There’s something for every kind of traveller in the Southern Highlands of NSW, a long- favoured escape for Sydneysiders. The cooler, more temperate climate and picture perfect villages set amongst green rolling hills and forest reserves have been attracting visitors for more than 140 years.
Towns and villages
There’s more than a touch of class to the towns of the Southern Highlands, from their perfectly restored colonial architecture to impeccably maintained gardens and estates. Bowral, the largest town, is home to elegant boutiques and restaurants, as well as the annual Tulip Time Festival and the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame.
A short drive southwest is the village of Berrima, with its convict-built Surveyor General Inn. Mittagong is a picturesque town with fine colonial buildings and specialty stores. The picture-postcard village of Robertson was the setting for the film Babe. Make sure to stop for a pie at the famous bakery.
Southern Highlands short breaks
There’s so much to see in the Southern Highlands, from spectacular waterfalls and sprawling national parks to boutique wineries dotted throughout the landscape. For jaw-dropping views, visit the dramatic Fitzroy Falls in the Morton National Park. The region is full of bushwalks, such as the Lovers walking track, and cycling trails.
The region’s towns, cellar doors and natural wonders are all within easy driving distance of each other. Pick up maps and local knowledge from the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre in Mittagong. Check out the events calendar for what’s on, from festivals and shows to concerts and exhibitions.
Eat and drink
The Southern Highlands is a foodie’s paradise, with rich volcanic soils supporting a range of produce, including beef, dairy and truffles. The high altitude is perfect for cool climate wines, with plenty of cellar doors to visit. There are many acclaimed restaurants too, such as Biota Dining and Eschalot.
Getting there and where to stay
The Southern Highlands is around 90min drive from Sydney and less than two hours from Canberra. You can also catch a direct train from Sydney to Bowral, which takes around two hours. Places to stay suit various budgets. There are campgrounds, motels and B&Bs, as well as luxurious retreats on vineyards and historic manors-turned-hotels.