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Set among rolling plains, legendary rivers and snow covered peaks, Cooma is the largest town in the Snowy Mountains region and the gateway to the state’s alpine area.

Cooma was established as a village in 1849 and since then has welcomed gold miners, graziers and the thousands of people from all around the world who built the mighty Snowy Scheme and of course hundreds of thousands of holiday makers every year. This has created the diverse and culturally significant town Cooma is today.


From discovering Cooma’s rich history along the Lambie Town Walk, nurturing your creative side in the many art galleries and craft stores, to sampling an abundant array of specialty foods, restaurants, shops and attractions, Cooma has something for everyone to enjoy. With a choice of accommodation this is also a great base for exploring and enjoying the Snowy Mountains sensational range of year-round activities.



Before European settlement Aboriginal people lived on the Monaro plains for more than 20,000 years. The main group was the Ngarigo who moved in and out of the region according to the seasons.

In 1827, cattle were brought from Sydney and the area quickly became popular with settlers. The village of Cooma was surveyed in 1849.

"Discovery of Gold in the 1860s at Kiandra brought about a permanent increase in Cooma’s population and the railway opened in 1889."

Discovery of Gold in the 1860s at Kiandra brought about a permanent increase in Cooma’s population and the railway opened in 1889. Cooma was booming and prosperous and by 1900 the town boasted its “Regional Capital” status with many grand official buildings. The start of the Snowy Scheme in 1949 changed the character of Cooma dramatically with the influx of many thousands of workers from post war Europe. These influences have made Cooma a town with a rich culture.


With snowsports starting at Kiandra in 1861 and spreading quickly throughout the region, tourism has become our driving industry.

We welcome you to wander, explore, discover and enjoy Cooma’s Rich History. Pick up a copy of “Discover Cooma’s Rich History” brochure at the Cooma Visitors Centre which details walks through the historic and photogenic districts of the town.

Points of Interest

Images courtesy of Destination NSW.

Things to see & do

Places to stay