Murrumbateman is located 286 km south-west of Sydney via the Hume Motorway.
It is 20 km south of Yass via the Barton Highway and 39 km north of Canberra.
To drive through the village of Murrumbateman it is not what it seems. From the Barton Highway (the road between Canberra and Yass), Murrumbateman appears only as a service station, a hotel, a historic school, a pleasant park and a new sub-division known as Fairley. But turn off the Barton Highway and what was once a small village changes dramatically to acres of rolling fields covered in rural residential lifestyle estates with blocks ranging in size from one to ten acres. These estates have large modern homes and enough land for owners to establish orchards and to have horses, sheep or alpacas. The appeal of the area is the close proximity to Canberra and Yass and is enhanced by the large number of cellar doors and vineyards as what was once an historic gold mining town is now the heart of the Canberra district’s rapidly growing cool climate wine region.
Prior to European occupation the local Aboriginal population was mainly the Ngunnawal people.
In 1821 the explorer Hamilton Hume and his party became the first Europeans to reach the Yass Plains. Hume returned with William Hovell in 1824 on his expedition to Port Phillip Bay. Hume later returned to Yass and his home ‘Cooma Cottage’ is a popular historic tourist attraction. Settlers followed the explorers.
They brought flocks of sheep and sought good grazing land. By 1825 a bush track joined the Goulburn and Yass Plains.
Gold was discovered in the area in the 1850s. It was found near Nanima, east of Murrumbateman. In 1861 gold was a very small operation and there were about 18 Europeans and 30 Chinese working the Nanima field.
In 1882 an important figure in Australia’s wool industry, Sir Walter Merriman, was born in the district. He was educated at Murrumbateman Public School and was instrumental in developing the wool industry in the region.
Exploring the Local Wineries
Murrumbateman is renowned for its cool climate wines and there are approximately 20 wineries in close proximity to the village. Many of them are listed on the Makers of Murrumbateman website http://www.makersofmurrumbateman.org.au which also includes information about local chocolate makers, guest houses and a honey and mead maker.
A new winery discovery trail is soon to be built linking some of the closer vineyards to the village.
One of the town’s few historic buildings is the old schoolhouse (1872) which has remained largely unaltered and is now used by the local Historical Society. It is located on the Barton Highway that runs through the town.
The nearest Visitor Information Centre is the Yass Valley Visitor Information Centre, 259 Comur Street, Yass, tel: (02) 6226 2557.
Origin of Name
No one is sure what the word meant in the language of the Ngunawal people. It is known that there was a property named Murrumbateman Station and the town takes its name from this. The local Ngunawal language has “murra” meaning “hand”, “murun” meaning “alive”, and “murrin” meaning “man”. However, there is no explanation for Bateman although one local wit insists that the town’s name comes from a regular customer ordering rum from a Mr Bateman at the local pub and calling out “More rum, Bateman.”
Murrumbateman Community Contacts
Murrumbateman Rural Fire Service
Murrumbateman Rural Fire Service:
Contact Duty Officer 0419 899 979.
General Inquiries – Yass Fire Control 02 62263100
For all emergencies call 000
Emergency Defibrillators – Located at Murrumbateman Country Inn and at the Menshed.
Wildcare – Rescue raise, rehabilitate & release of native wildlife. Contact 6299 1966
1st Murrumbateman Scout Group: murrumbatemanscouts.org.au
Lions Club of Murrumbateman: murrumbateman.nsw.lions.org.au or Facebook
Murrumbateman Landcare Group: landcare.nsw.gov.au/groups/murrumbateman-landcare-group/
Makers of Murrumbateman www.makersofmurrumbateman.org.au
Book Club: Contact Meryl on 62275757
Craft Cuppa & Chat – Contact Ruby on 0400093716
Murrumbateman Ukelele Strummers Collective – Contact Neil on 0412 427 269
Sporting Clubs & Groups
Murrumbateman Cricket Club: Facebook
or contact Andrew McLean 0403747 297
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Murrumbateman Tennis Club
Contact/Court Bookings: 0431 464 528
Murrumbateman Little Athletics Club –
www.murrumbatemanlittleathletics.com.au or Facebook
Murrumbateman Eagles Football Club
www.murrumbatemaneagles.com.au or Facebook
Murrumbateman Adult Riding Club
Contact: Sally Jones 02 6227 5918
Murrumbateman Pony Club
Murrumbateman Cycling Group
Contact: John Thorn 02 6226 8023
Contact: Rob 0448 484 028 or Alison 0423 132 485