Cootamundra is a town in the South West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia and within the Riverina. It is within the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council. At the 2016 Census, Cootamundra had a population of 6,782. It is located on the Olympic Highway at the point where it crosses the Muttama Creek, between Junee and Cowra. Cootamundra is not on the Hume Highway, but its railway station is on the Main Southern line, part of the Melbourne-to-Sydney line. Abb McAlister was elected mayor of the newly-formed Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council on 21 September 2017.
Cootamundra is the birthplace of Sir Donald Bradman AC, an Australian cricketer universally regarded as the greatest batsman of all time. Although he never lived in the town and his parents left Yeo Yeo (some 18 km from Cootamundra) when he was two, the town celebrates this connection with the Sir Donald Bradman Birthplace Museum, the home where “The Don” was born, a fully restored visitors’ site featuring cricketing memorabilia and artifacts.
Cootamundra is the home of the Cootamundra wattle. Every year there is a large ‘Wattle Time’ Festival held at the time the wattle starts to bloom, with an art show and festivities.
Cootamundra has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Cootamundra-Griffith railway: Cootamundra West railway station
- Main Southern railway: Cootamundra railway station
- 39 Rinkin Street: Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls
- 219 Sutton Street: Cootamundra World War II Fuel Depot
During World War II, Cootamundra was the location of RAAF No.3 Inland Aircraft Fuel Depot (IAFD), completed in 1942 and closed on 14 June 1944. It was located in an area of land near the intersection of Olympic Highway and Thompson Street. Usually consisting of 4 tanks, 31 fuel depots were built across Australia for the storage and supply of aircraft fuel for the RAAF and the US Army Air Forces at a total cost of £900,000 ($1,800,000).
Cootamundra yields a typical climate of the lower South West Slopes region; hot, dry summers with severe thunderstorms, and cool winters with many rain days. Occasionally, snow may fall during the winter months, with the most recent settled snowfall having occurred in August 2019 (alongside Tumut).