Coolac, originally home to the Wirradjuri People, was first settled by Europeans in the 1830’s. There are a number of buildings, created between 1850 to 1880 from the local stone, still standing in the village, including the three original hotels known as the Beehive, Coolac and Junction hotels, the police station, and two churches, St Judes Anglican and St Peters Catholic. Until 1982, a level-crossing railway line crossed the Hume Highway just near St Judes.
The Murrumbidgee River is joined by the Tumut River and the Muttama Creek, which wends its way from Cootamundra, not far from the current Hume Highway.
Situated some “nine miles from Gundagai”, it is arguable that the bank of the Muttama Creek at Coolac was the original site of the ‘legendary’ Dog on the Tuckerbox tale, as opposed to those who argue for the “five mile” theory.
Coolac produces quality beef, lamb and cereal products. In the early days of settlement a minor gold rush was experienced. It is reputed that some 900 miners were camped on the hill not far from the present hotel, which also had a producing vineyard nearby. Some minor minerals and semi-precious stones have been found in the area. These days the region boasts Australia’s largest apple orchard and the champion racehorse, Tie The Knot, grazes not far away
The school was established in 1872 of local stone, with the present weatherboard structure erected in the 1920s, closing permanently in 1980. It is now the venue for the annual Coolac Festival Of Fun which offers a program of outdoor concerts by some of Australia’s leading performers, along with the well-known Bald Archy Prize, and a grand dinner celebrating the regions best wine and food.
Activites and Experiences at Coolac
Nearest Airport: Tumut