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Published October 25th 2016
These attractions are a must add when visiting Bowral
Bowral is located 126km from Sydney and is 661 metres above sea-level. Bowral is filled with rich history and scenery. There is plenty of attractions to see, do, experience and discover for all interests and ages.
The region was first traversed by Europeans in 1798 and today this quaint town is a must visit with gardens, lookouts, bushwalks, museums and galleries, shopping, history & heritage, leisure activities and much more.
The list below includes top attractions across Bowral and its surrounds:
1. Mt Gibraltar's Lookouts
Mt Gibraltar is situated on the northern side of town and is the highest point between the Illawarra coast and the Great Dividing Range. The drive to the summit is quite pleasant. Exploring the lookouts is a must do nature attraction when visiting Bowral. The lookouts include The Bowral Lookout, Oxley View, Mt Jellore Lookout and the Mittagong Lookout. Head north out of town along Mittagong Rd, turn right into Oxley Drive which will take you to the summit and leads past four scenic lookouts.
2. Corbett Gardens These spectacular gardens are one of the region's oldest and most beautiful parks which feature Corbett Gardens- home to the Tulip Festival held in September.
3. Top Walks Walking in the area is a lovely outdoor attraction. There are several walks which include The Gib Track (marked by white posts), The Rim Track (marked by yellow posts), Reservoir Track The Ravine Track, Bradman Walk, Gibbergunya Walking Track, Cherry Tree Bowral Walk, and The Bowral Historical Walk.
4. Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
The Bradman Museum is home to Bowral's most famous son, the cricketing legend, Sir Donald Bradman. It is dedicated to Sir Bradman and features a 100 seat cinema with Bradman footage and newsreels, Bradman Walk, Bradman Oval and parkland, children's playground (it is cricket themed), exhibits, displays, state-of-the-art interactive experiences, collections, and cricket nets. Click here for the website.
Where: Located in Glebe Park, St Jude St, Bowral
The Museum is open daily from 10am-5pm.
5. Gibbergunyah Reserve
Gibbergunyah took its name from Gibbergunya Creek. Gibbergunyah is a reserve for public recreation and for the preservation of native flora and fauna. There is a limited range of eucalypts however, there is a profusion of woody pear which resembles the waratah in foliage. The kangaroo, wombat and echidna have often been seen on the Gibbergunya Walking Track. The track is quite steep ascending from Howard's Lane, Welby but the easier approach is from Boronia Street in Bowral. Click here for the website.
6. Wingecarribee House & other Mansions
These are must see attractions. The Wingecarribee was built in 1857 by the Oxley family on the original land grant and was entirely imported from England. The Classical Revival Mansion 'Retford Park', on the Old South Rd was built in 1887 and on Kirklands Rd in Glenquarry, the Roberston Park, which is the large sandstone mansion built in the 1850's for the prominent politician Richard Hutchinson Roberts.
Admiring the natural surroundings during a foggy morning...
7. Historic Buildings
Some of the historic buildings on Bendooley St include a number of old cottages made from trachyte, a volcanic rock mined at a local quarry in the past, the courthouse (built in 1896), the police station (1887), the council office (1890), and St Jude's Church of England (1874), the public school (1863)- it has been greatly altered and today it houses the Bowral Schoolhouse Museum & Gallery.
Banyette St is home to the Roman Catholic Church built in 1891.
On the corner of Boolwey and Bong Bong St was the site of the town's first dwelling- a log cabin owned by an Aborigine named Adam.
The Grand Hotel on the corner of Bong Bong and Wingecarribee Streets was erected in 1187, where the town's cricket oval once stood.
The Port-O-Call Hotel on Bundarroo St dates back to 1863 and was allegedly built by Mittagong's first settler William Charker and the Prince of Wales.
A map of these historic buildings and historic walk can be found at Mittagong Information Centre.
8. Tulip Festival
Every September Bowral transforms into a 'tulip' wonderland with spectacular floral displays and a rare opportunity to wander through the sumptuous English Gardens of some of the town's larger private homes. The festival includes all things tulip, activities, market stalls, workshops, displays, and more. Click here for the website.
Explore the spectacular tulips at the Corbett Gardens
9. Autumn Garden Festival
Every May, the Autumn Garden Festival and Open Garden Scheme allows visitors to see some of the most impressive gardens. In October there is a series of lectures featuring horticulturalists and gardeners from all over the world. Click here for website.
10. Ten Thousand Paces
This hybrid gallery is a shop, arts project and regional wine club. They sell art, design and cool craft alongside hundreds of local wines. The Gallery features events and exhibitions as well as hub/bottle shop for local wine makers with wines from over 50 nearby vineyards. Click here for the website.
11. Empire Cinema
This is the oldest commercial cinema in Australia and started operating from 15 September 1915!
It is a four-screen digital cinema screening first release films, national theatre and met opera.
Empire Cinema is the oldest commercial cinema in the country operating from 15 September 1915. It will celebrate its centenary on 15 September 2015. Click here for the website.
12. Bowral Golf Club
Founded in 1901, this golf club has traditionally been the cornerstone of gold in the Southern Highlands. This beautiful garden golf course features 18 hole- golf course with easy walking conditions in a parkland setting. There is a restaurant on site. Click here for the website.
13. Centennial Vineyards
This multi-award winning vineyard is a cool climate vineyard at over 760m in altitude and the vines are planted over 80 acres consisting of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Albarino, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Tempranillo. Click here for the website.
14. The Milk Factory Gallery & Exhibition Space
The Milk Factory was built in 1921 primary as a depot for local farmers to manufacture dairy products and today it is home to contemporary artwork, exhibitions which include printmaking, ceramics, photography and sculpture. Click here for website.
15. Wombeyan Caves
This is one of the hidden gems in the Southern Highlands. The caves are an extensive series of spectacular limestone caves situated on a 417-hectare reserve. You can enjoy guided or self-guided tours of the caves, nature walks, camping and other accommodation. Click here for the website.