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The main access to the town is via Gundagai (34 km) with roads going through both Gocup and Brungle.
The town itself has an elevation of 280 m above sea level which means that it is located so that it has four distinct seasons.
There is some confusion about the origins of the town's name.
One popular version is that 'doomut' was an Aboriginal word for 'camping ground' or 'quiet resting place by the river' and that over the years this evolved to 'toomut', 'tumat' and eventually Tumut.
The trees were planted in 1861 and form a distinctive wall which is particularly impressive in summer and autumn.
By 1860 the town had grown to a point where it a local newspaper which eagerly reported that the local cricket club was holding annual meetings and the cricket played on the town's racecourse was so popular that three publicans' booths were provided (the publicans had to pay a guinea for the priviledge) to quench the thirst of the players and spectators.At one stage in 1860 there was a report of over 1200 men passing through Tumut in the space of four days as they headed to the Kiandra goldfields. The town's one bushranger was William Brookman, a carpenter by trade, who joined the infamous 'Blue Cap' gang.But the the most famous bushranger to work in the area was James Kelly (brother of Ned) who, in 1877, stole some horses in Wagga which they later tried to sell in Tumut.Around this time the major activity in the valley was dairy farming on the rich river flats.This was hampered by the lack of good transportation.
The first Europeans into the area were the explorers Hume and Hovell who, travelling down the Murrumbidgee River in 1824, came across the Tumut River. He settled at 'Rosebank' near Gilmore and is honoured by the region of the town known simply as 'Boyd', it was previously known by the more pedestrian 'Railway End'.