New South Wales
Cooma Court House
|Population||6,301 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||800 m (2,625 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Snowy Monaro Regional Council|
Cooma is a town in the south of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 114 kilometres (71 mi) south of the national capital, Canberra, via the Monaro Highway. It is also on the Snowy Mountains Highway, connecting Bega with the Riverina. The town has a population of 6,301. Cooma is the main town of the Monaro region. It is 800 metres (2,620 ft) above sea level. The name could have derived from an Aboriginal word Coombah, meaning 'big lake' or 'open country'.
Cooma was explored by Captain J. M. Currie in 1823. It was first surveyed in 1840, and was gazetted in 1849. Cooma was proclaimed a municipality in 1879. The railway from Sydney was extended from Royalla to Cooma in 1889 under the supervision of John Whitton. The line was closed to rail passenger traffic in 1989. The estimated population of Cooma was 47 in 1851 and it grew to 2330 (1911), 1969 (1933), 2249 (1947), 9103 (1966), 7353 (1976) and 7978 (1981).
In 1949, the town became the headquarters of the Snowy Mountains Scheme and grew rapidly. Those working on the Snowy Scheme depended on the railway and during construction of the scheme, the railways were one of the largest employers in the region. In 1959 the tenth anniversary of the scheme was celebrated with the erection of an avenue of flags representing the 27 nationalities of people working on the scheme.
Cooma has developed a growing tourism industry as it became the main rest stop for many travellers heading to the NSW snow fields during the winter months. As a result, the town nicknamed itself the 'Gateway to the Snowy Mountains'.
The Aviation Pioneers' Memorial at Cooma contains artifacts recovered from the Avro 618 Ten aircraft Southern Cloud, which crashed on 21 March 1931 in the Toolong range of the Australian Alps. The wreck was not found until 26 October 1958.
Government schools include Monaro High School, a high school that serves the town and seven of the neighboring rural towns and villages including Peak View, Berridale, Jindabyne, Nimmitabel, Bredbo and Dalgety. The other two government schools support primary education and are Cooma Public School and Cooma North Public School, both providing education for students in kindergarten to year 6.
The Roman Catholic school is called St Patrick's Parish School and provides education from kindergarten to year 10. The Snowy Mountains Christian School, an independent Christian school provides education from kindergarten to year 10.
Cooma has a oceanic climate (Cfb), with subtropical highland (Cwb) influence. Summers are warm with cool nights, and winters are chilly with freezing nighttime lows. The area is relatively dry (for eastern Australian coast standards), as it falls in a rain shadow. Despite its dryness, it only has 90.1 clear days annually, lower than the adjacent coastal areas of Wollongong and Sydney (106 and 107 clear days, respectively).
Mean daily minimum temperatures range from −2.8 °C (27.0 °F) (July) to 10.7 °C (51.3 °F) (January), with annual mean daily minimum of 4.1 °C (39.4 °F). Mean daily maximum temperatures range from 11.4 °C (52.5 °F) (July) to 27.2 °C (81.0 °F) (January), with annual mean daily maximum of 19.3 °C (66.7 °F).
Cooma is 5 kilometres (3 mi) south of the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, a main tributary of the Murray–Darling basin. Cooma sources its water from the river. For the first time in history the river ceased flowing in December 2006. This was due to extensive drought in eastern Australia. This forced Cooma to adopt water restrictions, trying to limit Cooma's water consumption to 5 megalitres (4 acre·ft) a day, down from the then consumption of 11 megalitres (9 acre·ft) a day.
|Climate data for Cooma|
|Record high °C (°F)||39.0
|Average high °C (°F)||27.2
|Average low °C (°F)||10.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−0.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||57.4
|Average precipitation days||8.1||7.9||8.3||8.6||8.0||10.0||8.6||8.6||9.9||9.8||11.1||9.0||107.9|
|Average relative humidity (%)||40||44||45||49||54||59||54||48||45||44||43||41||47|
Two newspapers operate in Cooma, The Cooma Monaro Express has been publishing for 136 years, it is managed by a local team and owned by Fairfax Media.The Monaro Post, which began in 2006, and is independently owned by Gail Eastaway, Tracy Frazer and Louise Platts.
- 2XL 918 AM (commercial)
- Snow FM 97.7 FM (commercial)
- Triple J 100.1 FM
- ABC South-East 810 AM/1602 AM
- Radio National 95.3 FM/100.9 FM
- Classic FM 99.3
- Monaro FM 90.5 (community)
- Racing Radio 96.9 FM
- Vision Radio 88.0 FM (narrowcast, relay)
Note: transmitters for 2XL and Snow FM, as well as some ABC services, are in place throughout the Snowy Mountains.
Cooma receives five free-to-air television networks including all the digital free-to-air channels relayed from Canberra, broadcast from the Telstra site Radio Hill translator in Cooma Common, off Polo Flat Road.
Stations available include:
Another transmitter for the Cooma and surrounding Monaro region is located at Mount Roberts approximately 30 km NNE of the town, broadcasting The Three Commercial Networks and the ABC services, but not SBS Television Services.
Cooma is serviced by Cooma - Snowy Mountains Airport which is 15 kilometres from the CBD. Cooma has a bus service connecting various areas of town three times a day run by Cooma Coaches. Snowliner Coaches also operate services. Cooma has a taxi service run by Cooma Radio Taxis.
The Cooma Monaro Railway is a heritage railway using CPH railmotors built in the 1920s. Until operations were suspended in January 2014, the railway operated a weekend and public holiday service on an 18 kilometre section of the Bombala railway line north to Bunyan and Chakola.
People associated with Cooma
People born in Cooma include:
- Samantha Armytage - journalist
- John (Bērziņš) - bishop of Caracas of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia; first Australian-born orthodox bishop
- Andreas Breitfuss - hospitality professional and mountain climber
- Torah Bright - Olympic snowboarder
- Jamie Burns - NSW cricketer, 1927
- Carmen Duncan - actress
- Paula Duncan - actress
- Michael Gordon - rugby league player in the National Rugby League
- A. D. Hope - poet and Essayist
- Pat Hughes DFC - Royal Australian Air Force pilot
- Horst Kwech - Austrian born, Cooma raised, motor racing driver in the early US based Trans-Am Series
- Virginia Lette - media personality
- Steve Liebmann - journalist
- John Tierney - Senator in the Government of Australia
- John Tranter - poet
- Brett White - rugby league player in the National Rugby League
- Jack Williams - rugby league player in the Under 20s competition
- Sam Williams - rugby league player in the National Rugby League
- Charlotte Wood - writer
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- "Cooma Railway Precinct". NSW Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage: Government of New South Wales. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
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- "Cooma Railway Station". www.nswrail.net. Retrieved 2007-01-21.
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- "Monaro High School". NSW Government: Education and Communities. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "Cooma Public School". NSW Government: Education and Communities. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "Cooma North Public School". NSW Government: Education and Communities. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "St Patrick's Parish School, Cooma". Catholic Education Office Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "Snowy Mountains Christian School". Snowy Mountains Christian School. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "Cooma Campus". TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
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- Southern Region timetable NSW TrainLink
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- "Cooma Monaro Railway". Cooma Monaro Railway. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- Categories for Naming Features on Planets and Satellites, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, USGS Astrogeology Science Center, NASA
Media related to Cooma, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons
- "Climate for Cooma". Bureau of Meteorology. Australian Government. Retrieved 2009-02-24.