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Cooma

(3.8/5 based on 420+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: winter sports, outdoors, museums
Cooma is a town in the south of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 114km 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 800m above sea level. The name could have derived from an Aboriginal word Coombah, meaning 'big lake' or 'open country'.HistoryCooma was explored by Captain J. M. Currie in 1823. It was first surveyed in 1840, and was gazetted in 1849. Comma 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 1986. 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.
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