On the run with bounties on their heads, Ned Kelly and his gang frustrated troopers for 16 months after robbing the Jerilderie bank by holing up in the ruggedly beautiful Strathbogie Ranges, a wonderful place to enjoy as a great driving holiday in Victoria. Today the ranges are just as breathtaking but modern-day adventurers can see the lot in just a few hours after a leisurely two-and-a-half hour tootle up the Hume Highway from Melbourne.
Ned and his boys spent their time knocking up their famed armour for the final showdown at nearby Glenrowan, but I’d suggest some way more leisurely pursuits. A good start is the wonderful little town of Euroa for hearty sustinence (good little nosheries abound) before heading for the spectacular granite-topped hills. Now a mix of general farming among wineries and horse studs, the Strathbogies definitely don’t challenge the Gold Coast in attractions. Theirs is a more natural beauty, pristine bush with maybe a koala and a kangaroo or two by the roadside – but it’s still exhilarating stuff.
From Euroa, take the Strathbogie Road on the north side of the Seven Creeks bridge in Euroa. This gets you up into the range and from here you can
wander, maybe eventually heading for Merton, and then the Maroondah Highway back to Melbourne.
To linger, consider the Sunnymeade B&B at Strathbogie www.Sunnymeade.com.au. It’s an excellent little set-up and on the site of what for mine is one of the best English-style gardens in Australia. As guests, you get to wander the garden for free, otherwise you’ll need to check the website for the open dates, generally in December.
For Ned, it was all downhill, to the hangman’s noose, after his Strathbogie soujourn. Luckier ones like us can go back time after time.