Tucked into the southeast corner of NSW, on a gentle bend of the Bombala River, the tiny historic township of Bombala is a peaceful spot renowned for its platypus inhabitants. Explore spectacular national parks, idyllic waterways and rich alpine farmland.
See platypus in the wild
Bombala is known for the communities of platypus that live in the nearby rivers and streams, but these famous duck-billed mammals can be elusive to spot. Early morning and late afternoon are your best bet and the place to see them is the Bombala Platypus Reserve, just out of town. A quiet and pretty place, the reserve has a viewing platform for platypus spotting as well as bird hides to watch the abundant birdlife.
History & heritage
To learn more about the platypus and other things to see and do in the region, visit the Platypus Country Visitor Information Centre. Here you can pick up a ‘Walk Back in Time in Bombala’ brochure and explore Bombala’s fascinating heritage and historic buildings around town, such as the 1930s Olympia Theatre, the Bombala Railway Station and Court House.
For a glimpse into early settler life in the 1840s, visit the beautifully-restored Early Settlers Hut near the tiny village of Delegate, believed to be the first European dwelling on the Monaro Plains. Historians will love Crankies Plain Bridge over the Coolumbooka River. The bridge was built in 1892 and is of great significance as one of seven timber truss bridges in NSW.
Ski fields & country shows
In the winter months, the ski resorts 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 spring and summer, the hiking and biking trails of the and the South East Forests National Park are blooming with wildflowers among the weathered snow gums.
For a fantastic family day out, you can’t go past a traditional country show. The Bombala Show is held in March and highlights the region’s produce, as well as the marvellous sheep dog trials, show jumping, fun rides and more. Before you leave town, visit Lavender House in the historic red brick St Joseph's convent to purchase some of the amazing locally-grown and made lavender products.
Getting there & where to stay
Bombala is a 4 hour and 45-min drive from Sydney, 6 hour 40-min drive from Melbourne, 2 hour and 20-min drive from Canberra, 1 hour and 15-min drive from Merimbula and 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.