconi is the sculptor responsible for the ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’. Along with this statue, he built a cathedral-in-miniature, out of 20,948 pieces of New South Wales marble.

The intricate sculpture is housed in the Visitor’s Centre and can be viewed for a small fee.

Gundagai's Railway Bridge.
The Railway Bridge stretches through town.

10. Check out the local historic bridges

Four bridges used to spread across the Murrumbidgee flats. Three remain.

The Railway Bridge is a timber viaduct of 819.4 metres, completed in 1902. You can view the bridge along the River Walk from Yarri Park.

You’ll definitely see the Sheahan Bridge, as you’ll undoubtedly drive across it! This dual bridge is part of the Hume Highway.

Town centre of Beechworth in Victoria, with a sign that reads '10 Stanley, 30 Myrtleford', nearby towns in the region.
The Snow Valleys Way starts in Gundagai and ends in the historic Victorian town of Beechworth.

11. Drive along Snow Valleys Way

The Hume can get a bit dull after a stretch of time. So, why not take a detour from Gundagai to the town of Beechworth in Victoria, along Snow Valleys Way?

This 300 kilometre route skirts along the edge of New South Wales’ snow country, travelling through bushland, over rivers and past charming small towns.

There’s plenty to do along the way. Drop into vineyard to sample cool-climate wine, wander scenic trails, take your pick of local produce and dip into thermal pools.

You can extend your stay in the area, spending a night in an eco-hut or at a farmstay.

And make sure you dedicate some time to exploring historic gold rush town Beechworth at journey’s end.

A vibrant mural of three cows.
The ‘Three Sisters of Gundagai’ mural by artist Yianni Johns.

Where to eat in Gundagai

Passing through Gundagai and wondering where to fuel up? Or spending a few hours in the town and planning out your meals?

Grab brekky and a cuppa joe at the Coffee Peddler, which claims to have the ‘best coffee between Sydney and Melbourne’ (as Gundagai is pretty much smack bang between the two – fair enough!). Pick up pies, sausage rolls and other traditional Australian bakery goodies at Gundagai Bakery, on Sheridan Street. Or dine in at the Niagara Cafe, located in refurbished Art Deco building.

If you’re keen to settle in and make a meal of it, torder a pizza from the Criterion Hotel or pub fare from the Gundagai Services Club.

There’s plenty of things to do in Gundagai – it’s a town worth at least stopping in, if you don’t stay awhile. If you’re interested in exploring more of the state, check out this list of top weekend getaways in NSW. And for more on Australia, see my Australia Travel Guide.

Dropping into Gundagai at some point in the future? Pin this post.

Located in the heart of New South Wales' Riverina area, Gundagai is an easy detour off the Hume Highway on the drive between Melbourne and Sydney. Stop for an hour to stretch your legs, spend the night, or dive deeper, as you discover fun and interesting things to do in Gundagai.

Gundagai is located on the lands of First Nations people. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of these lands and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.