Batlow is a small town tucked away in the hills between Tumut and Tumbarumba in the Snowy Valleys, but it has plenty of big experiences. Big scenery, some big festivals and the biggest thing of all, the Big Apple.
Batlow started life as a gold rush town back in 1854 and is now part of the scenic Snowy Valleys Way touring route that begins in Gundagai and winds south through breathtaking landscapes, charming towns and fascinating history.
Things to do
Batlow is undeniably best known, and deservedly so, for its apples. The biggest apple of them all is not edible, it is one of Australia’s ‘big things’. The Big Apple sits in an orchard out of town, paying tribute to the fruit growers who have kept the economy going for well over a century.
You can pick your own apples and other fresh produce at farm gates. Wilgro Orchards sells apples and cherries from a roadside stall during the picking season. You can also buy apples and cherries in season at the Mouat's Farm Shop, as well as free range eggs, homemade jams and local honey. For a different type of glimpse into farm life, visit Yesteryear Plantations to learn about growing and producing eucalyptus oil, and peruse the on-property shop.
Learn about the area by visiting the Batlow Historical Society Museum. Discover stories of the pioneers, and learn about visionary orchardist Herbert Velvin Smith, who made Batlow famous for apples thanks to his cold-storage development and co-operative fruit marketing. Batlow also has some great walks and scenic drives in the Bago State Forest, which runs from Batlow to Blowering Dam.
The small town hosts a number of festivals each year to celebrate its delicious produce, which includes cherries, pears and berries and cider. Batlow CiderFest is an annual community street party in May with market stalls, boutique ciders, gourmet food, live music and more.
Eat & drink
In a town that is all about apples, it’s little surprise that cider is a staple. Drop into Crafty Cider’s cellar door for a tasting, open on weekends from 11am to 4pm. Batlow Café does coffee and brunch, and Batlow Bakery serves baked classics like meat pies and sausage rolls. For pub fare, The Batlow Hotel has been recently renovated and has a fantastic beer garden, as well as regular live music.
Batlow is a delightful rural escape. It is a 5-hr drive from Sydney and Melbourne, and 2hr 30min from Canberra. You can fly into Wagga Wagga Airport, then it is an hour’s drive to Batlow. Albury Airport is two hours’ drive, and it is 2hr 40mins from the Snowy Mountains Airport near Cooma.