In 1823 the explorers Currie and Ovens unable to cross the Murrumbidgee River at Isabella Plains followed the Murrumbidgee Valley 12kms south of Bredbo and made the first recorded sightings of the treeless plains. Visitors can trace the early history of this area by taking a town walk in Cooma. Then a scenic drive to the villages of Numeralla, Jerangble, Bredbo, Nimmitabel, Berridale, Dalgety and Adaminaby.
The Snowy Mountains Scheme had an enormous impact upon the community of Cooma and the surrounding villages. In the mid 1950s the population of Cooma peaked at 16,000: by the end of the 1950s, Cooma had become Australia's first multicultural town. The Scheme has been complete for 20 years and many of these former employees stayed in the district contributing a variety of cultures and traditions. Today, Cooma is still a town with a big heart, welcoming visitors and settlers alike. A visit to Cooma will reward the visitor with numerous things to do and see including the Avenue of Flags, Mosaic Walk and Centennial Park which commemorates Australia's first Centenary in 1888. Other places of historical interest include the Cooma Court House, the Snowy Memorial, Cenotaph and much more. The Nanny Goat Hill and Mt Gladstone Lookouts are well worth a visit for their spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and a large number of walking and bike trails and recreation areas are available for your enjoyment.
Cooma has a population of 8000 and is situated in the southern highlands of NSW. The town of Cooma is the commercial and social hub of the Monaro Plains and Snowy Mountains region.
Cooma's location guarantees four distinct seasons every year. Summer's warm to hot days cool at night to allow a good night's sleep. Autumn has perfect days to enjoy the spectacular autumn leaves and clear starry nights which are awe-inspiring. Winter brings frosty mornings warming to mild sunny days and an occasional snowfall. Spring awakens fantastic displays of flowers and blossom trees all over the town.
Where Is Cooma ?
Cooma is located in the South East corner of New South Wales, one hour south of Canberra, one hour west of the coast and is the service centre of the legendary Snowy Mountains, Australia's High Country. For development purposes Cooma-Monaro is part of the Australian Capital Region and the Snowy Mountains/Monaro sub-region. This rural local government area adjoins (is close to) the Australian National Capital, Canberra and is halfway between the New South Wales and Victorian State Capitals of Sydney and Melbourne. The Council's boundaries stretch from the town of Michelago in the north, the villages of Numeralla and Jerangle in the east, the village of Nimmitabel in the south and the principal town of Cooma in the south west.
The tourist region encompassing the Cooma-Monaro Council, and including the Snowy River Shire Council and Bombala Shire Council, is one which combines a diversity of geographical settings and natural features. This is an area of approximately 15,000 km2 and a population of approximately 19,000.It includes communities with a range of historical links and cultural characteristics; there are National Parks, the NSW Ski fields, and areas of rural, multicultural and indigenous heritage.
Tourism is a growth industry across the region. Always recognised for our winter attractions such as snow sports and apres ski activities, the region is becoming well-known as an excellent summer destination too.
Cooma has historically been the commercial hub for the surrounding region. As soon as the railway arrived in Cooma in 1889 the town became a vibrant commercial centre. Today it remains the main centre for shopping and supplies, for accommodation and meals.
The Cooma Visitors Centre has operated constantly since the early 1960s, when it opened as the visitor information centre for the entire Snowy Mountains region.
The Cooma-Monaro district offers a broad range of activities for visitors, both active and passive. Whether you're interested in history, scenery, adventure or wine, Cooma and surrounds have a pastime for you.
In Cooma there is a Technical and Further Education College (TAFE), the Monaro High School; St Patrick's and the Snowy Mountains Christian School to year 10; and four primary schools. A further five primary schools are located in the villages and rural centres of Michelago, Bredbo, Jindabyne, Nimmitabel and Numeralla. A daily bus travels from Cooma to the Snowy Mountains Grammar School in Jindabyne which has boarding facilities. Two well established Universities (Australian National University and University of Canberra) are located just over 1 hour away.
Cooma has three preschools and a mobile preschool service. There are also four childcare centres and a number of home carers.