Bredbo Christmas Barn is located in the little town of Bredbo, on the Monaro Highway to Cooma. From the southern suburbs of Tuggeranong it takes forty minutes (or one hour from the CBD) to drive over the NSW border to this tiny Snowy Mountains village. Between June to December every year, this little town comes alive with travellers stopping in to experience the joy of Christmas all in one unique location. With no advertising, this Christmas wonderland has gained popularity across two states from word of mouth alone.
The Bredbo Christmas Barn has been recommended to me by a number of Canberra locals when I have talked of driving this highway to the Snowy Mountains or the South Coast.
"You must stop in at the Christmas Barn on the way", they have all said, "Take your credit card! You will be amazed!".
With an excited four year old in the back of the car, I decided to make the special road trip from Tuggeranong to the Bredbo Christmas Barn so we could experience this Christmas spectacular for ourselves. Half way there, driving past rolling hills and cows, I did wonder why I was driving so far for a Christmas shop and with cries of "Are we there yet?" I was starting to wonder that myself.
However we soon saw the sign for the village of Bredbo and dozens of cars lining both sides of the highway - fellow Christmas revellers all stopping to experience this phenomenon for themselves.
Bredbo Christmas Barn began in 2004 when the owners Leanne and Neville moved from Canberra and set up this unique Christmas specialty outlet in the quiet town of Bredbo. Open between June and December it is open in time for "Christmas in July" celebrations as well as the lead up to Christmas.
Bredbo itself is an interesting community, with a population of just 169. It has a historic pub "The Bredbo Inn", a pancake shop and a few other amenities however it is the Bredbo Christmas Barn that makes this town increase in numbers during its' opening months.
As you walk into the Barn, the array of colours is a spectacular for the eyes. There is a multitude of colourful decorations and lights hanging from the ceiling, piled onto shelves, attached to the walls and decorating the roof - every spare inch of space is accounted for with Christmas bling.
The shop is set out in colour blocks, so you can search for your favourite colours and see how you can display the decorations in your own home. Golds, silvers, bright colours, muted tones, natural ornaments, greens and burgundies - all colours are displayed here in artistic form. Non-Christmas decorations mix creatively with traditional Christmas icons to create unique ideas that you may never think of combining yourself.
There is the old fashioned, the modern, the quirky and the child friendly. Take your kids and enjoy this magical wonderland where every favourite children's story character comes to life. Whether it be "Frozen" for the young ones of today, or Mickey Mouse and Snoopy of yesteryear, there is something for all ages at this unique Christmas Barn. If you need to buy a gift for somebody who has everything this Christmas, you will find gift ideas here that you won't find anywhere else.
Other gift ideas include Christmas decorations for the golfer, doctor, nurse, soccer player, basketballer, fisherman, dancer or runner in your family. There are also larger characters that surprise you around every corner with fine attention to detail, admired by all ages who pass by.
My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Bredbo Christmas Barn. If you didn't feel Christmassy before you arrived, you are sure to feel it when you leave - it brings out the kid in everyone. We walked around the shop a few times and on each trip around we experienced something new.
When we are a younger, the wonder and magic of Christmas is the highlight of the year and as we get older sometimes the magic gets lost along the way. I found this magic again in this remote Christmas Barn along the Snowy Mountains highway. Who knew it had been hiding here all this time, but I was certainly glad to have found it again.
I am looking forward to going back next year to make sure I find it all over again.