Cootamundra in the south-west slopes of New South Wales has a population of just over 7000. Half-way between Sydney and Melbourne, it has a pleasant mix of country charm and city style. It is a thriving centre for sport, history and the arts and is the ideal base for exploring the Riverina.
When the name Cootamundra is heard, most Australians would think of its most famous son Donald George Bradman. He was born in Cootamundra on August 27, 1908, and his house is still there. Known as Bradman Cottage, the house has sufficient memorabilia to satisfy the most ardent cricket fanatic.
Donald Bradman became Australia's best-known sportsperson. He retired from cricket with an average of 99.94 just four runs short in his last innings which would have seen him retire with an average of 100. Instead he made a duck. Arthur Morris was sitting on 196 at the other end and he requested that his bust be placed opposite the Don's in Jubilee Park.
Jubilee Park in Wallendoon Street is part of a major project which will see bronze busts of all Australian cricket captains featured on a 'Captains Walk'. The first stage was completed in 1998 and unveiled as part of Sir Donald Bradman's 90th birthday celebrations. It features busts of Arthur Morris, William Murdock, Unaarrimim (the Aboriginal captain of the 1868 touring team), Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Mark Taylor, David Gregory, Bill Lawry, Robert Simpson, Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell. A life-size statue of Sir Donald in cover drive stance was unveiled in 2000.
There are plenty of volunteers on hand to show visitors around the town, and all are well-versed in the pursuits of Sir Donald Bradman.