Like most Australians, I was familiar with the song ‘Along the road to Gundagai’, had heard about the ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox”, was familiar with the name ‘Bradman’ and knew that the ‘Murrumbidgee’ was Australia’s third longest river, however, I did not know about the backstories or the little treasures that can be found on the road to Gundagai-Cootamundra.
Over the last two weeks we have immersed ourselves within the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council as we started to undertake a Cootamundra-Gundagai Recreation Needs Study that will provide strategic direction for sport & recreation over the next 10 years within the region.
Whilst auditing the Council’s recreational facilities and conducting workshops with the community and key stakeholders we have discovered more than just the iconic names & venues in the larger towns; we have been immersed and captivated in the stories by the surrounding villages. It reminds us that sport & recreation participation in rural and regional Australian communities plays an important role. It can improve social cohesion, expand population health outcomes, deliver economic stimulus and instil a sense of community pride.
Sport and recreation runs deep in these towns and villages. A few places of interest on your next journey may include a visit to;
- Captains Walk, Cootamundra features 42 bronze sculptures of Australian Test Cricket Captains, including Unaarrimim, the leading Aboriginal player in the first Australian cricket team to tour England in 1868. Cootamundra has strong connections with two Australian test cricket captains, being the birthplace of Sir Donald Bradman and a former home of Bill Murdoch. Their careers led to a special interest in cricket in the community.
- Dog on the Tuckerbox Trail, Gundagai is a shared use trail for bicycles, walkers, horse riders that connects Gundagai with the Dog on the Tuckerbox. The trail is 4.6kms that can be accessed from the end of Spring Flat Drive.
- Gundagai Rodeo Club Inc, Gundagai Pony Club and Gundagai-Adelong Race Club are situated in one of the most picturesque locations beneath the Prince Alfred Bridge, the longest wooden bridge in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Coolac Cricket Club; over the decades this club has won many premierships including most recently the 18/19 Tumut District Cricket Association Elders Cup with a population of only 216 people.
- Miniature Aero Sports New South Wales Inc, State Model Flying Field is located on the Muttama Rd
- Stockinbingal’s Pump Track funded by the NSW Government Stronger Communities is an example of one local youngsters’ vision.
- Wallendbeen’s Barry Grace Oval surrounded by a white picket fence is maintained to the highest level by the dedicated local community
- Saint James Church in Tumblong that first opened in 1871 is a great place to start your walk around this historic village
- The Nangus Recreation Ground showcases a traditional small village sports hub, with a community hall, playground, tennis courts and oval that is the centre of country living.