Road trip with Clarisse along the Hume Highway.

A couple of days ago, Clarisse and I took a road trip to deliver her to her new home at my Dad’s house in Goulburn. Gary wasn’t coming as he had work, but I headed up to Dads for a Birthday visit.

Having made the trip quite a few times, and because Clarisse is a metal chicken, I drove while she sat there not doing anything and we made a few stops along the way at some of the more memorable landmarks.

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I did the driving, so Clarisse read a little

Our first stop was at Holbrook.

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The main reason people stop here is because it’s 4+ hours inland and yet there’s still a submarine embedded into the ground, which you can climb on, in, and around. For more information about it, this siteis a good brief history of why there’s a submarine in Holbrook.

Our next stop was Tarcutta.

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It may not look like much, but Tarcutta is the halfway point along the Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney. It’s the traditional stopping point for a lot of the truck drivers carting goods along the Hume.

There’s also a monument here, listing the names of Truck Drivers who have died along the highway.

It seems a little sad now that they have finished all the work on the Hume, and there’s now bypasses around both Holbrook and Tarcutta. We always drove through those towns on our way between mum and dad’s house as children so I’m kind of attached to them.

Anyway, we continued on down the road and got to Gundagai. Gundagai is a well known location in Australian folklore. I like it for a couple of reasons. One is the long bridge (seems like about 1.5kms) across the Murrumbidgee floodplains outside the town, and the second for the reason most people know it.

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the dog sat on the tucker box. And the chicken walked on by, uncaring. Because she knows it best not to get involved in such things.

The question of why there’s a dog sitting on a tuckerbox (lunch box) can be answered with the following poem.

Bullocky Bill

As I came down Talbingo Hill
I heard a maiden cry,
‘ There goes old Bill the Bullocky –
He’s bound for Gundagai.’

A better poor old beggar
Never cracked an honest crust,
A tougher poor old beggar
Never drug a whip through dust.

His team got bogged on the five-mile creek,
Bill lashed and swore and cried,
‘ If Nobbie don’t get me out of this
I’ll tattoo his bloody hide.’

But Nobbie strained and broke the yoke
And poked out the leader’s eye,
And the dog sat on the tucker-box
Five miles from Gundagai.

anon

Some sources credit this to Anon, some to an otherwise unknown poet using the pen name Bowyang Yorke. Whoever it was, the poem has been a part of Australian lore for a while, and has been immortalised in Song and with this statue outside of Gundagai. It’s a tribute to the pioneers and early (white) settlers of Australia and the coins people throw into the water are all donated to the local hospital.

We hopped back in the car and headed off. Our next stop was to have a look at the rather impressive wind farms at Gunning.

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There’s something very impressive about these massive wind turbines. They are huge. And they just sit there, on the hill, creating energy out of the wind to power 23,250 homes between them. (I looked that up – have a look at this site for some information about the specs for the farm.)

Our final stop was at the big merino in Goulburn.

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The big merino is an icon of Gouburn. It’s often said that colonised Australia was “built on the backs of sheep”. This is particularly true of Goulburn, which had a strong merino wool industry and calls itself “Australia’s first inland city”. For more information on Rambo, the giant concrete sheep, have a look here

And thus concludes a rather silly way to share some of the landmarks along the Hume highway between here and Goulburn!

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