Things to see in Tumut
Tumut has a large number of historic buildings notably its collection of fine hotels, the Court House and the very fine Anglican Church which was built to a design by Edmund Blacket, the architect responsible for the Quadrangle at Sydney University. A brochure relating to a heritage walk of the CBD s available from the visitors’ centre, tel: (02) 6947 7025.
This walk starts at the bottom of Wynyard Street (the town’s main street) and works its way to the top of Telegraph Hill where the lookout offers the visitor an excellent view over the whole of the town and valley.
One of the town’s most distinctive features is the row of Lombardy poplar which lie across the Tumut River from the Anglican Church. The trees were planted in 1861 and form a distinctive wall which is particularly impressive in summer and autumn.
All Saints Anglican Church
In 1847 the Tumut Anglican community decided to build a church. A rough design was drafted by a local citizen, George Shelley. It was ignored and in 1857, as a temporary measure, an ‘Episcopalian barn’ was constructed to serve the community. A proper church was started in 1875 with the laying of a foundation stone. The architect, although he almost certainly never saw the completed building, was Edmund Blacket who was the leading architect of the time designing, amongst other buildings, the Quadrangle at Sydney University. The nave of the building was completed in 1876, a stone font was designed by Blacket in 1879 and his sons replaced the pews in 1886 and re-roofed the building in 1908. It is regarded as one of Blacket’s finest buildings although it is much modified from the original plans. It is also a rare example of a Blacket building constructed out of bricks. Most of his buildings were constructed of stone. It is a Gothic Revival-style church and is designed in a cruciform pattern with two vestries and a square buttressed tower and broach spire.
Tumut Court House and Police Station
A typical and elegant country town centre of law and order the Court House and Police Station (just up Wynyard Street from All Saints) are characterised by a hip roof and timber verandah posts. The Police Station was completed in 1874, the Court House in 1878 and the Stables in 1879. The Court House was designed by the notable Colonial Architect, James Barnet.
The Oriental Hotel was originally known as the Queens Arms. It is a typical goldrush era building showing off its affluence. There was a pub on this site as early as 1850 and the first publican was a man named Madigan. This new hotel was designed and built by Frederick Kinred about 1876. He took up Madigan’s license. It has a beautiful cast iron verandah.
The corner of Wynyard and Russell Streets is bank corner with the old Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac), which was built in 1891, on one corner and the CBC Bank (now the National) built in 1889 on the other corner. Both have residences above the banks. The old Bank of New South Wales is a late Victorian Free Classical building characterised by a two-storey arcaded verandah and Ionic pilasters. The hipped corrugated iron roof is topped by three large chimneys. The old CBC bank is a Victorian Classical Revival designed by the Mansfield brothers. The verandah is supported by fluted cast-iron columns and there are attractive French windows on the first floor.
Continue up Wynyard Street. At the top there is an excellent view across the town and the Tumut River to Bombowlee.
Located in Capper St, the Tumut Museum holds a good display of memorabilia about the local area. It is open Saturdays and Wednesdays from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. and at other times by arrangement, tel: (02) 6947 2183, (02) 6947 6731 or (02) 6947 1380.
Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception
The town’s large Irish population built one of rural New South Wales’s most impressive Roman Catholic Churches out of blue granite. It stands impressively on the corner of Capper and Carey Streets.
Beyond the Roman Catholic Church, cross over the Highway (Adelong Road), following Gocup Rd for a short distance then turn left into a driveway that leads directly to the town’s Pioneer Cemetery. The most notable gravestones are those of Thomas Boyd who travelled from Sydney to the present day site of Melbourne with the explorers Hume and Hovell. Also of interest is the grave of the talented Aboriginal cricketer Johnny Taylor who died of measles in 1875. He worked as a stockman at Blowering and was known as the best cricketer in the district before his untimely death. He was in his 20s when he died.
Located opposite the town’s swimming pool, and adjacent the Tumut River, this is a beautiful rural retreat with fine displays of European deciduous trees which are shady in the summer months and spectacular during autumn. There are plenty of park benches for picnics and a pleasant stream winds through the centre of the park.
Situated around the intersection of Richmond and Russell Streets, the trees have botanical nameplates in this award-winning garden.
The Visitors’ centre has a book available outlining a tree walk. It focuses on the trees from Bungle Rd, along the river to Pioneer Park, taking in Stockwell Gardens.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Avenue of Elms’ this is a spectacular and pleasant walk in any season but is most impressive in spring and autumn when the trees are thick with leaves. It leads down to the old racecourse and further on is the original site of the township which was destroyed by a flood in 1852.
Tumut Broom Factory
Millet brooms are still handmade at the Tumut Broom Factory which is located on Adelong Road (ask at the Visitor Centre for directions) and is open from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on weekdays (closed for lunch). There is no entry fee and no bookings are necessary, except for coaches tel: (02) 6947 2804.
Tumut Valley African Violets Farm
With over 950 named varieties it is reputedly the largest African violet farm in Australia. Located in the grounds of the 120-year-old Tumut Plains School House. It is located 7 km from Tumut on Tumut Plains Rd and offers morning and afternoon teas at the Garden Cafe. In summer, and on school and public holidays, it is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., closing at 4.00 p.m. in winter. There is no entry fee and no bookings are necessary, except for coaches. For more information contact the owners on (02) 6947 2432.
Find out more information from
Tumut Visitor Information Centre
or call 02 6947 7025