Escape the rat race and head to Bilpin for the weekend
Say hello to Bilpin - the "Land of the Mountain Apple." A short 90 minute drive away from the middle of Sydney, this is the perfect weekend away for couples, groups of friends or even the whole family. Bilpin is located west of Sydney, on the other (less popular) side of the Blue Mountains from where the hordes of tourists frequent.
Unfortunately public transport is limited to Bilpin so you will need to drive. Head west from the city towards Windsor and Richmond, then you drive up the Mountains along the Bells Line of Road. There are numerous cafes enroute where you can drop in for caffeine fix and a bite to eat. The Lime & Coconut Cafe in Windsor is definitely worth a pit stop, as is the 4 Beans Cafe in North Richmond.
WHAT TO DO
Bilpin is famous for both its apples and apple cider! There are a couple of Cider Cellar Doors where you can sample some of best and crispest cider you will ever taste: Bilpin Cider Open every day from 10am to 4pm, this rustic Cider Farm is a great place to pick up some perfectly crafted cider and also local produce. The friendly staff are more than happy to tell you how cider is made and also a bit about the history of the Bilpin area.
Hillbilly Cider This award winning cider company produces both apple and pear cider and sell their brew at the Hillbilly Shed on the Bells Line of Road. The Shed is only open Friday - Sunday, and you can grab a pie to eat with your cider on their sunny verandah.
There are quite a few different places where you can pick fruit in Bilpin. During Summer there are different varieties of stone fruit available, and in Winter it's time to pick apples. Here are the best places to pick your own fruit:
You will find loads of different bushwalks all through the area surrounding Bilpin. If you are feeling fit, a walk to the summit of Mount Banks is a must as you will discover beautiful bush, birdlife and the view from the top is excellent. For other bushwalks close b,y have a read of this list.
There are some delightful Mountain gardens close by to Bilpin.The beautifully landscaped Wildwood Garden is open in Spring and Autumn from 10.00am - 4.00pm. They have a cute little cafe available where you can enjoy a bowl of soup or coffee with a slice of homemade cake.
A bit further on from Bilpin you will find the stunning Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. You could easily spend half a day here exploring the different styles of gardens and enjoying brunch or lunch in their on-site restaurant.
Explore Kurrajong Village
Just down the road from Bilpin is the quaint Kurrajong Village. Here you will find giftware stores, cafes and antique shops for you to explore. And if you have your fur baby with you make sure you check out the Kurrajong Bark Park, where your pooch can play whilst you enjoy a coffee and sweet treat!
This delicious modern Australian restaurant serves everything from fresh sashimi to delicious wood fired pizzas. Ideal for all members of the family, Bilpin Afire is open from Friday - Monday each week.
Bilpin Fruit Bowl
A casual and laid back eatery where you can enjoy a coffee and cake or a light snack. Make sure you grab one of their homemade apple pies and some local produce to take home with you.
A cute little cafe style eatery famous fo Devonshire Teas and yummy sweet treats.
Pie in the Sky
If you like pie, you need to visit here. Whether you want a perfectly flaky beef pie, or a sweet apple pie, this is your go-to place in the Mountains for a perfect pie.
Tomah Gardens Restaurant
A classic restaurant located in the Botanic Gardens, this is the perfect spot for a long and lazy lunch. Afterwards, you can wallk-off everything you have eaten when you wander around the beautiful gardens.
Lochiel House Located just down the road in Kurrajong Heights, this fabulous restaurant is probably one of the best in the Mountains. Whether you stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner you won't be disappointed.
WHERE TO STAY
After a long day of sight seeing and eating, it's time to rest your weary mind and body. Bilpin and its surrounds has accommodation to suit couples, families and groups of friends. Here is a list of the best places to stay:
A popular spot for weddings, this resort has spectacular views and can accommodate groups of people who may want to visit Bilpin for the weekend.
Bilpin Springs Lodge
Both family friendly and pet-friendly, this is an ideal spot for groups of people to stay in Bilpin.
Wollemi Wilderness Retreat
These wonderful, fully self-contained cabins, tree houses and tee pees are the perfect spot to escape the rat race for a weekend in the wilderness.
Cute cottages located in a woodland setting, this is a great place to escape with the family, or group of friends for the weekend.
Spicers Sangoma Retreat
This is the ultimate in couples accommodation (hint - a great place to propose!). The Sangoma Retreat by the luxurious Spicers accommodation brand, has only a limited number of suites available and is all inclusive (all of your meals and drinks are included in the tariff). It's not cheap that's for sure, but if you need to impress the significant other in your life, this is the place to do it. The Sangoma Retreat is a 20-minute drive from Bilpin at Bowen Mountain.
Also, have a look at the Stayz website as there are quite a few cottages for hire in the Bilpin area.
Next time you are looking for a short break from the city, you should try beautiful Bilpin. It's an easy drive and you can do as much or as little as you would like to recharge the batteries. For more information make sure you check out the Visit Bilpinwebsite.