Cooma

The Centre is a minimum and medium security institution located only one hour's drive south of Canberra, 410 km from Sydney and 652 km from Melbourne.

The Centre has accommodation for 160 inmates and a total of 53 staff, consisting of 31 custodial officers, 9 overseers and 13 support staff.

Phone

(02) 0645 0333 

Street address

​1 Vale Street 
Cooma NSW 2630

Correspondence

Locked Mailbag 7 
Cooma NSW 2630

Fax: (02) 6452 2491

How to get there

Before travelling for a visit, please call the correctional centre to confirm visit and visiting time. (See bookings times below.)

Public Transport

By Rail

  • From Sydney: CountryLink provides a daily service to Canberra with a connecting bus service to Cooma. 
  • From Melbourne: there are frequent bus and daily train services to Albury, for connection to Greyhound Pioneer. 
  • Visit Countrylink Information for timetables and bookings

By Bus

  • CountryLink provides a daily service from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. 
  • Greyhound Pioneer operates frequent coach services from Sydney and Melbourne to Canberra.
  • Bookings and schedules are available from Greyhound and Countrylink.

Private Transport

From Sydney

Cooma is located approximately 410 km from Sydney. 

  • Travel south via the Hume Highway, which takes you through Canberra.

From Melbourne

Cooma is located approximately 652 km north of Melbourne. 

  • Take Highway One through Gippsland, turning in at Cann River to the Monaro Highway and Bombala and then on to Cooma.
  • Alternatively, continue on to Merimbula and Bega and take the Snowy Mountains Highway up Brown Mountain to Nimmitabel and onto Cooma. This route will take approximately two hours longer.

From Canberra 

Cooma is located approximately 114 km from Canberra. 

  • Travel south via the Monaro Highway.
​Visitor Information

Bookings

Call the correctional centre on (02) 6455 0322 
  • 9am - 3pm Tuesdays and Thursdays

Visit times

Saturdays and Sundays only:

  • 8.30am - 11.45am and 12.15 - 3pm

Contact the correctional centre for further details.

Conditions

  • Leave personal property and valuables at home. These are not permitted into the Centre.
  • You are permitted to bring up to $20 in coins for use in snack vending machines.
  • Complete a 'Green Slip' before proceeding to the Visits processing counter.
  • Any person who enters the Centre may be subject to a search by metal detector. Failure to comply with any direction may result in your visit being denied.
  • Make sure you have suitable identification, being one primary (which includes photo and current address, eg, drivers' licence, passport, etc) and one secondary (eg, birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc).
  • Items not allowed into the Visiting area: Cigarettes, folding money, drugs, syringes or weapons, mobile phones, cameras, pets of any type, alcohol, blankets or thermoses. No valuables. All removable jewellery must be taken off (except wedding rings). No photos or letters. No hats, scarves, handkerchiefs, sunglasses. No item of clothing is to be removed or exchanged in the Visits area. No food or drink is allowed during Box visits (non-contact visits). No lollies or food can be taken into the Centre. No offensive or sexual behaviour is allowed. No smoking in Visits area.
  • Travel Assistance forms are available from the Welfare Officer, and can be lodged on the Visitors' behalf (conditions apply).

Legal Visits

Legal practitioners may visit From Monday to Friday between 9am - 3pm. 

Notification of intention to visit must be made by telephoning the Centre on (02) 6455 0322 or in writing to the General Manager.

Industries

Industries employing inmates include domestic service, laundry and food services within the Centre, and Textiles (manufacturing clothing) which currently employs up to 45 inmates, maintenance trade position, Corcraft and special projects.

Museum

The Corrective Services NSW Museum at Cooma is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00am to 3:00pm (closed Sunday).

A living museum, it employs select inmates in a variety of areas such as tour guides, sales assistants, collection management and craft manufacturing. 

Learn more about the museum. 

Offender Services & Programs

A range of educational, vocational and therapeutic programs are facilitated by professional staff, including Welfare Officer, Senior Correctional Education Officer and Psychologist. 

External service providers also facilitate various educational and vocational programs. 

Inmates' sentences are managed in accordance with the Corrective Services' Case Management Policies and Procedures.

Community Projects

Inmates paint buildings, maintain gardens, river/creek banks, showgrounds, ovals, town and village road entrances, undertake minor maintenance works in and around Cooma and its surrounding villages and provides assistance to local community groups, schools and centres.

Inmates also participate in the yearly Clean Up Australia Day Campaign as well as providing much needed assistance to groups and individuals to undertake bush fire hazard reduction works.

Background

Construction of the Cooma Correctional Centre commenced in 1870 from local granite which was quarried from the hill where the Centre now stands.

The Centre commenced operations on 1 November 1873 with 31 cells. In 1876 it was reduced to a Police Gaol and then a temporary Lunatic Asylum in 1877. The Centre closed temporarily in the early 1900s.

The Gaol reopened on 8 March 1957 and was again closed 10 July 1998.

Cooma Correctional Centre reopened for the second time in November 2001.