Whether it be a country wedding or simply a weekend getaway that brings you to the Southern Highlands, you will no doubt be in search of some events and activities to keep you busy during your brief stay. So we’ve compiled fun-filled 48 hours to make the most of your Southern Highlands weekend escape.
The Southern Highlands is less than 2 hours from either Canberra or Sydney and less than an hour from Wollongong. You can, very quickly escape the hustle and bustle of the city or suburbia and be amongst rolling green hills, magnificent gardens, fine food and wine and get your country vibe on.
So here is a weekend plan should you be at a loss of what to do the next time you take a trip up into the highlands.
Fri-Yay, The Mill Cafe Precinct – 3-8 pm Friday
With a collective of artesian beers, mulled wine, live music and pop up food stalls, Fri-Yay is an end of week celebration (held on every third Friday of the month) occurring in the Mill Cafe precinct as you enter Bowral. Fire pits rage in winter to keep punters warm and lounges on the deck equipped with blankets make it an outdoorsy but cozy affair.
Bowral Park Run, Briars Lodge – 8 am Saturday
Clear the cobwebs at the 5km Bowral park run from Briar’s Lodge down and along the banks of the meandering Wingecarribee river. This free event organised by volunteers draws runners of all abilities all year round. Bring your park run member card to record your time and if you’ve never done a park run before, you can sign up online and find these events all around Australia and indeed the world. Enjoy a post-run coffee in the Briars Lodge
Breakfast, Green Lane, Bowral – 10 am Saturday
Wander the cafes within the pedestrian-only Green lane just off the main street of Bong Bong St in Bowral. Fill up on breakfast staples and good coffee before strolling through the eclectic maze of antiques within the Dirty Jane’s warehouse next door.
Wine tasting, Berrima – 12 pm Saturday
Take time to enjoy the local vino. Particularly the Pinot Noir or Reisling, at the substantial number of wineries dotted throughout the region. A cluster of wineries surrounds Berrima making it easy to sneak in a few wineries in an hour or so. For Pinot Noir try Bendooley Estate, for Chardonnay try Tertini and for a unique cider and wood-fired pizzas, try Artemis. See our full day Southern Highlands wine tour guide.
Long lunch, Mount Ashby Estate – 1 pm Saturday
Step back in time and into a rural French farmhouse at Mount Ashby Estate. Enjoy some fine dining by the crackling log fire in winter and in summer bask on the sun-drenched patio. Marvel at the French antiques that surround you as you dine out on creative dishes and their house Shiraz. Bookings essential.
Evening chill out, Saturday
The nightlife in the southern highlands is lacking by design. A trip to the country should be relaxing so take the time to either prepare an in-house feast, dine at the many restaurants (if you didn’t overindulge at lunch) or order some decent takeout. The Grand Indian in Bowral is highly recommended, so too is the Shanghai Chinese Restaurant or check out one of the many pubs such as the Scottish Arms.
Breakfast, Stumps Cafe, Bowral – 9 am Sunday
One of the most underrated places to eat in Bowral would have to be the Stumps Cafe. Perhaps controversially there is an unacknowledged ‘Bowral tax’ applied to many eateries about town. Stumps Cafe seems to be exempt, charging more than reasonable prices. A healthy selection of options is on the menu for breakfast or lunch, plus a few unhealthy options contained within their delicious sweet pie selection that vary from month to month.
Bradman Museum, Bowral – 10 am Sunday
Next door to the Stumps cafe is the International Cricket Hall of Fame, commonly known as the Bradman museum. This is worth a visit whether you are a cricket fan or not. Donald Bradman, a Bowral local, holds one of the most impressive records of any sportsperson to walk the earth. You can also see where ‘The Don’ mastered his skills or even catch a game at the Bradman Oval next door.
Fitzroy Falls Walk, Fitzroy Falls – 11 am Sunday
Fresh air is in abundance along the walking trails to the magnificent Fitzroy Falls. A short few hundred metres has you looking down over the cascades that tumble some 81m to the valley floor. Continue walking for numerous lookouts towards the falls and surrounding valley.
Robertson Pie Shop, Robertson – 1 pm Sunday
The Southern Highlands is known for its pies. In fact, it dedicates the entire month of June to pie perfection during the annual Pie Time festival. One of the pie institutions is the Robertson Pie Shop in the outskirts of the quaint Robertson town. A wide range of pies are on offer, however, we suggest the Chicken, leek and camembert pie. You can also purchase a family pie for takeaway and have when you arrive back home later in the evening. See our top 5 pie experiences after we visited all 26 bakeries.
Here ends your Southern Highlands weekend getaway. There are ample activities to choose from in addition to what is listed here, but this is a fair collection of activities to consider should you be ever short of something to do in the highlands. Enjoy your visit and of course, there is always an opportunity to return should something get missed.