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New South Wales
Bredbo 002.JPG
Bredbo, 2020
Bredbo is located in New South Wales
Location in New South Wales
Population 352 (2016 census)
Postcode(s) 2626
LGA(s) Snowy Monaro Regional Council
State electorate(s) Monaro
Federal Division(s) Eden-Monaro
Localities around Bredbo:
ACT Colinton Jerangle
Shannons Flat Bredbo Jerangle
Billilingra Billilingra Peak View

Bredbo is a village on the Monaro plains of New South Wales, Australia. The village is on the Monaro Highway 34 kilometres (21 mi) north of Cooma. The village is in the Snowy Monaro Regional Council and had a population of 352 at the 2016 census.


Located at the junction of the Bredbo and Murrumbidgee rivers, the Bredbo area was historically prone to flooding. As a way-point on the road from Sydney to the Snowy Mountains, travellers were frequently stranded by rising water. By 1839 the Bredbo Inn had been established to accommodate travellers. The Inn was a Cobb and Co stagecoach post, with stables located behind the Inn which are still standing today.

The surrounding settlement was developed to support squatters' runs established in the district between 1848 and 1850. Bredbo was officially proclaimed a village in 1888.

Gold was discovered in the area by the Reverend William Branwhite Clarke, who also discovered gold at Kiandra. [1] A field was proclaimed along the Bredbo River, which was worked until 1921. In the 1930s a geological survey was undertaken and a mine opened and operated until 1942. The field at Cowra Creek were worked from 1888 and are still popular for fossicking.

Bredbo sits on the Bombala railway line which reached the town in 1889 at which time there were eight houses. The railway closed in 1989 however one final "Farewell to Bredbo" special train was run from Canberra on 3 March 1990.

In the early 20th century, the Australian poet Banjo Paterson stayed at the Bredbo Inn. It is here that Paterson may have encountered the notable stockman Charlie McKeahnie, a likely source of inspiration for Paterson's epic poem The Man From Snowy River. McKeahnie was renowned for his risky riding, and was eventually killed in a horse race over the Bredbo bridge. Following the accident the fatally wounded McKeahnie was carried to the Inn, where he died of his injuries.

One of the earliest settlers in the Bredbo district, John Cosgrove of Billilingera, was believed to be the largest landholder in southern New South Wales. In one year 68,000 sheep were shorn in the Billilingera shearing shed.

Village life

Bredbo today is a thriving community, supported by an active Progress Committee and with many activities filling the local events calendar. New residents to the village are presented with a Bredbo Welcome Pack, which contains information about the region's history, a copy of the monthly newsletter and useful contact numbers.

The village hosts an array of small businesses and eateries: places to eat include the historic Bredbo Inn, which offers contemporary bistro fare and accommodation; the green-and-white-striped Pancake Inn, serving up pancakes and crepes; Snowy Mountains Gourmet Food, providing daily pies and regional produce; and the Bredbo Pizzeria, where wood-fired pizzas are a speciality.

Art and craft is a growing feature of the community, with a number of creative artists resident in the area. These include the children's label Milli and Max; fine artist Lucy Culliton; and Canberra-region design collective, The Lost and Found Office. Locally made goods are available in a number of the village shops. Regional markets held in the Community Hall on the third Sunday of every month offer a range of local craft and produce. Other retailers in the village include the Bredbo Christmas Barn and the Bredbo Aromatic Healing Centre.

A Community Post Office is located in the Snowy Mountains Gourmet Food store. While there is no postal delivery directly to homes in the village, the store is open from 8am to 4pm, 7 days per week.

Due to its regional location, internet and phone infrastructure is managed by Telstra. Whilst a high speed fibre optic cable runs through Bredbo, access to cabled internet is limited due to the restricted availability of ports at the local exchange. Various wifi and satellite connections are available through a range of ISPs, pending connection of the village to the National Broadband Network.

Primary school aged children are catered for through the Bredbo Public School, which is set in pleasant surrounds on the highway. The school is also used as a Polling Place in state and federal elections. Daily coaches transport high school students directly into Canberra and Cooma.

Bredbo also has a range of other infrastructure including a Community Hall, tennis and basketball courts, village green, cemetery, war memorial and recreation ground. Well-maintained public toilets are located immediately behind the Community Hall. The Cooma-Monaro library offers a regular mobile library service.

Religious services are offered through St Bartholomew's Anglican Church, which is located high on a hill with spectacular views overlooking the town. The historic wooden All Saints Catholic Church is located on Walker Street.

Bredbo village is located close to the junction of the Bredbo River and Murrumbidgee River, with numerous fishing and swimming spots located within walking distance of the village hall.

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