The much-loved Dog on the Tucker Box has been an essential stop-off point on the Hume Highway for almost a century, charming visitors with the legend of its loyal canine companion protecting a drover’s precious tucker as he struggled to mend a broken cartwheel.

Following reinstatement in 2019 after being vandalised, draft plans have now been announced to revitalise the statue’s setting and attract more visitors to a major new destination for regional NSW and help the economy recover after the impacts of the 2019/20 bush fires and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Leading international architects COX and planning and design consultants Ethos Urban have been appointed to create a new vision for the site centred around a “paddock to plate” offering of healthy, high quality local produce, public open space with views of the rolling Gundagai countryside and active play areas for kids and families.

Chris Millman, a Director at COX says that “The Dog on the Tucker box is a classic story of true Australian mateship, but also how regional communities doing it tough can battle back to find new ways of attracting visitors and investment. This was what was behind the original building of the monument back in 1932 as part of a ‘Back to Gundagai’ week.”

“As we emerge from COVID-19 and the 2019/20 bush fires, we’ve seen a renewed enthusiasm for the great Australian road trip with more people choosing to visit our wonderful destinations in regional areas. The Hume Highway has always been a key route for these travellers and the ‘Dog’ is one of the most popular stopping points between Sydney and Melbourne.”   

“We also see an opportunity to create better open space and a quality of experience that eclipses other options on this route to create a destination in itself. That’s why we have appointed some of the best and most experienced consultants and architects to develop a plan that will truly succeed on this site, says Stefan Meissner, an Associate Director at Ethos Urban.

The Draft Dog on the Tuckerbox Masterplan, developed by COX and Ethos Urban, is now on public exhibition until 11th May 2021.

If successful detailed Development Approval could be achieved by the end of 2021 with the project, then expected to take around two years to build.

Image: Supplied