Subscribe to our email list

Murrary Darling Basin Commision Australian National University

Sub Navigation

Tumut is a regional town situated 390 km west of Sydney on the foothills of the Snowy Mountains. In 2001 the population of the Tumut Shire was 11,470, an increase of 1% since 1996. The three largest employers in the Tumut Shire are the agriculture (17.8%), manufacturing (17.3%) and retail (13.3%) industries.

Prior to European settlement, Tumut marked the boundary of three separate Aboriginal tribes. To the north lived the Ngunawal, to the south the Walgalu and to the west, the Wiradjuri. During the summer, tribes came together and journeyed to the highest peaks to feast on the plentiful Bogong moths.

People from the original three tribes still live across the Tumut region and perform rituals and ceremonies at important sites to maintain their relationship with the land.

During the late 1820s settlers pushed down the Murrumbidgee and by 1829 the first pioneers were on the Tumut River. Land was first settled at Darbalara, close to the junction of the Tumut and Murrumbidgee. During the first 20 years settlement was scattered along the Tumut River, the original settlement being at Mill Angle, at the end of the present showground road, where the first inn was kept by Tim O’Mara.

On the opposite bank a Mr Anderson set up his blacksmith’s shop, and here he and a Mr Foord built the first bridge over the river about 1850.

This was the earliest Tumut – wattle and daub and slab-built huts in which dwelt the blacksmiths and teamsters, until a flood in 1852 consolidated the scattered hamlets into one village, and Tumut as it is today, was born.

By 1887 Tumut (a name derived from an Aboriginal word meaning “a quiet resting place by the river”) was a municipality; by 1928 it had become the headquarters of the thriving Tumut Shire, which also embraced Adelong and Batlow. Today the explorers and the pioneers have long gone, but the haunting beauty of the valley remains.

The Tumut region has a variety of landscapes including incredibly beautiful parks, famous trees, Adelong’s picturesque pastoral scenes, Batlow’s glorious orchard country, Yarrangobilly Caves,  power stations and lakes of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, enormous stands of pine and hardwood plantations, and the vast Kosciuszko National Park with its abundance of wildlife and flora, unique landscape and snow.

Historically, there’s plenty to reflect Tumut’s heritage: magnificent old buildings including the town’s churches, courthouse and hotels, its pioneer cemetery on Adelong Road which includes the grave of Thomas Boyd, a member of the Hume and Hovell expedition which passed through Tumut in 1824.

The Tumut Historical Society’s museum has fascinating information about farm and domestic items charting the town’s pioneering history, superb photos of the region’s development and a special display featuring memorabilia of famous Talbingo author, Miles Franklin.

The Festival of the Falling Leaf is celebrated annually in April and is the Tumut Region’s major festival celebrating the spectacular colours of autumn.