Jerilderie is where bushranger Ned Kelly attempted to have his 8,000-word manifesto printed by the local newspaper editor in 1879. The historic town in the beautiful Riverina is the only NSW town raided by the Kelly Gang. You’ll find plenty of things to do, from the Kelly history to steam trains.
Begin your adventure on the banks of Billabong Creek with a tour - the Ned Kelly Raid Trail of 1879 - and discover how Kelly held up the town. Pick up a brochure for the self-guided tour of 16 sites from the Sticky Fingers Candy Shop, which houses the visitor information centre. Or book a guided tour.
Ned Kelly wanted his 56-page Jerilderie letter published in what is now called the Old Printery Building, the home of the Doing the Bolt exhibition about bushrangers. The manifesto was used as the basis for Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang, a novel that won the Man Booker Prize.
Jerilderie is less than two hours’ drive west of Wagga Wagga and 90 minutes south of Griffith. From Melbourne, the drive via Tocumwal is 3h 40min. Fine merino wool and merino studs are important to the Jerilderie area and fresh produce grown includes tomatoes, olives and organic wine grapes.
The charming town is a two-day road trip from Sydney and the southern gateway to the Kidman Way, a scenic driving route through the heart of NSW to Bourke in the north. Places to stay in Jerilderie include B&Bs, caravan and camping sites, motels, and country pubs.
Free barbecue facilities and a playground are in Luke Park, next to Lake Jerilderie, a popular spot for water sports. Steel Wings is a big windmill in the park. The young and young at heart will also be delighted with mini steam train rides at Jerilderie Steam Rail, on the second Sunday of the month.
Other recreational attractions include golf, tennis and lawn bowls. In September is the Jerilderie Gold Cup Races. For lovers of gardens and historic buildings, visit the faithfully restored 1880s-built Flora Bank. The garden is open to the public from September to June and the house by appointment.