Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Dog on the Tucker Box, Snake Gully, NSW

Just out of Gundagai is the Dog on the Tucker Box at Snake Gully in NSW.
The Statue of the Dog was unveiled by the then Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons in 1932 as a tribute to pioneers.
Joseph Lyons was born in Stanley Tasmania :)

The Statue was inspired by a bullock drover's poem, 'Bullocky Bill', which humorously describes a series of misfortunes faced by the drover, culiminating in his food being spoiled by his dog who sits either in or on his tuckerbox. (Similar to a lunchbox)

'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 begger
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 poled out the leader's eye,
And the dog sat on the tucker-box
Five miles from Gundagai.

A wishing well at the foot of the Dog on the Tuckerbox, and a souvenir shop/food behind.

These are the ruins of an inn that was built by Joseph and Rosannah Carberry in 1857-8 and opened by them as 'The Limestone Inn' in April 1858. It consisted of twelve rooms with a cellar at the southern end, a detached kitchen, storeroom, stables and other outbuildings, all of them built of stone.  The Carberrys erected the inn to cater to the passing trade on the main road between Sydney and Melbourne, but it also attracted much local custom largely because of Rosannah Carberry's fine piono-playing.  In April 1861, a bushranger named 'Jack-in-the boots' and an accomplice held up the inn and robbed patrons and staff of their money.  After the Carberry changed the inn's name to '
The Australian Arms' for a short period, it was run by a succession of other licencees as 'The Squatter's Arms' from 1865 until it finally closed in 1876.  


  1. They really did build to last didn't they? Can you imagine even that much of today's homes lasting well over 100 years?

    1. I doubt the houses today will be standing as long as that part of one from over 100 years. Certainly a wonderful job to last so long.

  2. La estatua del perro es muy simpática, también me ha gustado la imagen del burro tirando del carro. Espero que ese pozo de los deseos haya hecho cumplir los suyos.


    1. Someone went to a lot of trouble to make the donkey and so on - it's more a tourist attraction these days than it was before..

  3. Replies
    1. It is Krishna, more there today than years ago - have visited there before and there was only the dog on the tuckerbox..

  4. Great story, Margaret. You wonder how many other such folkloric event have been marked by ditties which have been lost over time.

    1. Thanks David.
      I should be would be many more ditties lots than remembered today. It's amazing how many creeks have unusual names - eg. lost dog creek and things like that.

  5. My God we certainly had to learn that poem and other Aussie favourites when I was in Primary school.
    The retaining of "old colonial/early settlement" Australia is so important for the present generation to REALLY learn from - the hardships encountered by the pioneers who opened up the rural west for the prosperity we now take for granted - of course bloody bush fires and floods can upset the "apple cart".
    You've done the Snake Gully people proud, Margaret.
    And yes there are really venomous "Joe Blakes" in that area!

    1. Thanks Colin. Interesting history in most towns we come across but not all have made it known to a traveller.

  6. I don't think I have ever seen the dog on the tucker box but hope to one day, bloody great photos

    1. Thanks Jo-Anne...interesting to see and lovely area of our country.

  7. I missed the ruins of the inn. R was telling me that it is needing modernisation and the council is pressing the owners to do so, but they don't want to spend the money but nor do they want to sell. I guess there is some truth in that but it is third hand.

    1. There would be some truth in it Andrew, even the smallest of rumours have somethings that's truth..nice area around there.

  8. Boa tarde, as fotos são lindas, gosto da estátua do cão,
    Continuação de feliz semana,

  9. We've driven past that Dog on the Tuckerbox, but with no time to stop as "lead-foot" was in a hurry to get where we were going, as always.

  10. Oh dear, can kind of relate to that a bit :)

  11. what a fun poem and enjoyed the source of inspiration either

    ruins of an inn are quite less though yet still narrate the story of magnificence belonged to them once


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