Heritage Tourism

Cooma-Monaro Shire, NSW

Heritage Study

Development of Heritage Tourism in Cooma-Monaro Shire explored the opportunities offered by promoting heritage places to visitors in the area. The report, commissioned by Cooma-Monaro Shire, found that there was a great variety of interesting sites, trails and activities which were in most cases currently untapped tourism resources. The impact of tourism on heritage sites was thoroughly investigated and recommendations formulated to avert negative impacts. It resulted in a shire wide coordinated approach to management and promotion of heritage tourism and an increased awareness of the value of the community’s heritage.


History & Tradition

The land comprising the Cooma-Monaro Shire is an ancient plateau about 800 metresabove sea level generally running north south and bounded on the east and west byrugged mountain ranges, part of the Great Dividing Range. Prior to the 1800s the Aboriginal tribe Ngarigo, or Narego, had occupied the greater Monaro district for some 15,000 years.


Cooma, the main town of the Monaro region, was explored by Captain J.M. Currie in 1823. It was first surveyed in 1840 and it was proclaimed a municipality in 1879. The railway from Sydney was extended from Royalla to Cooma in 1889, and in 1949, the town became the headquarters of the Snowy Mountains Scheme which saw a rapid growth of the township. The railway was closed in 1986.