Around an hour’s drive south of Canberra along the Monaro Highway lies Cooma, the gateway to the NSW Snowy Mountains and the largest town in the alpine region. It’s a great place to visit – summer or winter.
The Snowy Monaro Regional Council recognises the Ngarigo people as the traditional custodians of much of the region and the connection of other groups such as the Walgalu, Ngunnawal and Bidhawal people. Archaeological surveys reveal a long and rich cultural history with significant sites throughout the region.
The first European settlers brought cattle for grazing around 1827 and Cooma was surveyed in 1849. Discovery of gold in Kiandra in the 1860s brought a permanent increase in Cooma’s population. The railway was opened in 1889 and by 1900 the town was booming.
The nation-building Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme (aka Snowy Scheme) in 1949 changed the character of Cooma dramatically with the influx of many thousands of workers from post-WWII Europe. All these influences have made Cooma a town rich in culture.
Things to do
Discover the fascinating story of the Snowy Scheme at the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre, located on the Monaro Highway 2km north of Cooma CBD, or ‘Go to Gaol’ at the NSW Corrective Services Museum, 1 Vagg Street, Cooma. Be captivated by the unique views and vistas on a country drive, savour the delights of Cooma’s coffee shops and restaurants, and browse the specialty retail shops.
Go to visitcooma.com.au to plan your trip.
birdsnest: Much-loved women’s fashion retailer birdsnest’s HQ (aka Nest) is definitely worth a visit! It offers a unique in-store experience where you can browse all their latest arrivals and also access styles from their entire website using exciting in-store technology. You also get to experience birdsnest’s great styling advice and friendly service.
232 Sharp Street, Cooma; 1300 696 378; birdsnest.com.au
Cooma Races: Cooma’s annual race meeting on Saturday 8 December will include the 26th anniversary of the Sundowners’ Cup. The Cooma Cup, older than the Melbourne Cup, will also be contested. For the fashion-conscious, there is more than $2,000 in prizes for Fashions on the Field. See you there!
For more information, find Cooma Monaro Race Club on Facebook.
Cooma Steering & Suspension: A locally owned family run business for over 10 years, they are your local ARB stockist as well as the best one stop shop for servicing and repairs, wheel alignments, suspension upgrades, rego inspections and all 4×4 accessories.
45 Sharp Street, Cooma; 6452 2246.