Young and Hilltops Area
The Young and Hilltops region provides an enticing mix of country charm and epicurean delights, on the southwest slopes of the Great Dividing Range in Country NSW. Add intriguing heritage, pretty orchards and elegant wines, and you have yourself a wonderful rural escape.
The cherry capital of Australia, the nation’s first commercial cherry orchard was planted in Young in 1878. In Spring the sea of pink and white cherry blossoms is simply stunning. The main cherry-picking season runs from late October to late January.
The area’s rich red soil is home to more than 20 stone fruit orchards and the Hilltops wine region. Food and wine is a big drawcard, from tasting cool-climate reds at cellar doors to visiting orchards where you can pick your own cherries. Winery and orchard tours are available.
Young is two hours’ drive from Canberra and four hours from Sydney. If you prefer a scenic train trip, Harden is a stop on the Melbourne-Sydney railway line. The nearest airports with car rental services are in Canberra, Wagga Wagga and Bathurst.
Pop into the Young Visitor Information Centre, in a colonial railway station, for expert advice on the things to do in the region, including browsing gourmet food shops and antique stores. Places to stay include riverside camping, caravanning, farm stays, motels and pubs.
A fun events calendar includes flying kites at the colourful Harden Kite Festival and watching the Running of the Sheep spectacle at the Irish Woolfest in Boorowa. The three-day National Cherry Festival in Young includes a street parade and pie-eating contest.
The Young region has a fascinating history of colonial gold rushes and notorious bushrangers. This heritage is best discovered on self-guided tours, and at the Gold Trail Experience in Harden, the Boorowa Historical Museum in Boorowa and the Lambing Flat Folk Museum in Young.