On the Monaro Plains directly east of the Snowy Mountains and at the junction of the Snowy Mountains Highway and the Kosciuszko Road, Cooma is said to be the gateway to the Snowy Mountains.
Looking down from the Nanny Goat Hill lookout over the township of Cooma.
Cooma is the main township of the rich agricultural lands of the Monaro Plains and its position at the cross roads of the highways to the New South Wales snow fields finds many tourists spending time in the town. The town also provides accommodation for people wanting to go to the snow fields and preferring to catch the regular buses to the fields.
The township is also the location of the administrative centre for the Snowy Mountains Scheme Authority. Prior to the beginning of the scheme in 1951, the township had only 2,000 people or so, servicing the local farming lands. With the scheme, the population soared to over 10,000 by 1965. Many of these people were migrants specifically brought to Australia to take part in the scheme and many stayed and have given the town a cosmopolitan complexion.
Lambie Street is the oldest in Cooma and contains several heritage buildings and sites classified by the national trust.
Today, the town has around 7,000 people many involved in servicing the tourist industry and traditional industries in the area.