Bradman's birthplace, now a museum (courtesy Cootamundra Local History Society)

The rural service centre of Cootamundra is best known for being the birthplace of Australian cricketing great Sir Donald Bradman (on 27 August 1908) and as the home of the Cootamundra Wattle (Acacia Baileyana).

Westpac Bank, originally NSW Bank. The architect was Varney Parkes, son of Sir Henry Parkes (courtesy Cootamundra Local History Society)

The region was originally occupied by the indigenous Wiradjuri people. Europeans entered the area from around 1830.

Cootamundra railway station (courtesy Cootamundra Local History Society)

The town itself was built on land that was once a part of John Hurley's 'Cootamondra' station. The name is a variation of the Aboriginal term 'gooramundra', which translates either to 'turtle', 'swamp' or 'low lying'.

Courthouse, built in 1901 using local bricks (courtesy Cootamundra Local History Society)

A government survey of the site for the 'village of Cootamundry' was conducted in 1860. The town did not officially become 'Cootamundra' until 1952.

Post office built in 1881 by a local builder (courtesy Cootamundra Local History Society)

In 1862 gold mining commenced in the region, bringing with it an influx of miners and also bushrangers ready to hold up the gold transports. The grave of John Barnes, shot by bushranger John O'Meally in 1863, is located in the Cootamundra cemetery just out of town.

Town lots were also first sold in 1862. Four years later there was a police station, post office and hotel on site. The Office of the Colonial Architect designed a more recent (1881) post office which prominently features a four-storey tower. This building has gained a National Trust classification.

A Roman Catholic Church was constructed in 1870 and a school opened in 1875. The Cootamundra Herald newspaper was first published in 1877, which was also the year that railway arrived in town from Sydney. Construction of the railway station commenced in the late 1870s, with improvements made through the 1880s. Fluted iron columns hold up the platform roof and the building also features a central octagonal tower.

Buildings constructed in the wake of the railway include the Town Hall (1890), Cootamundra Gaol (1885), the District Hospital (1890) and the symmetrical Courthouse (1901).

Cootamundra is situated 385 kilometres south west of Sydney and less than two hours drive from Canberra.

Local Features

The aim of the CLHS is to collect and preserve the written and photographic history of the town and district. Founded 1987.

  • Events :
    Bush tour of Canberra each March; Heritage Week in April; Bus tour of a neighbouring town each July; and History Week in September.
  • Contact :
    Betti Punnett (President); Marie Holt (Secretary)
  • President Phone :
    02 6942 1158
  • Secretary Phone :
    02 6942 1600
  • Phone :
    02 6942 2263
  • Address :
    PO Box 489
    NSW 2590
  • Postal Address :

  • Website :

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