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Mad Dogs and Camp Ovens ready at Patche

The Mad Dog Morgan Lost Gold Festival
The Mad Dog Morgan Lost Gold Festival

The Mad Dog Morgan Lost Gold Festival and Pine Plains Camp Oven Challenge will ensure the long weekend in June is an unforgettable experience in the Mallee.

The festival will start on Saturday June 8 with a choice of walks (lengths include 26 kilometres, 10 km, or 2km) through Wyperfeld National Park along the Freeway Track following Outlet Creek from Wonga camping grounds to Pine Plains Lodge.

This is the route Mad Dog Morgan took while burying his gold stash ($20 million in today’s value that’s never been found) and hiding out from the law in 1862. Mad Dog Morgan held up Albacutya Station and stealing seven fresh horses to carry the gold stolen from the Cobb and Co Ballarat to Adelaide shipment.

The canoe trees, lake beds, flora, fauna and natural beauty make this walk an unforgettable experience.

This is a great opportunity for members of the general public to traverse the park from south to north which is generally inaccessible. Parks Victoria is incredibly supportive of the event and will be on hand to help the organisers with any needs that may arise.

The Freeway Track follows beside and occasionally crosses Outlet Creek which flows from Lake Albacutya into Lake Agnes located beside the Pine Plains Homestead on the northern end.

The 26km walk can be conquered by people with a reasonable level of fitness but it is strongly recommended that participants do some training prior to the event. A health check from a local GP would also be a good idea as it can be a fairly strenuous walk in an isolated area.

The walk will be completed on Saturday June 9 and will coincide with the Mad Dog Morgan festival to be held at the Patchewollock Hotel from 6pm on Saturday evening with live music from top Bendigo band the Ratbags, pantomimes and competitions including the Mad Dog Morgan look alike.

The festivities will include a pantomime by historian Phil Molesworth based around the Mad Dog Morgan story.

Sunday June 9 will see the traditional Camp Oven Challenge at Pine Plains Lodge. Everyone is encouraged to come along and put forward their culinary camp oven creation in a bid to be crowned the winner of this prestigious event.

Alternatively, people can spend the day sampling such exquisite dishes as the delicious Lake Agnes Perch in quandong sauce and camel casserole.

A limited-edition Mad Dog Morgan Lager will be released on June 8 to coincide with the Mad Dog Morgan Lost Gold Festival.

The Patchewollock Pub Micro Brewery will be releasing the limited-edition beer made from locally grow and malted barley. The boutique beer flavours are dark, mysterious and moody to reflect its namesakes’ behaviours.

There will be only be a limited number of Mad Dog Morgan Lager cartons available for the festival with the first slab being auctioned for charity with online bidding already nearing four figures.

Anyone who would like to join the walk contact Bryce at Control Central, c/o Patchewollock Pub on 0419 024 660 or 5084 1280. If anyone would like to know more about the Camp Oven Challenge call Gen 0437 350 385. Or check out the Mad Dog Morgan Lost Gold Festival Facebook page.