Yass Valley arts and culture
Admire National Trust treasures, gallery hop through historic towns and pick up souvenirs in antique stores around the Yass Valley in southwest NSW. There’s a vibrant arts and culture scene in the region, with a busy events calendar including Sculpture in the Paddock and the Gundaroo Music Festival.
The heart of the Canberra District wine region, the Yass Valley is full of beautifully preserved 19th century streetscapes and grand colonial architecture, such as the Yass Courthouse. A lovely way to experience the heritage – and fresh country air – is on self-guided walking tours.
You can pick up brochures and maps from the Yass Valley Information Centre in Coronation Park, a popular spot for picnics and BBQs. Another leafy park in Yass is Banjo Paterson Park, named after the great Australian poet and author who lived in the district when he was a boy.
Colonial explorer Hamilton Hume lived in Yass until his death in 1873. His former home, Cooma Cottage, is a National Trust museum, and you can also visit his grave. Other museums include the Yass and District Museum and the Yass Railway Museum, home to a 1307 steam locomotive.
For vintage cars, take a short drive northwest to Binalong Motor Museum in Binalong. While you’re visiting this charming village, stop at the for exhibitions in a colonial-built rammed-earth building. The gallery’s cafe serves gourmet snacks, local wines and tea.
Between Binalong and Yass is Bowning, home to the Crisp Galleries and antique stores. The historic Mayfield Mews is great for eclectic shopping. A scenic drive southeast of Yass, via the Murrumbateman vineyards, is the National Trust-classified main street of Gundaroo.