Vagabonds, Scoundrels and Highway Robbery


 Vagabonds, Scoundrels and Highway Robbery, along with the shout “Stand and Deliver” would send a shiver down the spine of many in days past as bushrangers were an integral part of the Australian landscape.

Recently, we had the occasion to travel into the beautiful Southern Highlands region of New South Wales. Our destination was Tarago, a small town located on the eastern side of Lake George which has a couple of historic buildings in its midst, including a quaint Anglican Church and at its epicentre, the “Loaded Dog Hotel”.

Nearby is the Woodlawn Mine, which produced gold, copper and zinc up until 1998, providing employment opportunities to the local community.  Today, the site hosts a “Bio-reactor”  which converts waste product, transported by rail from Sydney, to methane gas.  And given its proximity to the political capital of Australia and its resident population of politicians,  the hot air produced may very well be matched by that coming from Parliament House.

The Loaded Dog, which takes its name from the story by Henry Lawson, has had many visitors since opening its doors for trade in 1848 and amongst these have been the well-known bushrangers, Ben Hall, Frank Gardiner, and the Clarke Brothers.

It was at The Loaded Dog that this infamous bunch planned a robbery of gold being transported from the Majors Creek Gold Mine – the planned heist never unfolded but needless to say there was plenty of romance, skulduggery, a murder, and a brush with the “law”.

Tarago is a destination in its own right and an easy drive from Sydney. And if you enjoy live music the pub hosts some great Australian talent in the front bar regularly on a Saturday evening. I imagine the scene may be as boisterous today as it would have been back in the days of the visiting bushrangers!

Alternatively, if you have the time it is a pleasant way to detour if you are travelling to the New South Wales south coast region, which you can do via Braidwood along the King’s Highway.  Just outside of Braidwood is a beautiful free-camp spot by the Shoalhaven River where we stopped for a leisurely lunch amongst the travelling caravan groups.

The Australian Bush is full of interesting towns and Tarago is well worth making the detour for, even if just to visit “The Dog”.

And if in the area, beware of that cry “Stand and Deliver”,  after all you are only about 75-kilometres from what might arguably be the hang-out of Australia’s modern day bushranger, Canberra!


Photo: Baz – The Landy

17 thoughts on “Vagabonds, Scoundrels and Highway Robbery

  1. MichelleMarie March 15, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    You sure stay busy! I’m happy to see you stop by! Lovely posts and shares! Hugs to you! 😀


  2. Barbara Grandberg February 20, 2015 / 9:38 am

    i agree with cowboys and crossbones :] btw…could you please send some warm summer weather my way….it’s going to be below zero tomorrow….thanks :]


    • Baz - The Landy February 20, 2015 / 10:12 am

      Hey BG, thanks. Okay, we’ll try and spare some, plenty of it here presently…!


    • Baz - The Landy February 20, 2015 / 7:25 am

      Howdy, love having you along (I’ve been a bit absent recently, but making my way back, slowly!) Take care sweetie..


      • Cowboys and Crossbones February 21, 2015 / 3:19 am

        And you were missed! Glad to have you back in the blogging ‘hood. Cheers!


  3. Lavinia Ross February 20, 2015 / 1:31 am

    Sounds like you are enjoying your trip! Thanks for the history lesson and view into the Bush!

    Archie and Marion’s garden plantings are slowly poking up above the soil. It’s been unusually warm here for a western Oregon winter.


    • Baz - The Landy February 20, 2015 / 7:24 am

      That is lovely, and Janet will be thrilled!


  4. Gallivanta February 19, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    The Woodlawn bio-reactor looks impressive. I like that Woodlawn is now mining putrescible waste. And indeed it is sad that some putrescible politicians can’t be added into the production line.


  5. Linda Visman - wangiwriter February 19, 2015 / 12:40 pm

    We missed Tarago on our trip just done, but did go through Braidwood. We will keep that free camping spot in mind for next time. We travelled along the partly unsealed road from Braidwood to Nowra, and then back up and into the mountain to a free camping spot at Bendeela, near Kangaroo Valley. Love going on the back roads. 🙂


    • Baz - The Landy February 19, 2015 / 1:45 pm

      Hey Linda, you can take a dirt road from Tarago to Braidwood (well almost, you do about 6klm on the King’s Highway). We’ve been to Bendeela many times, but never camped there. Take care, Baz


  6. ksbeth February 19, 2015 / 11:27 am

    this looks like such a cool stop and what a history!


    • Baz - The Landy February 19, 2015 / 1:42 pm

      Hey Ann, plenty of cool spots with a few scoundrels thrown in, so pop on over and have a beer! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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