Many Australians can recite a few lines from the Man from Snowy River, and Waltzing Matilda almost counts as our national anthem. Banjo Paterson, Australia’s greatest bush poet wrote these and many other iconic poems set in the Australian bush. Banjo’s childhood was spent on a rural property near the tiny town of Binalong, not far from Yass in central NSW.
Binalong is also the setting for the dramatic death of the bushranger John Gilbert. In May 1865, Gilbert died in a shootout with police near Binalong. Banjo Paterson’s poem, How Gilbert Died, is a very moving account of how Gilbert was betrayed at the end and how he gave up his own life to try and save the life of his mate John Dunn. Gilbert’s grave, which is still carefully tended, can be seen on the left hand side of the road as you drive out of Binalong towards Harden.