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Southern Highlands Attractions

Home > Canberra > Day Trips | Escape the City | Fun Things To Do | Nature | Places of Interest
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I love travelling, discovering hidden gems & food. Experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass. Owner of do check it out for grazing platters and more :)
Published July 20th 2020
Attractions to add to your list of things to do this weekend
The Southern Highlands of New South Wales is home to picturesque towns steeped in history and charm. It is also home to an array of free and ticketed attractions for all ages and interests to enjoy and experience.

It is located 1 ½ hour from Sydney and around 2 hours from Canberra, making the perfect weekend getaway or day trip. If you are planning on making it a weekend escape, accommodation options include B&B stays, self-contained cabins, camping, hotels and motels, resorts, boutique stays, and more.

Do add Tallowa Dam to your list! This impressive Dam in Kangaroo Valley is certainly worth a visit.

Note: Please note that some attractions might not have re-opened due to COVID-19. Please check the websites for details.

The list below showcases the best attractions across the Southern Highlands:

Nature Lovers:

The Southern Highlands is a nature enthusiast dream come true! It is home to an array of National Parks wilderness, gardens including grand formal gardens, nature walks, lookouts, and more.

* National Parks & Nature Reserves- National Parks and Nature Reserves include Morton National Park, Macquarie Pass National Park, Bangadilly National Park, Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, Nattai National Park, Bargo State Conservation Area, Robertson Nature Reserve, Mount Gibraltar Reserve, Penrose State Forest, Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve, and more.

The beautiful endless mountains at Morton National Park

* Gardens- Southern Highlands is home to some of the best gardens in New South Wales, including Red Cow Farm, Corbett Gardens (home to the iconic Tulip Time Festival), the new Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens, Leighton Gardens, and formal traditional English gardens at Harpers Mansion, Somerley House, and Hopewood House.

The beautiful Red Cow Farm Gardens

* Waterfalls- Some waterfalls include Fitzroy Falls, Belmore Falls, Carrington Falls, Fairy Bower Falls, Forty Foot Falls, Sixty Foot Falls, Twin Falls, Cascade Falls, Minnamurra Falls, and more.

The mighty Fitzroy Falls

* Lookouts-There is an array of lookouts to explore across the Southern Highlands with each lookout offering breathtaking views. Lookouts include Fitzroy Falls Lookout, Manning Lookout, Mount Gibraltar's lookouts- Mittagong Lookout, Bowral Lookout, Jellore Lookout and Oxley Hill Lookout, Hammock Hill Lookout, Stonequarry Lookout, Jamberoo Lookout, Barren Grounds Illawarra Lookout, Burragorang Lookout, and more.

Breathtaking views at Mittagong Lookout

* Parks & Reserves- Lake Alexandra Reserve, Acacia Park, Centennial Park, Berrima Reserve, Edward Street Park, Ritchie Park, Venables Park, and Gibbergunyah Reserve are some of the Parks and Reserves to explore and enjoy.

The tranquil Lake Alexandra Reserve

* Nature Walks & Trails-Box Vale Walking Track, Cherry Tree Walk, Mount Gibraltar walking trails, Belmore Falls Walking Track, Erith Coal Mine Track, Clover Hill Trail, and more.

Exploring Mount Gibraltar's walking trails

Historic Buffs:

If you are a history buff or enjoy learning about the past and discovering historical sites, then this list is for you!

Harper's Mansion- This heritage-listed house and museum is recognised for its Georgian design and gardens.

Berrima Courthouse- Enjoy a trip down Australian history lane at this attraction. The Berrima Courthouse offers tours where you will learn about the importance of the courthouse and the part it played in New South Wales history.

Harper's Mansion

Redford Park National Trust- This impressive heritage manor was gifted by James Fairfax and is a grand Victorian Italianate homestead.

Bradman Museum of Cricket- There is an extensive collection of cricket memorabilia with a permanent cultural exhibition that is dedicated to cricket. It showcases the sports culture, exhibits on its history, players and fans.

Berrima Courthouse

Berrima District Historical & Family History Society Museum- The museum was founded in 1960 to encourage the study of Australian, local and family history as well as house a permanent archive for the preservation of the documentary and material heritage of the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

The museum houses collections from major towns across the Southern Highlands as well as an image library containing more than 8,000 images of people and places, and more.

Hampden Bridge- This heritage-listed single-span suspension bridge opened in 1898 and carries Moss Vale Road across the tranquil Kangaroo Valley River.

The historic Hampden Bridge at Kangaroo Valley

* Historic Berrima Village-

* Fitz Roy Iron Works- The Fitz Roy Iron Works was the first ironworks in Australia and operated between 1848 to the 1890s, and it established the industry in Australia. Today, the exposed remains of the protected site are located in the underground car park of Highlands marketplace. The remains have been conserved, maintained and displayed.

The Heritage Trail- This Trail makes up of many towns and villages, each with a unique past and heritage. The Trail includes Belmore Falls, Historic Berrima Village, Bowral, monuments, Bong Bong Street, Bullio & Bullio Tunnel, Bundanoon, Burradoo, Burrawang, Colo Vale, Exeter, Fitzroy Falls, Hill Top, Joadja, Mittagong, Moss Vale, Paddy's River, Penrose, Robertson, and Sutton Forest.

One of the attractions on the Heritage Trail

Museums & Galleries:

There is an array of museums and galleries across Southern Highlands including Berrima District Historical & Family History Society Museum, Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame, Berrima Museum, Antique Mechanical Music Museum, The Old Goods Shed, Fettler's Shed Gallery, Milk Factory Gallery & Exhibition Space, Stuart Gallery & Space, Bespoke Art Gallery, Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Village Museum, and more.


If you are after some adventure, the Southern Highlands will not disappoint! Adventure activities include the Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, Wild Food Adventures, Fairground Follies, Glowworm Glen, Wombeyan Caves, bike trails, Skydiving, and more.

The amazing Wombeyan Caves

Wineries & Wine Tours:

Discover the cool climate wines that are found in the region, including the 5-star vineyard, Centennial vineyards, Blue Metal Vineyard Wines, McVitty Grove, Bousaada and Mount Ashby Estate.

Coffee Trail:

Coffee lovers, you will be in for a treat with the freshly roasted coffee beans and aromas on one of the most extensive coffee trails in Australia. The trail includes Park Road Corner Store, 4 Brothers Café, Bean 2 Bowral, Coffee Culture, Gumnut Patisserie, Gourmet Affair, Palate Pleasure, Raw & Wild Market, Triple Zero Café, Rush ROASTING Co., Delicious Bundanoon, Brewsters, Double J Expresso, and more.

Click here for the trail.

Scenic Drives:

There are four Tourist Drives which offer leisurely country scenic drives passing spectacular views throughout the Southern Highlands, rural vistas, quaint villages, wildlife, wineries, historic sites, and more.

Click here for the Tourist Drive List.

Passing farms on the Tourist Drives
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Why? Explore & experience the amazing Southern Highlands
When: All year round
Where: Southern Highlands, New South Wales
Cost: Free & Ticketed Attractions- See Above
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by Gypsy Rose on 07/04/2017
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