New South Wales
|Population||1,892 (2021 census)|
|Elevation||705 m (2,313 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Snowy Monaro Regional Council|
Bombala is a town in the Monaro region of south-eastern New South Wales, Australia, in Snowy Monaro Regional Council. It is approximately 485 kilometres (301 mi) south of the state capital, Sydney, and 80 kilometres (50 mi) south of the town of Cooma. The name derives from an Aboriginal word meaning "Meeting of the waters". The town lies on the banks of the Bombala River. At the 2021 census, Bombala had a population of 1,892.
The Bombala area was inhabited by the Ngarigu Aboriginal people prior to the first European settlers arriving in the 1830s. Captain Ronald Campbell established a large property in 1833 that he named 'Bombalo'. More European settlers arrived in the Bombala area in the 1840s during which time the small township developed. Bombala had a post office by 1849 and had a number of large commercial and public buildings by the mid 1850s.
Bombala was proposed in 1903 by King O'Malley as the site of the parliamentary seat of Australia. It was considered as a location because it was halfway between the two cities of Sydney and Melbourne. The proposal was ultimately rejected in favour of Canberra. The site proposed for the capital city was a little to the west of the town of Bombala, on the right bank of the Bombala River. The town of Bombala would have been a part of a new federal territory.
The town lies on the banks of the Bombala River and principal industries of the area include grazing and timber. Tourism is also growing in importance to the local economy. There is also a small amount of specialty producers with meat rabbits, lavender and many herbs being grown in the district. Delegate is situated 36 km west of Bombala and The Snowy River March which commenced from Delegate in 1916 went via Bombala to Goulburn.
The timber industry has slowly begun to overtake many of the historic properties surrounding Bombala, such as the more-than-150-year-old property of Aston, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south-west of the township.
The area is known for possibly the largest population of Platypus in New South Wales and is promoted as Platypus Country.
The Holy Transfiguration Monastery is a male monastic community of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. Founded in 1982, the monastic community presided over by Abbott Hieromonk Sergius, abides in the pristine and rugged valley of the MacLaughlin River situated between Cooma and Bombala.
The Facebook page "Bombala History in Photos" contains a wealth of information about the town's history.
On January 15, 2022, a tornado touched down in the vicinity of the town.
Bombala has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
In the 2021 Census, there were 1,892 people in Bombala. 83.2% of people were born in Australia and 89.2% of people spoke only English at home. The most common responses for religion were Anglican 26.8%, Catholic 21.7% and No Religion 29.2%
Geography and climate
Situated at 705 metres above sea level on the eastern edge of the Monaro Tablelands, Bombala is known for its cold winters with frequent frost and regular dustings of snow. Snowfalls have even occurred in late spring and frosts often occur in summer. A few kilometres to the east, the land slopes downwards to the South Coast, a flat coastal plain where summers are warmer and winter temperatures much milder. Examples are towns such as Bega and Merimbula, both about 80 kilometres east of Bombala. According to Köppen climate classification scheme, Bombala has an oceanic climate (Cfb).
Most rain in the area tends to fall as cold fronts, which at times allow for the development of severe thunderstorms in the spring and summer. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 41.5 °C (105.6 °F) to −10.0 °C (14.0 °F).
|Climate data for Bombala (Therry Street, 1912–2022, rainfall to 1885); 705 m AMSL; 36.91° S, 149.24° E|
|Record high °C (°F)||41.5
|Average high °C (°F)||25.6
|Average low °C (°F)||10.5
|Record low °C (°F)||0.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||64.2
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)||8.2||7.7||8.4||8.1||9.2||10.4||9.4||10.1||10.3||10.4||9.9||9.1||111.2|
|Average afternoon relative humidity (%)||51||55||54||58||63||64||59||56||54||53||52||54||56|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
The most popular sport in Bombala is rugby league. The Bombala Blue Heelers play in the Group 16 Rugby League competition. Officially, the team merged with rivals the Delegate Tigers in the 1980s, with the club officially known as Bombala-Delegate.
The railway reached Bombala in 1921 and closed in 1986. being an extension of the line from Queanbeyan to Cooma. The line was and still is known as the Goulburn to Bombala line. During the 1970s, service was provided by a small rail bus, taking 4 hours to cover the 100 kilometres (62 mi) between Cooma and Bombala (compare road distance 88 kilometres (55 mi)).
The Monaro Highway (now route B23) which runs from Canberra to Cann River (Victoria) passes through Bombala. Other major roads include Mt Darragh Rd which connects to Pambula and Merimbula on the NSW South Coast.
The nearest airport with regular air services is at Merimbula, 85 kilometres (53 mi) to the east.
- Minard Crommelin MBE (1881–1972), postmistress and environmental conservationist, born at Aston Station, near Bombala.
- Michael Farrell (born 1965), contemporary poet and magazine editor, born in Bombala.
- Sir Alexander George William "Bill" Keys AC, OBE, MC (1923–2000), long-serving president of the Returned and Services League (RSL), grew up in Bombala.
- Dick Tooth (born 1929), former Australian rugby union representative, born in Bombala.
- William Farmer Whyte (1877–1958), journalist and author
- Charles Henry Kerry (1857–1928), photographer
- Wilfred Alexander de Beuzeville (1884–1954), forester
- Ky Rodwell, rugby league footballer
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Bombala (State Suburb)". 2021 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
- "Climate statistics for Australian locations - Bombala (Therry Street)". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- "Bombala". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- "Bombala". heritageaustralia.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
- "FEDERAL CAPITAL: PROPOSED SITES, 1904. - SOUTHERN MONARO DISTRICT. SECOND REPORT (WITH PLANS), BY C. R. SCRIVENER, SURVEYOR". Trove. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
- "Sketch map showing proposed Federal Territory and capital site at Bombala [cartographic material] : Parishes of Bombala, Gecar, Ashton, Maharatta, Mila, Hayden, Gulgin, Delegete, Pickering, Burnima and Burrimbucco, County of Wellesley, New South Wales 1900". Trove. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
- "General plan of country surrounding suggested Federal Capital site in the locality of Bombala, N.S.W. No. 12 [cartographic material] : shewing approximately city site, proposed water supply, railways, &c". Trove. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
- "Southern Monaro or Bombala-Eden Territory". Trove. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
- Condie, Katrina. "A new chapter to be written as historic Bombala post office hits the market". About Regional. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
- "Home - Holy Transfiguration Monastery". Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "Facebook: Bombala History in Photos". Facebook.
- @SevereWeatherAU (15 January 2022). "MUST WATCH! See the time-lapse video of the Bombala NSW tornado that was captured yesterday afternoon. Via our Part…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Bombala Railway Station and yard group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H01091. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
- "Crankies Plain Bridge". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H01466. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
- "BOMBALA (THERRY STREET)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. April 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "NSWrail.net". Rolfe Bozier, NSWrail.net. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
- Souter, Gavin. Whyte, William Farmer (1877-1958). National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
- Burke, Keast. Kerry, Charles Henry (1857-1928). National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
- Carron, L. T. de Beuzeville, Wilfred Alexander (1884-1954). National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
Media related to Bombala, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons