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This tip takes you to the former goldmining village of Nerrigundah. To get there, head 25km down the Princes Highway to Bodalla, then turn right and into the hills for about another 15 km. Little is left of the village apart from a few houses and the memorial seen in the accompanying photo: and that is what this tip is about.
On 8 April 1866, the Clarke Brothers bushranging gang rode in, just as darkness fell, and took over the town. Most of the police were away on patrol, but Trooper Miles O'Grady had been laid up with some strange disease known as "Colonial Fever". The bushrangers had based themselves in the store, which also was the main gold dealing office - however the owner had managed to dispose of the key to the safe and also managed to send word to Trooper O'Grady.
Trooper O'Grady was then reported to have said I must do my duty and, grabbing his gun went down the street where he confronted and shot one of the bushrangers who was menacing a citizen for his money. The other bushrangers promptly shot the Trooper, who later was buried in Moruya. With due ceremony, the colonial government of the day also erected this memorial to him in what was then the main street of Nerrigundah.
And the bushrangers? Well, they took off into the distance, but the other police promptly returned and organised a posse. They managed to locate the bushrangers, but an ineffective shootout (from both sides) ensued with only a packhorse being shot before the bushrangers escaped. The Clarke brothers were declared outlaws after this event and went on to further adventures - as you can read in the travelogue on my Braidwood page.
Updated Oct 27, 2006
I found this sign outside the Moruya High School in Albert Street while searching for the school's pole carving. Presumably it is there to keep unwanted people away from the schoolchildren, rather than from the pole carving. Either way, take note if you are searching for the carving that it would probably be prudent to seek permission to visit. Me? I went during school holidays, when only building workers were to be seen. And, my pedantic streak coming through, I just have to wonder about the inclosed - surely it should be enclosed? On a school too.....!
Later addendum. My VT friend "Nemorino" has advised me that he has found an online dictionary which quotes "inclosed" as an alternative spelling "in Australia only". I can only assume that entry must have been made by the NSW Education Department, for neither I nor any other Australians I know have previously seen that spelling!
Updated Oct 24, 2006
As you travel along the Princes Highway south of Moruya, you will see many coastal lakes. Actually, many are tidal inlets and all are open to the sea at least intermittently depending on the sandbars at their mouths. They are an appealing part of the landscape and many are used for recreational fishing or for oyster farms (as in this photo of Tuross Lake, not far from Moruya). The NSW Government is currently proposing to establish marine parks on the NSW South Coast and the future public use of these coastal lakes is somewhat uncertain. In any event, a side trip from Moruya to Tuross (a small beachside village with a lake to each side) is well worthwhile.
Updated May 4, 2006
This photo shows the ‘Aerodrome Beach’, a few km from Moruya on the northern side of the river mouth. There was little surf the day we visited, but as may be seen there is no shortage of lovely sandy beach in the area – which you could reasonably expect to all but have to yourself most days.
Written May 4, 2006