19 January 2020

Canberra Day Trips: Discover Cootamundra

| Canberra Day Trips
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The wooden Cootamundra cottage where Don Bradman was born. Photo: Denisbin.

Cootamundra is a picturesque country town and a prosperous rural service centre in the Riverina region. Its name is evocative of the fabulous Cootamundra wattle and as the birthplace of cricketing great Don Bradman, it has a strong connection with history. And that’s not where it ends. Cootamundra also has a rich heritage of elegant public buildings and there are plenty of fascinating things to do and see in the Riverina town.

Things to do in Cootamundra

The Captains Walk features busts of every Australian Test Team cricket captain from the 1868 tour of England to the present. Photo: Denisbin.

  • The cottage where Sir Don Bradman was born is now a museum packed with cricketing memorabilia and history.
  • Visit Captains Walk in Jubilee Park and check out the 40+ bronze sculptures of Australian test cricket captains and Unaarimim, a famous Aboriginal cricketer in the first ever Australian cricket team tour of England.
  • There are more artworks to be enjoyed at the Milestone Sculptures, which pay tribute to local wheat growers.
  • There’s no shortage of places to treat your tastebuds. We like Planted Cootamundra, which serves up wholefoods and organic seasonal produce, and the local clubs have tasty bistro food on offer.
  • Cootamundra is a great place for a spot of shopping. Put the Arts Centre on your shopping list if you’re looking for quality gifts.
  • Love birdwatching? Head to Cootamundra Bird Walk or the walking track at Pioneer Park. Expect to see kingfishers, eagles, spoonbills, robins, sulphur-crested cockatoos, galahs and honeyeaters, among others.
  • Cootamundra Railway station dates back to 1877 and right next to it is the Cootamundra Heritage Centre, which has captured the town’s Aboriginal history, history of the railway and aviation in the town, and Cootamundra’s military involvement.
  • For more historic buildings, stroll past the post office with its four-storey clock tower, the Court House built in 1901, and the grave of businessman John Barnes who was shot by bushranger John O’Meally.

Getting there

From Canberra, take the Barton towards Yass until its intersection with the Hume Highway. From there, follow the Hume Highway until you see the turn-off to Jugiong about 60km from Yass. Once in Jugiong, follow the signs to Cootamundra via Jugiong Rd and Gundagai Rd. It’s just under 50kms from Jugiong to Cootamundra.

When to go

Take a look at the events calendar before you go. Some of the key events in the region are:

  • The Cootamundra Wattle Time Fair and Street Parade happens on the last Saturday of August. Celebrate with markets, stalls, entertainment, activities for the kids and more. There’s a street parade with all kinds of displays as locals show off their artistic talents.
  • The Cootamundra Show is held every year on the third weekend of October. It’s a packed community event with many competitions, events, sideshow alley, trade stalls and entertainment.
  • Cootamundra Wattle Girl Guides hold Sunday markets at Fisher Park, with a range of plants, handmade items, fruit and vegetables for sale.
  • The Cootamundra Annual Cycling Classic is held during August and attracts a high-quality field. Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallists have featured on the winners’ podium. The exciting race along a picturesque route of rolling hills, with a screamer of an uphill finish, is held on the last Saturday of August each year.

Key details

  • Duration: 2 hours.
  • Distance from Canberra: 165km each way via the Barton and Hume Highways.
  • Recommended for: Nature lovers, sports fans, foodies, anyone into birdwatching, history and much more.
  • More information: Visit NSW: Cootamundra

Have you been to Coota? Let us know what you like about it.

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