Declared Australia’s first inland city in 1863, Goulburn is rich in history, while a thriving arts scene and outdoor adventure adds to its charm. A two-hour drive from Sydney, this rural escape has a number of attractions, including museums and historical buildings.

Standing proud on Goulburn’s fringe is the Big Merino – one of Australia’s iconic ‘big things’ and symbolic of the city known as the fine wool capital of the world. For a beautiful panorama of Goulburn and beyond, head to the tower lookout in the Rocky Hill War Memorial and Museum.

Al fresco dining at the Paragon Cafe in Goulburn, NSW

A few doors down from the 1860s-built Goulburn Railway Station is Goulburn Visitor Information Centre. Here you can collect brochures and advice on all the great things to do and see in the Goulburn region. You’ll find plenty of places to stay in Goulburn, including motels, farm stays and camping spots.

Goulburn hosts many festivals, including the Australian Blues Music Festival and Steampunk Victoriana Fair. Enjoy wine tasting at Kingsdale Wines, sample baked goods at Trappers Bakery, and preview local arts at Lieder Theatre Company and Goulburn Regional Art Gallery.

Canoeing at Marsden Weir in Goulburn, NSW Southern Tablelands

Soak up Goulburn’s history and beautifully preserved colonial architecture on a self-guided walk or guided tour. Don’t miss the historic Goulburn Brewery, Riversdale Homestead and St Saviour’s Anglican Cathedral, which was designed by colonial architect Edmund Blacket.

You can join the cathedral’s Bell Tower Tour on the first Saturday of the month. On the picturesque Wollondilly River is the Goulburn Historic Waterworks Museum, where you can see the only complete steam-powered municipal water supply left in its original location in Australia.

Rail buffs will love the Goulburn Rail Heritage Centre. If you’re after an adrenaline rush, you can go skydiving or drive a racing car at Wakefield Park. A short drive away is Bungonia National Park, where adventurers will enjoy canyoning, rockclimbing, abseiling and caving.