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Bemboka, New South Wales facts for kids

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New South Wales
Population 578 (2011 census)
Postcode(s) 2550
  • 474 km (295 mi) SSW of Sydney
  • 193 km (120 mi) S of Canberra
  • 36 km (22 mi) W of Bega
  • 77 km (48 mi) SE of Cooma
LGA(s) Bega Valley Shire
State electorate(s) Bega
Federal Division(s) Eden-Monaro

Bemboka is a town in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. The town is located on the Snowy Mountains Highway, in the Bega Valley Shire local government area, 474 kilometres (295 miles) south of the state capital, Sydney. At the 2011 census, the Bemboka gazetted locality had a population of 578.


The Aboriginal meaning of the name Bemboka (originally Benbooka) is thought to be "High Peak". Positioned at the eastern head of the Bega Valley, 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the base of Brown Mountain (1241m), a spur of the Great Dividing Range, the locality is bordered by the mountains and ridges of the South East Forests National Park. Prominent features in the Bemboka section to the north include Indian Head, Pigeon Box, Bemboka Peak and Numbugga Walls.


The first inhabitants of the region were a sub-group of the Thaua people of the Yuin nation. The first European settlers were squatters grazing sheep and cattle on crown land beyond the limits of location set by the NSW Government in 1829. The first purchases of land by selectors occurred in 1862 and the first school was established on Brown Mountain in 1871. Settlement occurred in two adjacent villages – Colombo and the private subdivision of Lyttleton. The two towns remained relatively isolated until the bridle trail on Brown Mountain used to carry post was upgraded in 1889 to take vehicles, providing an effective means of descent from the Monaro to the coastal plain. Colombo was regazetted as Bemboka in 1894, and Lyttleton was incorporated into the village in 1923. From 1904 to 1911, the town had its own weekly newspaper, the Bemboka Advocate. It was also the location of the former Mumbulla Shire administration offices from 1906 until the Bega Valley Shire was formed in 1981.


For a small community, the people of Bemboka have a history of working together to achieve big things. From 1956–1967, the village ran its own weekly picture show in the School of Arts Hall using the school's 16mm projector, to raise money to build the current Bemboka Memorial Hall. During the 1970s, the village raised funds through housie nights, catering and grants to build a swimming pool in the town. Most recently, Bemboka has become known for its banquet, a community initiative of the Bemboka Show Society, which in 2012 served 150 guests a four course dinner of five entrees, five main courses, five desserts and five cheeses, with 90 per cent of ingredients sourced from within 10 kilometres of the Bemboka Memorial Hall.

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