Yass

On the banks of the peaceful Yass River and in the heart of prime agricultural country, Yass makes a great base for outdoor adventure and food and wine escapades. You’ll discover fascinating heritage, beautiful streetscapes and top wineries in this picturesque town.

Sun setting over the Yass River in Yass, near Canberra

History and heritage

Explore the town’s rich heritage and colonial grandeur, such as Yass Courthouse, on the Yass Town Walk. Pick up brochures for the self-guided tour from the Yass Valley Information Centre in beautiful Coronation Park, a great spot for a picnic or BBQ.

Visit the home of colonial explorer Hamilton Hume at Cooma Cottage, now a National Trust museum, as well as his grave. Learn more about Hume and fellow explorer William Hovell at the Yass and District Museum.

Couple arriving for lunch at Poachers Pantry, Springrange

Food and wine

Taste your way around the excellent cafes, wine bars and restaurants of Yass. The Smokehouse restaurant at Poachers Pantry specialises in house smoked and cured meats paired with wines from their own vineyard. Visit the award-winning Grazing at Gundaroo in the 1865 Royal Hotel.

Other food and wine experiences include wine tasting at Canberra District cellar doors such as Dog Trap Vineyard and sampling local produce at the Yass Community Markets. Join a wine tour with Canberra Winery Tours, and visit some of the many vineyards.

Local attractions

Enjoy water sports at Burrinjuck Dam and explore Careys Cave, a spectacular limestone landscape with beautiful rock formations. Join Cooradigbee Fossil Tours and discover fossils from the Devonian period 400 million years ago.

At the Wee Jasper Reserves, enjoy camping, fishing and bushwalking. Walk the town’s leafy streets and find antique stores, gift shops and galleries. The Yass Show in March is another rural treat, with vintage cars, show jumping and family fun.

Getting there and where to stay

Yass is a three-hour drive from Sydney and less than one-hour from Canberra. You can take a scenic train trip from Sydney to Yass Junction, which takes around 3hr 40min, and rent a car to explore the region. Places to stay include holiday parks and campgrounds, pubs, motels and farmstays.