Cootamundra is a small town in New South Wales of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants. It’s roughly on the route between Sydney and Melbourne, and one of its biggest attractions is the fact that it is home to the Cootamundra Wattle tree.
In fact, Cootamundra would largely be a relaxed little rural town if it wasn’t for one thing – it is the birthplace of the greatest known cricketer of all time, Sir Donald Bradman.
Who is Sir Donald Bradman?
‘The Don’ is widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time. Additionally, Bradman is also cited as the holder of the greatest sporting achievement of all time – a test batting average of 99.94.
Born 1908, Bradman was a hero in Australian sports but also a positive light during the Great Depression, and he was especially loved for his background in ‘bush’ cricket. He was eventually knighted for his career, and is still the only Australian to be knighted for their sporting prowess.
Bradman did not grow up in Cootamundra however. He was born there and lived there for the first few years of his life, but his family quickly relocated to Bowral, over 250 kilometres away.
Visit the Bradman Museum in Cootamundra
Today, you can visit the home where Bradman was born, as it has been turned into a museum of Australian cricket history and memorabilia, with a particular focus on this Aussie sporting idol.
You can visit any time from 9am to 5pm any day of the week to learn more about Bradman’s early years and his sporting career.
Other attractions and things to do in Cootamundra
Cootamundra is more than just Bradman’s birthplace – there are plenty of other great spots to visit while you’re in town.
Firstly, head to Jubilee Park. The park itself is gorgeous, and it’s also where you’ll find 43 bronze busts of Australian cricket captains from throughout the years. It’s called the Captain’s Walk, and will let you stretch your legs as you explore more of Aussie cricket history.
The Cootamundra Art and Craft Centre offers another fun stop, as this is where you can pick up locally made crafts, including plenty of cricket-themed items as souvenirs and gifts for those back home.
And if you happen to be in town in July or August, you’ll be treated to the gorgeous yellow flowers of the Cootamundra wattle. If you arrive for the last weekend of August, don’t miss the Cootamundra Wattle Time Fair and Parade.
Getting to Cootamundra
If you’re driving from Canberra to Cootamundra, expect a quick two-hour drive northwest via the M31.
It’s a little farther from Sydney, as it will take a little over four hours via the M31. However, you’ll need to also make a stop in Bowral, where you can visit the International Cricket Hall of Fame, which isn’t lacking in Bradman memorabilia either, considering this is where he moved after leaving Cootamundra.
Alternatively, if you fly in you can hire a car in Wagga Wagga at the airport to then make the 1hr 30 min drive into town.
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