Cooma is it is a great place to stroll around and certainly worth a stop as you make your way to the Snowy Mountains (and Mt Kosciuszko – Australia’s highest Mountain) or Canberra. The local council has developed a very worthwhile easy going 5kms historic walk around town which, at a relatively slow pace, takes about 2-3 hours (you can comfortably...more
The one thing that struck me as I approached St Patrick’s Church was the presence of a couple of Celtic (or Irish) crosses on the gable of the church. Hardly surprising perhaps given the name. On closer inspection you will see a very strong Irish connection with the Church. On your left hand side as you face the church you will notice a monument to...more
United or Uniting Churches exist in various parts of the world and are generally a mix of various protestant denominations, which varies from county or country or region to region. In Australasia (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands) the Uniting Church came into existence in 1977 and is an amalgamation of the former Congregationalist,...more
I really like this beautiful clean cut Victorian Gothic style church which was constructed of local granite and alpine ash (flooring and roof) by Mawson, Potter and Scarlett between 1865 and 1869. While the church opened for services in 1869 it appears not to have been consecrated until 1872. While the spire actually looks older than the main...more
In 1929 aviators Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (after whom Sydney's airport is named) and Charles Ulm founded Australian National Airways (ANA). The Southern Cloud was one of five three engined ANA Avro 618 Ten aircraft flying daily between several Australian cities.The Southern Cloud, flown by T.W Shortridge, took off, on time, from Sydney on the...more
Those who have read my tip on Lambie Street (on the end of which is found the Royal Hotel) will be aware that the majority of buildings on this, the oldest street in Cooma, were built by or for the Hain or Mawson families. The Royal is no exception and it was built by James Hain in 1858.Often affectionately referred to as "Bundy's" after Mable...more
This is a small but very interesting art gallery in the oldest street in Cooma – Lambie Street. Well worth a visit.The Gallery features the work of local Snowy Mountains and Monaro artists – and has regular and changing exhibitions of paintings, ceramics, prints, photographs, sculptures, jewellery, craft, poetry and books. While some of the work...more
Lambie Street was the original centre of Cooma before an eastward shift to Vale Street and later Sharp Street, the current main thoroughfare of the town.Lambie Street was named after John Lambie the Commissioner for Crown Lands on the Monaro from 1837 to 1852, though having visited it and realising that nearly every building on the street was built...more
The Corrective Services NSW Museum is a small museum next door to the Cooma Gaol containing a range of prison exhibits dating from convict days to the present day – some 200 years of Correctional Services history in New South Wales. The Gaol itself housed the exhibits and was the museum until it was recommissioned as a gaol in 2001.The museum has a...more
With the discovery of gold at nearby Kiandra in 1859, and a resultant gold rush in 1860 – short-lived though it was – business and the population in Cooma rapidly increased. Between 1851 and 1911 it grew from 47 to 2330. Spurred by the gold rush and successes in agriculture, Cooma became the commercial centre for the Monaro region. Numerous...more
Once you have had a walk around town and I recommend you do by following the Lambie Town Walk - an easy five kilometre walk developed by the local council (pick up a map/guide from the Tourist Office on Sharp Street on the corner of Centennial Park) take a drive (or indeed a walk) up Nanny Goat Hill. If walking up and doing the Lambie Town walk you...more
The Cenotaph, a gray granite obelisk, was unveiled on ANZAC day in 1926 to commemorate soldiers of the town and district lost in World War I. Due to a cost overrun, the memorial cost 1050 pounds, there was insufficient funds remaining in the kitty to have the names of the missing soldiers inscribed on the obelisk.The memorial sat "nameless" until...more
Ok, its Time Walk and not Time Warp but it did remind me of Rocky Horror.Enough – I digress even before I start! The Time Walk is a very interesting and rather unique presentation of the history of Cooma and the Monaro District from Aboriginal times to the present day, though with a concentration on the last two hundred years. The area and its...more
In 1949 Australia embarked on one of its biggest ever infrastructure construction projects, the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme which between 1949 and 1974 saw the construction of sixteen major dams, seven power stations, a pumping station, and 225 kilometres (140 mi) of tunnels, pipelines and aqueducts in the Snowy Mountains.Such a mammoth...more
This 1961 sculpture, by Ian McKay, is a tribute to A B (Banjo) Paterson (1864 – 1941), famous Australia bush poet, journalist and author – particularly famous for this ballads and poems which presented a rather romantic view of rural and outback Australian life.One of Paterson’s most famous poems “The Man from Snowy River” (and the subject of this...more
Mt Gladstone Lookout and Nature Reserve comprises 125 hectares of native bushland about 4 kilometres from the Centre of Cooma as you head towards the Snowy Mountains. A lookout on the top of Mt Gladstone affords reasonable (though not spectacular) views across the Monaro Plains and to the Snowy Mountains. In winter you will be able to see the snow...more
My regular readers will be aware that I am originally from the Emerald Isle.It never ceases to amaze me as I travel around the world how the Irish seem to be, or have been, everywhere and in some of the most bizarre and remote places. Where isn’t there an Irish pub (granted some of them are not very Irish!)? From Cusco, Peru to Suva, Fiji the Irish...more
Could be a song in that title. I digress. Cooma has quite a few historical buildings and they tend to be in clusters. One of the prettiest, especially in spring, is Lambie Street, in which the name Hain figures over and over again. The street itself was named after John Lambie, the then Commissioner for Crown Lands on the Monara during the...more
6 Sharp Street, PO Box 195, Cooma, 2630, Australia
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
42 Bombala St, Cooma, Australia
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
This was standard fare at around 3 stars. The rooms were okay and the bed comfortable but it was...more
As a result of Cooma's varied history there are many interesting historic and cultural attractions in the town.
The Lord Raglan Inn was built during the Kiandra Gold Rush to accommodate travellers to the gold fields.
Today it houses the Raglan Gallery and Cultural Centre. Where you can view works by local artists as well as special exhibitions by artists from further around the area.
Generally when I write a tip I give my readers details of how to find that which I write about.
I am not going to do that in this case - except to say the subject of my tip - the Birdie in the Grotto (my title) is somewhere in Cooma.
Where am I ?
First person to tell me (must be specific) will receive a free glass of wine, beer or soft drink of your choice when you are next in Canberra or I am next in your home town :-)
The construction of the Scheme began officially on 17 October 1949 with a blast of dynamite on the Eucumbene River at Adaminaby. During the next 25 years, the Snowy Mountains Scheme brought together over 100,000 people from more than 30 countries, including Australia, to work on the project. While migrants outnumbered Australians, Australians (including Indigenous Australians) made up one third of the workforce.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the commencement of the Scheme's construction, an Avenue of Flags was erected in Cooma in 1959, celebrating the diversity of nationalities that worked on the construction of the Scheme.