The Big Ned Kelly sits in front of Ned Kelly’s Service Station and motel in Tinana, south of the Mary River in Maryborough.
The seven-metre tall ‘big thing’ is an oddity in Maryborough. The Kelly Gang were killed in a fiery shootout in Victoria, with the exception of the wounded and captured Ned Kelly. Queensland was never a part of the Kelly Gang history, were they?
There are some connections to Queensland but how much is true or if any of it is why the Big Ned Kelly stands tall in Maryborough is not known.
There is a belief that Dan Kelly escaped the shootout and fled to the Darling Downs in Queensland, living his days under a new identity as Charles Tindall. Fellow Kelly Gang member Steve Hart is believed to have fled with him, two badly burned corpses incorrectly identified as theirs.
Another claim is a man known as James Ryan claimed to be Dan Kelly , another person collaborating the story two years later. He lived around Brisbane and is buried in Ipswich where there is a memorial with a Ned Kelly style armour and information about James Ryan.
Perhaps Dan Kelly did make it to Queensland and there is another undiscovered story where he settled near Maryborough. Perhaps the Big Ned Kelly was built simply because they were enthusiasts or maybe they thought it would be a good tourist trap like many big things are.
There is the other Big Ned Kelly in Victoria, he is a little closer to where the well known Ned Kelly Gang story is based.
To Get There
From Maryborough Visitor Information Centre, head north-west on Kent St and turn left into Ferry St. Follow Ferry St for 2km to the bridge over Mary River. After crossing the bridge, continue on Gympie Rd for 1.6km and the Big Ned Kelly is on the left.