Bredbo was discovered on 6th June 1823, by Brigade Major Ovens and Captain John Currie, RN. Currie described the land as being ‘strangely treeless with a great expanse of rolling rich grass lands’. The delimiting of rural settlement did not restrain the advance of pastoralists beyond the defined ‘limits of location’ described in Government Order of 14 October 1829 as the Nineteen Counties. The Counties were within precise boundaries that had been established beyond which settlers were not allowed to receive grants or to lease land. By 1831 settlers were pouring across the frontiers in scores. Settlers took up land around the Bradbow (Bredbo) River soon after the explorations of Overns and Currie had been reported.
The village developed from early 1830s as the gateway supporting squatters as they selected land in the district, overlanded to Portland (Victoria) and Adelaide (South Australia). Today Bredbo Village remains the gateway to Monaro region and the Snowy Mountains. It is close to the Australian Capital Territory, Queenbeyan and Cooma, and is the gateway to the regions snowfields in winter and fishing in summer.
Bredbo was proclaimed a village on 20th October 1888 and in 2013 celebrates 125 years. The village is located at the confluence of the Bredbo and Murrumbigee Rivers. Rolling hills surround the immediate village area, and there are views to higher hills and ranges surrounding the village. There is open rural land to the north of the village. The slight rise immediately to the east of the highway provides an attractive eastern edge, and as a consequence of this landform, when travelling from the north, the arrival at the town is a pleasant surprise, announced by the historic Bredbo Inn.
The town does not have a defined centre, rather the highway, with passes through the village, was the central page of the village. The highway ‘strip’ has several eating places (including the Bredbo Inn) and shops. A distinctive feature of the village is the wide streets and large, flat building blocks. The building style in Bredbo is diverse, with a mixture of historic building and manufactured dwellings across the village area. Dwellings extend from the Bredbo Inn to the Bredbo River.
Today, Bredbo Village offers travellers a warm welcome and genuine country hospitality. The Bredbo Inn is a popular starting point to meet the locals and gain a wealth of knowledge about the township and surrounding area.
Information on this page contains parts from the publication “Bredbo – Gateway to Monaro and Snowy Mountains” which was research and complied by Cheryl M. May.