BREDBO & COOMA

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Bredbo is a small town, about 80kms south of Canberra and 370kms south-west of Sydney on the Monaro Highway (pronounced “Monairo”) with a population of around 350. It’s close to where the Bredbo River meets the Murrumbidgee River in a pretty valley renowned for its stunning stands of poplars, showing off in gold every Autumn.

In the 1830’s Bredbo was established and one of the oldest pubs in Australia, the Bredbo Inn, has been operating since 1836 and has one of the longest running licenses in NSW. The Inn offers accommodation and bistro with a variety of food, wine and beer. The surrounding plains still show signs of the original railway line that passed through the district and disused trestle bridges span popular fishing streams and rivers.

The rivers throughout this district and up into the Snowy Mountains are iconic trout fishing waters, with many flowing into the 1485km long, Murrumbidgee River, the 2nd longest river in Australia. Deciduous trees were planted by the High Country pioneers and today we enjoy a landscape of colour across the Monaro Plains in Autumn.

Cooma, known as the Capital of the Snowy Mountains, is under 100kms from Perisher and Thredbo Alpine Resorts via the Kosciuszko Road and is the biggest town on the Monaro Plains, with a population of over 6500. Canberra is just over 100kms north of Cooma, Sydney is about 400kms north-east and the historic gems of Nimmitabel, Bombala and Delegate are found to the south on the way to Victoria.

Established in the 1840’s, Cooma has a streetscape featuring superb historic buildings throughout the CBD. A large variety of retail and services, dining and many accommodation options make Cooma a popular place to base yourself to explore this part of the High Country.  The Snowy Mountains Airport is only 16kms south-west of Cooma, on Kosciuszko Road and is serviced by Regional Express Airlines.

The 5km Lambie Town Walk is a self-guided tour around the centre of Cooma that can be walked, driven or cycled and takes you through 3 Heritage Listed precincts and passed several historic buildings. The walk guide can be picked up from the Visitor Information Centre. In the centre of Cooma at Centennial Park is the Avenue of Flags representing the countries where workers for the Snowy Hydro Scheme originated.

Cooma is home to the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre, on the northern end of the town. This is well worth a visit to discover the huge amount of displays, interactive activities, large models, live screens displaying information from the different power stations, historic photos and 2 theatres. There’s a café, retail outlet, disabled access and entry is free!

There’s plenty to do around Cooma, from fishing, mountain biking, golf (18 holes – grass greens), the Cooma Little Theatre and the Nanny Goat Hill Lookout, off Massie Street, about 1km from Centennial Park. For bigger views head to the Mt Gladstone Lookout a few kilometres west of the town centre affording beautiful views over the Monaro Plains and Cooma. 

Mt Gladstone Mountain Bike Park has a variety of trails, consisting of 7 green trails (beginner), 4 blue (intermediate) and 3 black (advanced). The trails are not only fun to ride but their names bring a sense of fun and occasionally a sense of fear, including the green trail: ‘Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy’, blue: ‘Grievous Bodily Harm’ (3.2kms long) and black: ‘Kick Start My Heart’! From Centennial Park, head west along the Snowy Mountains Highway for 3.2kms and turn left onto Greendale Road. More details on this mountain bike park can be found here

The Monaro plains, at around 1000 metres altitude, cover a huge area in each direction from Cooma, stretching over 100kms from north to south. They are a haven of High Country history and a photographer’s dream with old houses, rustic shearing sheds and relics of the High Country pioneers. When touring these undulating high plains, each time you reach the end of the stretch of the road you’re on, the landscape invites you to keep exploring what’s over the next hill or round the next bend. The first and last rays of sun across this region, transform ancient trees and granite boulders into stunning scenes.