From brilliant tulip gardens to award-winning restaurants, cool-climate wineries and boutique shops, Bowral is the embodiment of Southern Highlands charm. Only 90 minutes south of Sydney, this town is also a great base to explore surrounding villages, country scenery and fascinating heritage. Don’t miss the famous museum on cricket legend Don Bradman.
Blooming gardens & antique shops
Stroll through cherry and magnolia trees in the beautiful Corbett Gardens, the centrepiece of the spectacular Tulip Time festival. One of Australia’s biggest floral events, this award-winning festival features the planting of more than 75,000 tulip bulbs in an extravaganza of colour.
For more views of the gardens and of the town itself, visit the Bowral Lookout. You can also enjoy a hike to the summit of Mt Gibraltar, which overlooks the town. Explore the surrounding countryside and Morton National Park on the scenic Illawarra Tourism Route.
Bowral is home to many local treasures. Browse the vintage and antique retailers at Dirty Janes Antique Market at your leisure. You can also visit the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame for a slice of history, honouring the legendary Australian batsman and Bowral local Donald Bradman.
Eat & drink
A gourmet getaway, Bowral’s rich pastures yield delicious fresh produce and acclaimed cool-climate wines. Sip your way through several cellar doors on a wine-tasting tour with The Grape Escape. For a taste of the region, visit Centennial Vineyards. Set on 80 acres, this winery produces some famed ripening varietals, from chardonnay to pinot gris and gewurztraminer. If you enjoy savoury and sweet treats with your glass of wine, a high tea is also available.
Renowned for award-winning cuisine, sample some of the region’s seasonal fare at the stylish Onesta Cucina. Filled with plants and travel memorabilia, Harry’s on Green Lane makes for a quirky lunch or dinner. Merrigangs offers a relaxed atmosphere with local beers and diverse menus. There’s also a handful of country pubs serving up bistro staples, including the Scottish Arms Hotel and The Royal Hotel. Visit in spring to attend the Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival.
Bowral is around a 90min drive from Sydney and less than two hours from Canberra. You can also catch a direct train from Sydney and the journey takes around two hours. Accommodation options suit various budgets, from motels and pubs to B&Bs, cottages, country retreats and beautifully restored heritage houses.