With panoramas of enchanting forests, green hills and rich farmland, the small village of Sutton Forest in the Southern Highlands is a wonderful country escape. Stay in manor houses on vast estates, from where you can explore nearby cellar doors or just soak up the rural tranquillity.
The drive to Sutton Forest from Sydney and Canberra is 95 minutes, and from Wollongong 70 minutes, via the scenic Macquarie Pass National Park. Sutton Forest is one of the first colonial settlements outside of Sydney, so there is plenty of heritage to admire.
Hillview Heritage Hotel, built in the 1850s, was the official country residence for governors of NSW between 1882 and 1958. You’ll find more places to stay in Sutton Forest, which is a great base for exploring other charming villages and natural wonders in the highlands.
Things to do include idyllic country walks, visiting gorgeous gardens, wine tasting and browsing antiques. Amble through berry fields and buy delicious jam at the Montrose House and Berry Farm, relax in the garden of Red Cow Farm or play a round of golf at Mount Broughton.
Taste cool-climate wines at the cellar doors of wineries such as Sutton Forest Estate Wines, , Eling Forest Winery and Cherry Tree Hill Wines. Some of the wineries have restaurants and cafes, or have a meal at the Sutton Forest Inn, a classic pub with a bistro and live music.
For more cellar doors, pretty Exeter is a short drive from Sutton Forest, on the way to Bundanoon. Enjoy the hospitality of winemakers at Cuttaway Hill Wines, St Maur Wines and Sallys Corner Wines. Exeter is also a popular destination for bushwalking and cycling.