Monday, January 18, 2016

Stringybark Creek, Tolmie

After turning off the main road near Tolmie, the bitumen turned to gravel for the 10km drive to Stringybark Creek, past pine plantations and through rugged bushland. 
A picturesque clearing greeted us, with picnic tables and barbecues surrounded by giant trees. 
Stringybark Creek, Ned Kelly
The setting wasn't so peaceful back in 1878, when bushranger Ned Kelly went from being a petty thief on the run from the law, to being the most wanted outlaw in Australia after shooting and killing three Mansfield police officers. A stone monument is erected here in their memory and another in the Main St of Mansfield. Their graves are located in the Mansfield Cemetery, but I didn't visit that location.
Stringybark Creek, Ned Kelly There's a great information board at the picnic ground, as well as a few boards around the circuit loop track, telling the story of Ned and the Kelly Gang and that fateful day at Stringybark Creek.
We wandered the track, which took us to the Kelly Tree, the site of the Shootout and back to the picnic ground. We were lost in thought as we imagined the place as it was back then. There was only a few other people there on the day we visited, the peace and quiet was wonderful.
Stringybark Creek, Ned Kelly A metal plate memorial to the police officers was placed on a tree in 1985. The tree has since grown around the plaque, but you can still see part of it. The  tree is known as the  Kelly Tree, but is not the original tree.
Stringybark Creek, Ned Kelly
The Shootout Site felt a little more eerie. The information board showed sketches of where each person was standing and the events that unfolded. 
Stringybark Creek, Ned Kelly The area later became a goldmining site and there are old mine shafts dotted around the place.
Stringybark Creek, Ned Kelly For a place with such a dark and dramatic history, it is a beautiful place to visit. We saw and heard many birds, and saw lots of huge wombat holes, but no critters were wandering around.
The scenery and wildflowers were stunning.
Stringybark Creek, Ned Kelly
And I couldn't resist  buying this book when I returned home, as each visit to a Ned Kelly related location make my interest in the story grow.
Stringybark Creek, Ned Kelly book

What: Stringybark Creek
Where: via
Tatong-Tolmie Road.
When: Daily
Why: Australian history
How Much: FREE 

Nearby: Power's Lookout

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