Cooma Travel Guide

Cooma is a beautiful town in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales. With its hilly landscapes and magnificent alpine overlooks, Cooma is a wonderful destination for Australians who are in search of exciting adventures. The town of Cooma is located 114 kilometres south of Canberra in a mountainous area of Australia. While the town is fairly close to the Australian capital, it is about 400 kilometres southwest of Sydney.

Cooma is situated next to the Snowy Mountains Highway, so it is an excellent base for expeditions in the region. During your adventures, you will venture across grassy planes, steep hills, and craggy mountains. Your bush skills and endurance will be tested by the diverse terrain of the Snowy Mountains region, so come prepared with sturdy shoes and an enthusiastic attitude.


The areas around Cooma were sparsely populated until the arrival of European explorers in the 19th century. In 1823, the location of present-day Cooma was discovered by Captain Currie. Due to its proximity to natural resources, many people settled in Cooma. Since many of these settlers were from England and other areas of Northern Europe, they easily adjusted to the climate and terrain of the Snowy Mountains region. In 1879, Cooma became an official township of New South Wales. The town expanded rapidly after it was connected to Sydney by a railway.

Only a few Aboriginal groups resided in the lands around Cooma, but they still regarded the Snowy Mountains region as a place of spiritual importance. In fact, the modern name of the town comes from ‘coombah’, an Aboriginal word that translates to English as ‘open country’. When you experience the sense of freedom that washes over your mind during your adventures in the alpine wilderness, you will understand the true meaning of coombah.

Things to see and do in Cooma

The lands around Cooma are known for their untouched picturesque views and serene atmospheres. During your travel through the Snowy Mountains region, you will be inspired by the untamed wilderness. Bushwalking, skiing, kayaking, and fishing are some of the exhilarating activities that you can enjoy in this splendid alpine paradise. Explore the lowlands to see frost-covered hills before you climb to the highest peaks of the region. After a tiring day of bushwalking, plunge your face into the waters of an icy mountain stream to rejuvenate your senses.

Murrumbidgee River – Cooma, New South Wales

The sweeping bend of the Murrumbidgee River provides the perfect reflection of giant Red Gums.

If you enjoy intense natural challenges, visit Koscuiszko National Park. This 700,000-hectare park is the largest national park in New South Wales. When you arrive in the park, take a moment to observe the gargantuan stone formations that surround you. You will be amazed by the sheer amount of secrets that are hidden in the wilderness just beyond your reach. During the winter months, you can enjoy a wonderful skiing adventure on Mt. Kosciuszko. You will feel a true sense of liberation as you rush down the snowy slopes. Enjoy a warm meal at one of the park’s alpine lodges before you explore the subterranean secrets of Yarrangobilly Caves.

Climate conditions

Cooma is located 800 metres above sea level, and you will be impressed by dramatic vistas of snowy peaks and rocky landscapes. If you venture to the nearby Murrumbidgee River, you will be graced by a lovely view of sparkling frigid waters. Cooma has an oceanic climate, but its high altitude brings cool conditions throughout the year. You can expect chilly winters and warm summers. The average minimum temperature during the coldest month is -3 degrees. During the warmest month of the year, the average maximum temperature is 27 degrees. If you venture to the alpine areas near Cooma, you should be prepared for colder conditions. Cooma receives about 533 millimetres of precipitation each year.