The Queanbeyan region, which straddles Country NSW and the ACT, is well placed for those who want to escape from the city. Chart a course to Canberra Wine District, learn about the local history and heritage, and enjoy everything from back country bushwalking and biking to 4WD-ing in magnificent national parks.
Located just three hours’ drive southwest from Sydney and less than an hour from Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast, the Queanbeyan area is also a gateway to the Snowy Mountains and the national capital. There are daily trains from Sydney or you can fly to Canberra Airport and rent a car.
The coveted cellar doors; the charming towns of Queanbeyan, Bungendore and Braidwood; the delicious food and wine experiences; and the splendid natural attractions are all within easy reach on scenic drives. You’ll find many things to do and accommodation includes riverside camping, motels and boutique hotels.
The National Trust-classified town of Braidwood is a heritage treasure. The colonial streetscape has appeared as a backdrop in several iconic films – such as the 1970 Ned Kelly – and you can learn about the town in gold rush times in the Braidwood Museum. Nearby is beautiful Monga National Park, where you can walk the Penance Grove track.
Bungendore, located in a pretty green valley, is also worth a detour. The town is brimming with lovingly preserved colonial buildings, one of which houses the enticing Bungendore Wood Works Gallery. Some of Australia’s best wood art and contemporary furniture are displayed in the gallery.
Book lunch at Lark Hill Biodynamic Winery before driving northeast to Bywong where you will find more Canberra District vineyards such as Little Bridge, Summerhill Road Vineyard and Affleck Vineyard. Visit the village of Wamboin to find Contentious Character, a contemporary vineyard with cellar door and restaurant.
Keen anglers should also linger in Wamboin long enough to throw a line in at Rainbow Springs Fly Fishing School, which offers courses for anglers of all levels. You can also try your luck at Googong Foreshores, which is stocked with rainbow trout, golden perch, Murray cod and silver perch, and is a pretty place to picnic.
Nearby, in riverside Queanbeyan, you will find fascinating museums, heritage walks and a vibrant arts program at The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. Check out the fun regional events calendar for more shows, festivals and markets, such as the weekly Southern Harvest Farmers Market in Bungendore.