Wagga Wagga - Bushrangers & Heritage
Wagga Wagga is the state's biggest inland city and the regional hub. You can travel there by plane, train, bus or car. By car, it is an easy journey along the Hume Highway from either Sydney or Melbourne, while the Sturt Highway is the easiest access route from Adelaide. There are several heritage walks for families, that will take you past some of the city's lovely buildings. A miniature railway runs through the city.
As the Wagga district grew it became a place of interest to several infamous bushrangers, Captain Moonlight & James Kelly from the Kelly Gang were two of them.
After being released from gaol in 1879 for a robbery committed at Egerton, near Ballarat, Captain Moonlite (also spelt Captain Moonlight) arrived in Wagga on the 15th November 1879. He was looking for work at Wantabadgery Station, situated about 38 km east of Wagga. He was refused work at the station, so Moonlite and his band of 5 others returned and held up all 39 people at the station for 2 days. One of the hostages later escaped. He used the two children of the nearby hotelkeeper as hostages. Three mounted police from Wagga arrived at the station & were engaged in a shoot out by the gang. Moonlite & his gang later escaped once the police retreated. They were later captured at a nearby property when police from the neighbouring townships of Gundagai and Adelong arrived. Moonlite was captured & hung for his crimes.
James Kelly, the younger brother of Ned Kelly, had just completed 4 years of imprisonment for cattle theft. In 1877 he was then sentenced at the Wagga courthouse to 10 years gaol for stealing two horses from Wagga hoteliers. He was later released & went on to lead a respectable life until his death in 1946.
Mad Dog Morgan
The Wagga police magistrate Henry Baylis was bailed up by Mad Dog Morgan in 1863. Baylis & police officers tracked Morgan to where he was camping. Baylis was shot and wounded.
Wagga Wagga Today
On 17 April 1946, Wagga Wagga was proclaimed a city and Wagga Wagga grew steadily after the war.
06 Jan 2022