10 Things To Do In Cootamundra

10 Things To Do In Cootamundra

10 Things To Do In Cootamundra

Cootamundra known as “Coota” is a picturesque country town in the beautiful NSW Riverina an easy drive from Sydney. It can keep you busy for a long weekend! Known for being the birthplace of famous cricketer Sir Donald Bradman. The town has lovely cafes and is an important agricultural hub. Coota is a lively prospering town that holds regular events. There’s usually something going on in Cootamundra.

Bradman MuseumCricket Captains WalkPioneer ParkAdmire The ArchitectureHave Lunch Or Dinner In A Pub (Or A Beer!)Visit The CemeteryCootamundra WattlePicnic RacesRail HeritageWeather For CootamundraStay At Cootamundra Caravan ParkGetting To Cootamundra

Bradman Museum Cootamundra

Bradman Museum

Bradman Museum

In the front room of the 89 Adams Street building, Granny Scholz, the midwife who delivered the greatest batsman the world had ever known Sir Donald Bradman, operated a private hospital.

After being renovated in 1991, his birthplace has been lovingly restored, with a grand opening for the public on 23rd October 1992. Memorabilia from Sir Don’s birthplace cottage, from cricket, and from the Cootamundra district can be found there.

In addition to the Bradmans Birthplace, the Memorabilia Cottage is also located at 87 Adams Street, Cootamundra. Purchasing and developing these sites was the initiative of the Cootamundra Shire Council. Memorabilia Cottage is a nostalgic display of curios, bric-a-brac, and Australian memorabilia. Located next to Bradman’s Birthplace some of which dates back to the time of Sir Donald Bradman’s birth.

At this adjoining property Peter and Jenny Cash have loaned Council a collection of memorabilia. The collection was built over a long period of time. The owners have painstakingly taken advantage of every opportunity to increase the collection. It is a wonderful sight to see, and will bring back many memories for most people

The Captains Walk Cootamundra

The Captains Walk

Cricket Captains Walk

This walk features Bronze sculptures of Australian Test Cricket Captains, including the first aboriginal player to play for the Australian cricket team to tour England, Unaarrimim (Johnny Mullagh). As the birthplace of Sir Donald Bradman and the former home of Bill Murdoch. Cootamundra has strong connections with two Australian test cricket captains. The success of these two players led to a particular interest in cricket by the people of Coota. There is a plaque attached to each bust that details the captain’s cricket record.

Nine Cricket Ovals and 3 turf wickets still exist today in Coota. Cootamundra Shire Council established The Captains Walk with the endorsement of the Australian Cricket Board. Sir Donald Bradmans 92nd Birthday Celebrations in August 2000 included the unveiling of a life-size statue of Sir Donald Bradman in traditional cover drive stance.

View From Pioneer Park Cootamundra

View From Pioneer Park Cootamundra

Pioneer Park

Yellow Box woodlands and a variety of animals call this nature reserve home, including kangaroos, echidnas, kookaburras and koalas. There are many species of birds to see, including white-throated treecreepers, common bronzewings, restless flycatchers, robins, and butcherbirds. Various hiking and mountain biking trails can be found in the park. This one-hour return hike brings you to the top of the park, from where you can enjoy excellent views over the town. The mountain bike trails are difficult and steep. The park has a few black diamond mountain bike trails suitable only for very experienced mountain bikers.

Cootamundra Post Office

Cootamundra Post Office

Admire The Architecture

Go for a drive around the town precinct in Cootamundra and admire the architecture. Banks, government buildings including the post office, police station and hospital are all fine examples of early Australian Architecture. They are all well above the standard you would expect to find in a small regional town. The grandeur and architectural style of many of these fine buildings hint to the importance of Coota to the region in earlier times.

Cootamundra Heritage Centre

Cootamundra Heritage

Cootamundra Heritage Centre

The Cootamundra Heritage Centre was opened back in August 2001. Housed in the once railway barracks and rest house built in 1927.

Cootamundra and district are the focus of this collection. It includes a permanent object collection. Additional to the primary collection are 14 exhibition rooms dedicated to different themes. Themes include the history of the Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls Training Home, Cootamundra at War, Horses and Harness and Home and Hearth. As well as displays on transport history, the RAAF, and aviation.

There is a small committee and team of volunteers that run the Cootamundra Heritage Centre. Make sure to call in have a look around.

Dinner At The Central Hotel Cootamundra

Dinner At The Central Hotel Cootamundra

Have Lunch Or Dinner In A Pub (Or A Beer!)

Cootamundra is home to many fine pubs and hotels. In fact there used to be at least nine pubs and hotels in Coota that I know of. There could have even been more!

Currently open and still serving are the Albion Hotel, Central Hotel, Family Hotel and Olympic Hotel. We have eaten lunch and dinner in all of these Coota pubs many times and they are all great. Our favourite is the Family Hotel but we like each of the other hotels in Coota for various reasons. Meals in all Coota pubs are very generous in size and the prices are very reasonable, much cheaper than you’ll find in Sydney or Canberra pubs. If you’re after a quiet pub or a very lively pub Coota has a pub that will suit.

Former hotels in Coota that are either closed or don’t exist are the Cootamundra Hotel, Calman’s Royal Oak Hotel, Railway Hotel, Royal Hotel and Globe Hotel.

Cootamundra Cemetery

Cootamundra Cemetery

Visit The Cemetery

We always visit cemeteries in small towns as they are a window in to the towns history. Cootamundra cemetery is no exception. It’s a fairly large cemetery broken up in to your usual denominational groups. Graves date back to the mid 1800s if you have a good look around. David has many relatives buried in Coota cemetery. In fact Amanda and David will more than likely end up spending the rest of eternity within the cemetery grounds (pun intended).

Cootamundra Wattle

Cootamundra Wattle

Cootamundra Wattle

There’s nothing prettier than driving in to Coota when the famous Cootamundra wattle is in bloom. It has a famous song written about it by John Williamson. The branches of the tree are covered in clusters of bright yellow, small, rounded flowers held in late winter through early spring. The Cootamundra wattle is a shrub or tree in the genus acacia baileyana. Its scientific name honors botanist Frederick Manson Bailey. In New South Wales, it is native to four districts, including Temora, Cootamundra, Stockinbingal and Bethungra.

Hey it’s July and the winter sun is shining
And the Cootamundra wattle is my friend
For all at once my childhood never left me
‘Cause wattle blossoms bring it back again.

—Lyrics from “Cootamundra Wattle” by John Williamson

Cootamundra Picnic Races 2022

Coota Picnic Races 2022

Picnic Races

The grandstand is full of racegoers at the annual Cootamundra Picnic Races. It’s a fun day out for the whole family. Held in April at the Cootamundra Race Course just outside of Coota. Local bands play live music and they have full bar facilities. There is always food available, sausage sizzle, burgers and there are usually a couple of food trucks with coffee and pizza. It’s always a lively event and the racing is always great. They run fashions in the field in a big range of categories. Check their Facebook Page for details of the next event.

Rail Heritage

When the Main South Line was extended from Harden, the Cootamundra Railway Station opened on the 1st of November 1877. On April 15th of the following year, less than 5 months later, the line was again extended to Bethungra. When the Tumut and Kunama line opened up as far as Gundagai on June 1st 1886 Cootamundra became a major junction station.

During 1901 an island platform was built, which has since been closed. The line through Coota was duplicated 40 years later in 1943. It resulted in the building of the largest overhead gantry in the Southern Hemisphere. Now relocated it still stands proudly within the station grounds.

Coota Railway Station is a large complex with a number of buildings and a unique first class terminal building. Both the towns landscape and the development of the rail network are reflected in this work. Nearly the entire length of the town’s eastern boundary is dedicated to the rail yard. It’s an integral part of the town’s development. There is great detail in both the building and the cast iron columns and brackets of the canopy on the Station building and major platform.

A heritage listing of Cootamundra Railway Station was placed on the NSW Heritage Register on the 2nd of April 1999.

Cootamundra Railway Station

Cootamundra Railway Station

Weather For Cootamundra

Data Courtesy of The Bureau Of Meteorology
StatisticsJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecAnnualYears
Temperature
Mean maximum temperature (°C)32.130.427.222.717.614.013.014.618.322.526.329.522.4271995
2022
Mean minimum temperature (°C)16.115.612.47.53.42.11.21.43.46.210.513.07.7271995
2022
Rainfall
Mean rainfall (mm)50.054.153.935.336.161.659.154.551.445.862.552.4597.9241995
2022
Decile 5 (median) rainfall (mm)38.428.730.221.633.655.047.855.444.840.651.549.4568.4261995
2022
Mean number of days of rain ≥ 1 mm5.04.15.04.05.58.09.38.06.75.96.55.573.5271995
2022
Other daily elements
Mean daily sunshine (hours)               
Mean number of clear days10.37.811.69.18.95.45.36.47.67.96.210.997.4151995
2010
Mean number of cloudy days6.67.57.06.49.913.314.312.111.49.110.87.4115.8151995
2010
9 am conditions
Mean 9am temperature (°C)22.120.917.214.79.46.65.17.511.315.217.720.614.0151995
2010
Mean 9am relative humidity (%)59677273849191867768646074151995
2010
Mean 9am wind speed (km/h)14.58.210.05.67.64.67.15.811.07.713.27.68.6151995
2010
3 pm conditions
Mean 3pm temperature (°C)30.329.326.322.017.013.412.113.917.221.024.827.921.3151995
2010
Mean 3pm relative humidity (%)33383843536665615346393648151995
2010
Mean 3pm wind speed (km/h)16.59.414.97.011.76.113.18.015.89.116.710.011.5151995
2010

Stay At Cootamundra Caravan Park

In addition to being neat and spacious Cootamundra Caravan Park is easily accessible from town but sits off the main road. In fact you can walk to everywhere within Cootamundra from the caravan within five or ten minutes. The Cootamundra RSL Club is about two minutes walk from the caravan park. The RSL has a very good bistro and meals are both cheap and generous.

Getting To Cootamundra

Cootamundra is situated on the Olympic Highway, not very far off the Hume Highway. It’s easily accessible when travelling between Sydney and Melbourne. It makes a great stop to break up your journey.

Travel FromDistanceTime
Adelaide to Cootamundra978km10:28
Albury to Cootamundra238km02:24
Canberra to Cootamundra171km02:00
Melbourne to Cootamundra562km05:38
Sydney to Cootamundra379km04:01
Wagga Wagga to Cootamundra90km01:08
Young to Cootamundra48km00:36
Cootamundra, Gundagai & Surrounding Areas

Cootamundra, Gundagai & Surrounding Areas

Cootamundra, Gundagai & Surrounding Areas

We spent the Easter long weekend in Cootamundra at the caravan park. We planned on looking at properties around the town so the Cootamundra caravan park was nice and central for us. It’s an older caravan park but everything is exceptionally well maintained and very clean.

Set Up in Cootamundra Caravan Park

Set Up in Cootamundra Caravan Park

Australian Cricket Captains Walk Cootamundra

The Captains Walk features 42 bronze sculptures of former captains of the Australian Cricket team. Sir Donald Bradman was born in Cootamundra and of course he features amongst the captains in the walk! On Friday after setting up we went and had some lunch and did the Cricket Captains’ walk in Jubilee Park again. Amanda was hoping that they had got around to installing Steve Smiths’ bust but alas she wasn’t very happy.

No Steve Smith Bust on the Australian Cricket Captains Walk in Cootamundra NSW

No Steve Smith Bust on the Australian Cricket Captains Walk in Cootamundra NSW

Trungley Hall

On Saturday afternoon we went for a drive out to Temora for a look around. We decided to take the long way back and ended up visiting a cemetary at a little abandoned place called Trungley Hall. I am guessing that in it’s day it must have been a German/Lutheran farming community like the ones in SA around Hahndorf as every name in the cemetery was clearly of German heritage.

Trungley Hall Cemetery NSW

Trungley Hall Cemetery NSW

Gundagai And Cootamundra Backroads

On Sunday went for a drive along backroads between Cootamundra and Gundagai with a little side trip to Tumut thrown in for good measure. We visited the Gundagai Cemetery and checked out Captain Moonlights’ grave – we love our Aussie bushranger history.

Captain Moonlights Grave Gundagai Cemetery NSW

Captain Moonlights Grave Gundagai Cemetery NSW

Loads To Do – Explore The Backroads Between Gundagai And Cootamundra

There is heaps to do down this way, much more than what you see alongside the Hume as you roll on by. We saw quite a few nice little free camping spots in some out of the way places you’d never know existed.

Hema Maps Cootamundra and Surrounds

Hema Maps Cootamundra and Surrounds

Cootamundra Caravan Park

Cootamundra is located 379 kilometres south of Sydney, it’s a small town of 5,900 people best known for being home to cricketer Don Bradman. His birthplace is now a museum well worth a visit. Located in the Riverina Cootamundra is an excellent base from which to explore the region. Cootamundra has a very good golf course and picturesque scenic views. In addition to being neat and spacious Cootamundra Caravan Park is easily accessible from town but sits off the main road. In fact you can walk to everywhere within Cootamundra from the caravan within five or ten minutes. The Cootamundra RSL Club is about two minutes walk from the caravan park. The RSL has a very good bistro and meals are both cheap and generous.

Getting To Cootamundra

Cootamundra is situated on the Olympic Highway, not very far off the Hume Highway. It’s easily accessible when travelling between Sydney and Melbourne. It makes a great stop to break up your journey.

Travel FromDistanceTime
Adelaide to Cootamundra978km10:28
Albury to Cootamundra238km02:24
Canberra to Cootamundra171km02:00
Melbourne to Cootamundra562km05:38
Sydney to Cootamundra379km04:01
Wagga Wagga to Cootamundra90km01:08
Young to Cootamundra48km00:36
Wingello State Forest Free Camping For The Weekend

Wingello State Forest Free Camping For The Weekend

Wingello State Forest Free Camping For The Weekend

Wingello State Forest is only about an hour from where we live in Southwest Sydney. As with all NSW State Forests it is dog friendly. If you are in to mountain bike riding then this is a great place for you. There are many marked mountain bike trails throughout Wingello State Forest. Many mountain biking clubs use Wingello State Forest for events.

There’s a main campground area in Wingello State Forest with drop toilets and we have camped there before. You can fit about a dozen vans/tents in there. It gets jam packed on weekends near Christmas and also over any public holiday weekends. If you’re a bit more adventurous like us there are at least half a dozen really good sites out in the forest itself where we are this weekend. If you are really adventurous (like us) and don’t mind getting your vehicle in to low range there are even more great sites down some little tracks.

Dog Friendly Free Camping Wingello State Forest Two Hours From Sydney

Dog Friendly Free Camping Wingello State Forest Two Hours From Sydney

Wingello State Forest is only about an hour from where we live in Southwest Sydney. Distance wise it’s about 70 kilometres for us, plus whatever you need to add for getting to your camping spot out in the forest.

As with all NSW State Forests it is dog friendly. There is no drinking water available so you have to bring your own. Fires are allowed but with restrictions and only at certain times of the year. State Forest Rangers patrol the area.

Free Camping Wingello State Forest Sunset View

Free Camping Wingello State Forest Sunset View

If you are in to mountain bike riding then this is a great place for you. There are many marked mountain bike trails throughout Wingello State Forest. Many mountain biking clubs use Wingello State Forest for events.

One last thing to keep in mind. Wingello State Forest is an actively logged area. Logging operations take place almost all year round so pay attention to logging trucks in the area when driving through the forest.

Camp Site Location

Camping Two Hours From Sydney Wollondilly River Station

Camping Two Hours From Sydney Wollondilly River Station

Camping Two Hours From Sydney Wollondilly River Station

Camping two hours from Sydney? Yes there is camping two hours from Sydney in a bush setting on a river in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW Australia on the Wollondilly River off Wombeyan Caves Road. You follow the picturesque Wombeyan Caves Road from Mittagong deep into the heart of the Wollondilly Rivers’ valley to reach Wollondilly River Station at Goodmans Ford. Wollondilly River Station straddles the Wollondilly River on both sides. It is full of natural beauty and rugged terrain.

  • Camp fires (depending upon weather and restrictions)
  • Riverside camping
  • Pets welcome
  • Swimming & canoeing
  • Bushwalking & mountain biking

We have just returned from camping at Wollondilly River Station for four days over the Australia Day weekend. It is a fantastic location. We took our dog Graciee with us for her first camping experience and she was great. She had a really good time of it and was a completely different dog to what she is at home. It’s a great place to camp with your dog and there were many families there and everyone was having an absolute ball. The river is fantastic for swimming and the facilities are more than enough for what you need. We can’t wait to come back for another stay.

How To Get To Wollondilly River Station

To get there you need to follow Wombeyan Caves Road from the Mittagong end. Wombeyan Caves road is all dirt, usually well maintained although it is very tight and has lots of hairpin bends and has a steep dropoff on one side for most of the way. It’s easily driven in a 2WD vehicle when it’s dry, but if it rains it is not advisable.

You are ok towing a small offroad van, but anything over say about 17 feet in length and you would not attempt it. Long motorhomes, fifth wheelers, that kind of thing sorry but you’d be bonkers mad to try it.

Don’t try it from the Wombeyan Caves end unless you are a very experienced 4wd operator with a decent vehicle. Towing anything from the Wombeyan Caves side is not recommended at all.

Travel FromDistanceTime
Mittagong to Wollondilly River Station50km00:43
Picton to Wollondilly River Station97km01:09
Wollongong to Wollondilly River Station122km01:28
Sydney to Wollondilly River Station164km01:51