Before getting to Gundagai I took a little detour to Binalong. An interesting little town with more heritage buildings. Banjo Patterson’s father is buried in the cemetery here. Interesting to be able to stand at the gravesite knowing his famous son would have stood at that very same spot at least once in his lifetime.
Gundagai is famous for “The Dog on the Tuckerbox”. It is also a lovely historical town just off the Sydney-Melbourne Hume highway. I stayed overnight here at a lovely campsite beside the river. I called into the Visitors Centre where Rusconi’s Marble Masterpiece is housed.
The Marble Masterpiece was created by the dexterous hands of the late Frank Rusconi and represents 28 years of work by this master craftsman.
Mr Rusconi started work on the Masterpiece in 1910, finishing many hours later in 1938. Consisting of 20,948 pieces of Australian marble, each and every piece lovingly hand cut and polished, this is a truly magnificent work of art and must be seen to be believed.
The landscape at Gundagai is dominated by four bridges spanning the Murrumbidgee flats: the historic Prince Alfred Bridge, the timber Railway Bridge, and now the dual Sheahan bridges of the Hume Highway.
The timber viaducts are wonderful examples of early engineering solutions to crossing a major flood plain. Their national significance is recognised with listing by the National Trust. They are a spectacular latticework of wooden trusses, spanning the flood plains and River.
The Prince Alfred Bridge was built in 1866, the first major crossing spanning the Murumbidgee River. It formed part of the Hume Highway until it was replaced by the first Sheahan Bridge built in 1976. The Prince Alfred Bridge is the longest timber viaduct in Australia and has been classified by the National Trust.
The other famous bridge is the Railway Bridge which was completed in 1902. The viaduct is 819.4m long.