The Snowy Valleys is a region rich in history and was a meeting place for different Indigenous Nations for thousands of years. Aboriginal cultural tours are available via the Tumut Region Visitors Centre. Conducted by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Discovery Program, their guides are the traditional land owners the Wiradjuri who have strong connection to their country. These tours deliver an insight into how the local Aboriginal people interacted with and cared for their land, their traditional practices, the bush tucker they ate, the tools they used, and their spiritual beliefs from the Dreaming (Dream – Yarrudhang).View Listings
In 1824, Hume and Hovell were the first Europeans to pass through the district and graziers soon followed, impressed by the abundance of fodder and water. The goal of their expedition was to find new grazing land, and an answer to the mystery of where New South Wales’s western rivers flowed. Graziers soon followed and sheep, cattle, a grab for land and inevitable settlement changed forever the lives of the indigenous people.
Gold exploration in the 1850’s lead to a rush of people to the area, and the settlement of many of the towns across the region. The remnants of this era can still be seen at Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins, and at Kiandra, in what is now Kosciuszko National Park. In Tumbarumba, many remained in the area when mining declined, farming the fertile soils and contributing to Tumbarumba’s mountain cattleman heritage. This heritage can be explored at Boggy Creek Shows. The award winning show is every bit entertaining as it is educational, featuring the art of cattle mustering, sheep handling, working dogs, shearing, pack horses, whip cracking and talented horsemanship.
Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins, just north of town, is a state heritage listed site. A popular spot for hiking, picnicking and swimming, the walking tracks allow visitors to explore the ruins, while interpretive signage provides context. The new Adelong Creek Walk allows for an easy walk from the falls to town, where the verandah-lined main street’s heritage buildings are listed by the National Trust (NSW).
Many visit our region to reconnect with their family history, whether it be from the gold rush period, or later during the construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. The historic cemeteries of the region are a place of quiet reflection as well as discovery. Museums in Tumbarumba, Batlow, Tumut and Adelong all provide a fascinating perspective on the area’s history, while the Pioneer Women’s Hut and National Quilt Museum in Tumbarumba is dedicated to the preservation of domestic objects belonging to rural families, especially women.
The construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme led to a dramatic increase in the population of the region the 1960s. Cabramurra, Talbingo and Khancoban were originally built to accommodate workers and their families on the Snowy Mountains Scheme. Located at the Talbingo shopping complex, the Snowy Mountains Scheme Talbingo Visitor Display Centre provides information on the Tumut 3 Power Station, Scheme modernisation works, as well as displays and models of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. www.snowyhydro.com.au/our-scheme/visit-the-scheme/
A drive guide for discovering the Snowy Mountains Scheme is available here.