Located halfway between the mountainous ranges and the picturesque South Coast, Bombala has a rich history dating back to the 1840s, when it was primarily settled due to its fertile grazing lands.
- Bombala is known as Platypus Country
- Famous for its stream trout fishing
Bombala is renowned for its exceptional stream trout fishing opportunities. However, what sets the Bombala shire apart is its abundance of platypus in the nearby rivers, earning it the well-deserved moniker of Platypus Country.
Located 504 km south west of Sydney, 81 km south of Cooma and 747 m above sea level, Bombala NSW is a small and attractive rural service centre located in the far south east corner of New South Wales.
It currently has a population of around 1500. The main road from Cooma to the coast does not pass through Bombala and therefore the town has remained relatively untouched.
The district around the town, which can get very cold in winter, supports a variety of agricultural activity including sheep and beef cattle, vegetable growing and timber milling. The area is also known as one of the state’s best trout fishing districts.
As far as can be determined the area was inhabited by the Ngarigu Aborigines prior to European settlement and it is from their language that the word ‘bombala’ is said to have come. It probably meant ‘meeting of the waters’.
Things to do
One of Bombala’s main attractions is its communities of platypus, which can be spotted in the nearby rivers and streams. The Bombala Platypus Reserve, located just outside of town, is a great place to see these elusive creatures. The reserve also features a viewing platform for platypus spotting and bird hides to watch the abundant birdlife.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Bombala is a gateway to the Snowy Mountains and the South East Forests National Park, which offer hiking, biking, and skiing opportunities in their respective seasons. In the warmer months, visitors can enjoy the blooming wildflowers and weathered snow gums while traversing the park’s trails.
Bondi State Forest offers spectacular scenery which can best be appreciated by following some of the 85 kilometres of trails specially built for mountain biking.
To learn more about Bombala’s history and heritage, stop by the Platypus Country Visitor Information Centre, where you can pick up a ‘Walk Back in Time in Bombala’ brochure and explore the town’s fascinating historic buildings. These include the 1930s Olympia Theatre, the Bombala Railway Station, and the 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. Another historical landmark is Crankies Plain Bridge over the Coolumbooka River, which was built in 1892 and is one of seven timber truss bridges in NSW.
For a taste of local culture and produce, visitors can attend the Bombala Show, held annually in March. The show highlights the region’s agriculture and includes sheep dog trials, show jumping, and fun rides for families. Before leaving town, stop by Lavender House in the historic St. Joseph’s Convent to purchase locally grown and made lavender products.
Production of lavender products such as jams, soaps and oils is a thriving local industry with the lavender said to be on par with that produced in France.
The railway station buildings house Railway Land, home to Monaro Country Lavender’s oldest lavender association and Lavender House, great for shopping.
Where To Stay
Accommodation options in Bombala New South Wales suit various budgets, from riverside camping and caravanning to hotels, a motel, cottages, and guesthouses such as the Heritage Guest House.
Bombala Caravan Park
Nestled beside the serene Bombala River and a stone’s throw away from the bustling main street, lies the Bombala Caravan Park. Whether you’re a seasoned camper, a caravan enthusiast, or just looking for a peaceful retreat, this caravan park provides the perfect escape.
Discover spacious and well-maintained sites suitable for caravans, motorhomes, and tents. These sites come equipped with modern amenities, including electricity, water, and sewage hook-ups. Additionally, some powered sites offer breathtaking riverfront locations for a truly immersive experience.
For those seeking an authentic camping experience, our unpowered sites are the ideal choice. These sites allow you to connect with nature, surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of the river. It’s the perfect setting for a back-to-basics camping adventure.
Our cabins provide a comfortable retreat for guests of all kinds, catering to couples, families, and groups. These well-appointed cabins feature various configurations to meet your needs. Enjoy the convenience of fully equipped kitchens and private bathrooms, and some cabins even offer scenic river views, adding a touch of serenity to your stay.
Its prime location offers an excellent starting point for exploring the breathtaking South East Forests, the dazzling Sapphire Coast, and the highlands of Australia. Don’t forget to watch out for the elusive platypus that are known to frequent the river. If you prefer on-site accommodation, there are options available to suit your needs.
Imperial Hotel Bombala
The Imperial Hotel Bombala stands as a cherished historic establishment nestled in the heart of Bombala. Its prime location offers effortless access to the town’s vibrant shops, local clubs, and the serene Bombala River.
Situated conveniently along the Monaro Highway in Platypus Country, and just a short distance from the picturesque Bombala River, the Imperial Hotel boasts an impressive legacy spanning over 150 years. This iconic destination seamlessly weaves together the rich tapestry of old-world charm with contemporary amenities, encapsulating the essence of a quintessential Australian pub.
As you step into the Imperial Hotel Bombala, you’ll be transported back in time, with its time-honored architecture and ambiance. Each corner of this historic gem whispers stories of days gone by, offering a genuine glimpse into the region’s past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a cozy spot to unwind, the Imperial Hotel welcomes you to immerse yourself in the unique charm of this remarkable establishment.
Waratah Gully Campground
If you’re seeking an enchanting escape into the heart of nature, look no further than the Waratah Gully Campground. Nestled amidst towering eucalyptus trees, this campground offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the last remaining pockets of old-growth forest in New South Wales.
This tranquil bush campground is a hidden gem, nestled adjacent to the captivating Waratah Gully in the Coolangubra section of the park. Whether you arrive with a tent, caravan, or camper trailer, you’ll find a haven for free camping where you’re embraced by some of the most magnificent flora and fauna that the state has to offer.
As you settle into the Waratah Gully Campground, you’ll be greeted by a sense of peace and serenity that only nature can provide. The towering eucalyptus trees create a natural canopy, casting dappled sunlight upon your campsite, and the gentle sounds of the bush provide a soothing soundtrack to your stay.
One of the highlights of this campground is its proximity to captivating walking tracks. From here, you can easily access the Pheasants Peak and Myanba Gorge walking tracks, allowing you to explore the stunning natural beauty of the region on foot. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a leisurely stroll, these tracks offer something for everyone.
Nestled within the sprawling expanse of a 1,500-hectare property in south-eastern New South Wales, the Yambulla Lodge beckons travelers to embark on an extraordinary journey through Australia’s untamed beauty. This exceptional retreat is a haven where the past meets the present, offering an enriching experience unlike any other.
Surrounded on all sides by vast swathes of National Park, Yambulla Lodge is situated at the intersection of ancient Songlines. For millennia, the Yuin, Nagarigo, and Bidhawal People have served as custodians of this land, weaving a tapestry of culture, history, and nature over thousands of years.
Yambulla Lodge welcomes guests to a truly exclusive experience, designed for small groups seeking an authentic connection with the land. The lodge boasts just four private ensuite rooms, each graced with sweeping picture window views that frame a landscape teeming with peacefully grazing kangaroos and the majestic flight of wedgetail eagles.
During your stay, you’ll have the privilege of exploring the entire Yambulla property, delving into the secrets of its unique land management programs, and indulging in campfire picnics amidst the untamed wilderness. Your days of adventure seamlessly transition into evenings of camaraderie around the communal dining table, where great food, fine wine, and captivating conversation are shared.
What sets Yambulla Lodge apart is its unwavering commitment to conservation and education. All after-tax profits from the lodge contribute to the not-for-profit initiative, The Yambulla Project. This visionary project redefines land management by merging science, enterprise, and Indigenous Knowledge to pioneer productive land use that heals the land, fosters collaboration, and serves as a powerful educational platform.
The Delegate Hotel is a true reflection of a country pub, with its characteristic pressed ceilings and rooms adorned in heritage colors. Stepping inside, you’ll immediately feel the embrace of history, as the hotel’s walls whisper stories of days gone by. It’s a place where character is etched into every nook and cranny, creating an atmosphere that’s rich in nostalgia and authenticity.
At the Delegate Hotel, it’s not just about a place to stay; it’s about an experience that captures the essence of what country pubs are all about. Here, you’ll find more than just accommodation; you’ll discover a welcoming haven that embodies the heart and soul of the local community.
One of the defining features of the Delegate Hotel is its commitment to providing excellent food, ice-cold beer, and genuine, friendly service. The menu offers a taste of the region, with a range of delectable dishes that cater to every palate. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal after a day of exploring or simply craving a comforting classic, the Delegate Hotel’s kitchen has you covered.
How To Get To Bombala
Bombala is a 4 hour and 45-minute drive from Sydney, a 6 hour and 40-minute drive from Melbourne, a 2 hour and 20-minute drive from Canberra, a 1 hour and 15-minute drive from Merimbula, and an hour from Cooma. Visitors can also fly into Snowy Mountains Airport or Merimbula Airport and rent a car for their holiday.
Nearest Airport: Cooma (110km)
- Mountain Biking
- Trail bike riding
- Bird Watching
- Bush Walking
- National Park