Perched high in the Southern Tablelands and famous for its rare truffles, Braidwood is one of the prettiest towns in the state. It’s the halfway point between Canberra and the South Coast, so you’ll often find its streets brimming with travellers stopping for a lunch break or to browse the antique stores.
History and heritage
Braidwood is a National Trust-classified town and the first to be listed on the NSW State Heritage register. Its charming colonial buildings, rustic streetscape and rural beauty led to it being the backdrop for iconic Australian films such as Ned Kelly (starring Mick Jagger), The Year My Voice Broke and Flirting.
Gold fever struck this prosperous pastoral area in the 1850s. Visit the nearby goldfields at Jembaicumene, Majors Creek and Araluen to learn more about this fascinating era – and the bushrangers that came with it. The 1890-built Royal Mail Hotel served as a staging point for gold rush coaches and still stands on the main street.
Things to do
Braidwood is a hub for artists, potters, ironworkers, craftspeople and designers. You’ll find many quirky boutiques and galleries to browse, as well as a very creative events calendar. Visit in November for the Festival of Braidwood and Airing of the Quilts and to hear jazz, blues and folk at the Majors Creek Festival.
Nearby is beautiful Monga National Park, which stretches from Braidwood towards the South Coast. You can enjoy horse-riding or walking along the Penance Grove track. After meandering around the ancient rainforest, enjoy the free BBQ facilities at the Mongarlowe River picnic area.
Eat and drink
You’ll never go hungry in Braidwood with its country pubs, cafes and bakeries. Have coffee outside by the fire at Deadwood, pick up a sweet treat from Dojo Bread or tuck into a rustic pizza at Casanova’s. Visit the Old Cheese Factory to taste locally-made apple cider, chutney, jam and pickles.
Getting there and where to stay
Braidwood is just over three hours’ drive from Sydney and one-hour from Canberra. A range of accommodation options are available in and around Braidwood including campgrounds, historic pubs, motels, tiny houses and an ultra luxe retreat on a working farm.