Bombala

On the banks of the Bombala River, the town of the same name is perfectly positioned between Canberra, the NSW Snowy Mountains and the coast. That means you could ski or snowboard, surf, visit our nation’s capital or simply explore the local area’s rich farmland, idyllic waterways and old growth trees in the South East Forests National Park. And one of the main reasons to come here? Bombala is in the heart of Platypus Country.

Bombala Historic Railway at Bombala in Cooma Area, Snowy Mountains

From platypus to Perisher

With a high number of platypus in the rivers and streams around Bombala, you might be lucky and see these amazing mammals. The place to see them is the Bombala Platypus Reserve, which is just out of town. It is a quiet and pretty place, and has a viewing platform to make it easier to spot these incredible creatures. Be patient and keep an eye out for a V shape in the water.

Inside the Early Settlers hut in Bombala, Cooma, Snowy Mountains

To learn more about the platypus and other things to see and do in the region, visit the Platypus Country Visitor Information Centre. You can explore fascinating heritage by picking up the ‘Walk Back In Time’ brochure, that will steer you towards historic buildings around town. The beautifully restored Early Settlers Hut near Delegate will give you an idea what life was like in the 1840s, the Bombala Historic Railway houses a museum and lavender oil distillery, and photographers and historians will love Crankies Plain Bridge over Coolumbooka River. This bridge was built in 1892 and is of great significance.

View from Pipers Lookout Walking Track, Snowy Mountains

In the winter months, the ski fields of Perisher, Thredbo and Charlottes Pass are around two hours’ drive away, making it easy to sneak in some skiing or snowboarding on world-class slopes. In summer, the hiking and biking options in the Kosciuszko National Park and in the South East Forests National Park are wonderful.

Sheep shearing at Bombala Show in Bombala, Cooma, Snowy Mountains

Showtime

There is nothing better than a country show for a day out. The Bombala Show is on in March and highlights the region’s produce, as well as holding sheep dog trials, show jumping, fun rides and more. Before you leave town visit Lavender House to purchase some of the amazing locally grown and made lavender products.

Alexanders Hut, set on grassy area of naturally treeless frost hollows at Alexanders Hut campground, near Bombala in Cooma

Getting there & where to stay

Bombala is a 4hr 45min from Sydney, 6hr 40min from Melbourne, 2hr 20min from Canberra, 1 hr 15 min from Merimbula and only an hour from Cooma. You can also fly into Snowy Mountains Airport or Merimbula Airport and rent a car for your holiday. Accommodation options suit various budgets, from riverside camping and caravanning to hotels, a motel, cottages and guesthouses such as the Heritage Guest House.