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Canberra Region

About the area

Name origin

The Snowy Monaro Regional Council area is named after the Snowy River and Monaro, which is an Aboriginal word meaning “treeless plains”.

Location and boundaries

The Snowy Monaro Regional Council area is located in south-eastern New South Wales, about 100 kilometres south of the Canberra CBD, and about 400 kilometres south-west of the Sydney CBD. The Snowy Monaro Regional Council area is bounded by the Australian Capital Territory and the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council area in the north, Eurobodalla Shire and Bega Valley Shire in the east, the Victorian border in the south, and the Snowy Valleys Council area in the west.

Included areas

The Snowy Monaro Regional Council area includes the localities of Adaminaby, Ando, Anembo, Anglers Reach, Arable, Avonside, Badja, Beloka, Berridale, Bibbenluke, Billilingra, Binjura, Bobundara, Boco, Bolaro, Bombala, Bondi Forest, Braemar Bay, Bredbo, Buckenderra, Bukalong, Bumbalong, Bungarby, Bunyan, Burra (part), Byadbo Wilderness, Carlaminda, Camabalong, Cathcart (part), Chakola, Clear Range, Colinton, Coolringdon, Coolumbooka, Cooma, Cootralantra, Corrowong, Countegany, Crackenback, Craigie, Creewah, Dairymans Plains, Dalgety, Dangelong, Delegate, Dry Plain, East Jindabyne, Eucumbene, Frying Pan, Glen Allen, Glen Fergus, Greenlands (part), Grosses Plain, Gunningrah, Hill Top, Holts Flat, Ingebirah, Ironmungy, Jerangle, Jimenbuen, Jincumbilly, Jindabyne, Jingera, Kalkite, Kosciuszko National Park, Kybeyan, Long Plain (part), Lords Hill, Maffra, Merriangaah, Michelago, Middle Flat, Middlingbank, Mila, Moonbah, Mount Cooper, Murrumbucca, Myalla, Nimmitabel, Nimmo, Numbla Vale, Numeralla, Nungatta (part), Old Adaminaby, Paddys Flat, Palarang, Paupong, Peak View, Pine Valley, Polo Flat, Providence Portal, Quidong, Rhine Falls, Rock Flat, Rockton, Rocky Plain, Rose Valley, Rosemeath, Shannons Flat, Snowy Plain, Springfield, Steeple Flat (part), Tantangara, The Angle, The Brothers, Tinderry (part), Tombong, Tuross, Wadbilliga (part), Wambrook, Williamsdale (part), Winifred and Yaouk.

Land use

The Snowy Monaro Regional Council area is predominantly rural, with a township at Cooma, and smaller townships and villages at Adaminaby, Berridale, Bombala, Bredbo, Cathcart, Dalgety, Delegate, Jindabyne, Michelago, Nimmitabel and Numeralla. Several ski resorts are located in the area. The Council area encompasses a total land area of over 15,000 square kilometres, including national parks, nature reserves and state forests. Rural land is used largely for agriculture (particularly sheep and cattle grazing) and timber production. Tourism is an important industry, particularly during the ski season, with trout fishing also being a major attraction.


The Snowy Monaro Regional Council area is served by the Monaro Highway and the Snowy Mountains Highway.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from the 1820s, with land used mainly for cattle and sheep grazing and timber-getting. Several small townships were established in the 1840s and 1850s, including the village of Cooma. Rapid growth took place from the mid to late 1800s, spurred by the Kiandra goldrush in 1860, the introduction of recreational skiing in 1861, and the opening of the railway line in 1889. Tourism became important from the early 1900s, when access was improved and several accommodation places were built. During the 1950s and 1960s significant population growth occurred in and around Cooma, due to the township being the headquarters for the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme. The Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme was established in 1949 and completed in 1974, creating six major dams and ten smaller dams, in order to enhance agricultural production by irrigation, and to provide peak electricity generation for the wider area. The population declined during the 1970s and 1980s. The population fluctuated slightly between 1991 and 2011, but generally remained between 30,000 and 31,000 people.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Snowy Monaro Regional Council area were the Ngarigo Aboriginal people.

Regional labour force

Snowy Monaro Regional Council area labour force region is defined by an area in which a significant percentage of workers travelled into Snowy Monaro Regional Council area to work at the 2011 Census. Details of this calculation and a list of areas included can be found in the data notes.