Anyone who has travelled between Melbourne and Seymour on the Hume Highway, has undoubtedly driven past the small town of Beveridge, Victoria. Beveridge is a small country town 42 kilometres North of Melbourne at the Southern end of Mitchell Shire and is famous for being the birthplace of bushranger Edward “Ned” Kelly. Ned was born in Beveridge in December 1854 and lived there for 9 years before moving with his family to Avenel. By the time they left Beveridge, there were six Kelly children with another on the way – wouldn’t that have been a fun road trip!
We decided to take a small tour around the Ned’s home town to see what was left of Australia’s most infamous bushrangers’ early life.
Our first stop was Ned’s boyhood home of 4 years (from approximately 5 – 9 years of age) on the corner of Kelly St and Stewart St that was built by his father John “Red” Kelly in 1859.
The house is surrounded by a wire security fence and has a printed sign out the front that gives a short description of his life. Tim and the kids didn’t get out of the car and I walked around to take a few photos. It is so disappointing that the house has been not been maintained and essentially has been left to rot even though it was added to the Victorian Register of Historic Buildings in September, 1992. It is falling down in places and is definitely not safe to explore!
I stood there wondering what life would have been like in the 1800’s, and used our outing as a way to begin teaching Australian history to Alegría. We discussed who Ned Kelly was and he had lots of questions about the types of toys Ned would have had, as well as his siblings, bed, plates, cutlery and pets. Alegría was perplexed as to why “a bad guy would be so famous and make history?” Tim and I weren’t too sure how to answer that one! Out of the mouths of babes …
If the house was restored and open to the public on weekends, I am sure it would be a popular tourist attraction. I can just imagine them selling walking tour maps, souvenirs and perhaps light refreshments.
We then drove to the former St John’s Catholic Church in Spring Street, but the church gate was locked so we couldn’t walk around and take a look. Ned and siblings attended Beveridge Catholic School, which was run out of the Gothic bluestone church. To our knowledge, the church is not open to the public – which is a shame.
You would think by now we would be feeling dejected, and to a certain degree we were. Tim and the kids had not been out of the car and I just wanted to jump the fence and have a look (please don’t call the police, I didn’t!!) so we pressed on to our last destination, the Hunters Tryst. We are so glad we did!
The Hunters Tryst is worth visiting (even if you are not doing the Kidding Around Australia Ned Kelly tour!) and dates back to 1845. It was built by Andrew Beveridge and it has been said that Ned’s father Red used to drink in the bar (which is now the dining room).
The Hunters Tryst has been enlarged over the years and features the dining room (the meals are super yummy!) and a large bar area with two pool tables. The post office is also located in this building. Ned Kelly memorabilia lines the walls and the Hunters Tryst oozes rustic charm with good ol’ country hospitality! If you want to stay the night, the adjoining hotel also has accommodation, a rose garden and large balcony beer garden.
The Hunter’s Tryst is located at 5/9 Old Hume Highway, Beveridge, Victoria and are open for Lunch from 12 to 2pm and Dinner from 6pm to 8.30. For more information you can visit their Website, call them on (03) 9745 2422 or find them on Facebook.
If you would like to follow in our footsteps, here is a map we prepared for you! Enjoy!
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