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Goulburn

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Goulburn [1] is a small city 200km (120 miles) south-west of Sydney. With a population of 24,000, Goulburn is one of the largest cities in the region and a rural hub for surrounding agriculture. Goulburn was Australia's first inland city to be settled.

Understand

The city is close to the Hume Highway connecting Sydney with Canberra and Melbourne and it is a popular stopping off point for travellers. The Visitor Information Centre [2] is at 201 Sloane St, opposite Belmore Park in the centre of town.

History

The railway line between Sydney and Goulburn (still in operation) was opened in 1869 and for 6 years Goulburn was the southern most point on the line.

Climate

Goulburn has a climate unlike most of its neighbouring towns due to its location at the bottom of a valley: summers tend to be relatively hot and dry and winters cold. The summer temperature range is 10-40°C (50-104°F) and winter's is -5-18°C (23-64°F). Be sure to bring layers in winter as it can get quite windy and very cold.

Get in

By car

Goulburn is approximately two and a half hours drive south-west of Sydney on the which runs to Melbourne. It is one hour from Canberra.

By train

Countrylink [3] runs daily train services from Sydney to Goulburn on the way to Melbourne and Canberra. A train from Sydney will take just over two and a half hours to reach Goulburn. Countrylink trains need to be booked in advance.

Goulburn is also part of the Cityrail [4] network, and Cityrail run around 4 trains/buses to Goulburn on weekdays and two trains on weekends. These trains really are designed to convey passengers from Goulburn into Sydney for the day, and it is quite awkward to work the other way around. For example, you can get the train leaving Central on a weekday evening down to Goulburn in under 3 hours, but you can spend over 4 1/2 hours with two train connections and a bus connection on a Saturday. However, the Cityrail trains are cheap, with a single ticket costing only $7.80, and trip is included if you have a MyMulti 3, or MyMulti Day.

Get around

The main street of Goulburn is short enough to be easily walkable.

If you are are staying out of the centre of town or wish to get to some of the other sights around town the only methods of transport available is by car or taxi.

See

The Big Merino

In town

  • The Big Merino, Cnr Hume & Sowerby Streets (Just off the southern exit from the Freeway in the service centre), +61 2 4822 8013 (fax: +61 2 4822 9369), [5]. Mon-Sat 8:30AM-5:30PM, Sun 9AM-5:30PM. Possibly Goulburn's most well-known tourist attraction. Being a rural hub, the 15 m (49 ft) tall concrete Merino sheep symbolises the town's importance to the local farming industry. Stairs ascend inside the structure past mildly interesting displays on wool and merinos (Australia's most common sheep breed). Originally located in the centre of the town, when the freeway bypass meant that the merino lost visitors, in 2007 the owners put it on a truck and moved it 800m up the road. The lookout at the top of the stairs is currently being renovated to allow visitors to see out the top again. The base of the concrete ovine houses a tourist gift shop.
  • Goulburn War Memorial (Rocky Hill War Memorial & Museum), Memorial Road (Follow Tourist Route 8 towards Bungonia and Bungendore, turn off onto Memorial Road at the Landsdowne Park sign), (), [6]. Museum open 10AM - 4PM weekends, public holidays and school holidays all year round. Gates to Rocky Hill lookout open 9AM – 5PM daily. The War Memorial Tower on Rocky Hill was built in 1924 in memory of the people who died during World War 1. While the tower has great views, even the lookout has an unparalleled view of the town, so it is worth visiting even when the museum is closed. The old caretaker's cottage contains a museum describing the city's involvement in the two world wars. Free.
  • Goulburn Rail Heritage Centre, 12 Braidwood Road, +61 2 4822 1210. Tue-Sun 10AM-4PM. A working roundhouse incorporating heritage rail locomotives (both steam and diesel) with displays on the history of the railway in Goulburn. Adults $8 Concession $5, Children $4.
  • St Saviour's Cathedral, Bourke Street, +61 2 4821 2206. 10AM-4PM. The Gothic-style cathedral of the Anglican Church Diocese of Goulburn & Canberra, designed by notable Australian architect Edmund Blacket. Construction commenced in 1874. The cathedral is one of Australia's most beautiful regional cathedrals and attracts many tourists every year. Free.
  • Sculptures in honour of leading Australian blues musicians are located outside the information centre.
  • Belmore Park, in the centre of town on the north side of the main street (Auburn Street) is the scene of many community events, including a monthly fair.
  • Victoria Park has a beautiful rose garden in the center of it with childrens recreational play sets.
  • Goulburn Court House is located across from Belmore Park
  • Historic Waterworks Museum [7], Marsden Weir. Phone: +61 (2) 4823 4462 (Email: museums@goulburn.nsw.gov.au, Fax: +61 (2) 4822 0977), The Waterworks which became functional in 1886 was the first reticulated water supply for the booming city of Goulburn.
  • Goulburn Brewery - it has been suggested that the buildings were designed by the famous colonial architect francis Greenaway as there are some stylistic similarities with his other work. There is an exhibition to support the assertion. You can also buy locally made beer there.
  • Australian Domestic Architecture is evident throughout the streets. Being the oldest inland city in NSW, the variety of housing styles is great. There are both good and bad examples of every era from the late 1880s onwards.

In the area

  • Morton National Park starts at Bungonia about 20km from the town. In its upper reaches the Park is dry, and carries the Shoalhaven river over the escarpment on its way to Nowra. Walking trails are available from Bungonia.
  • Wombeyan Caves [8] can be accessed in an hour through the nearby town of Taralga. A further 90 minutes from the caves is an extremely scenic but slow drive to Mittagong providing access to the Southern Highlands. This road is passable by 2 wheel drive but is of poor quality in the national park.

Do

Events

  • Australian Blues Music Festival, [9]. Generally around the 2nd weekend of February. See the website for yearly times.
  • Ghoul-burn Ghost Tours, [10]. Ghoul-burn Ghost Tours offers tours on scheduled tour dates and on-demand. Tours are fun and informative and take in Goulburn's history against which the spooky and haunted events occur. Guests are encouraged to take photographs and the website boasts a collection of spooky shots taken by guests. Some tours include meals or drinks, and tours offer coach or driving options.
  • Lilac Festival, [11]. Annual festival in early October. Floral displays, markets, parades.

Attractions

  • The Public Swimming Pool is on the top side of Victoria Park
  • Wakefield Park Motor Racing Track (Wakefield Park), 4770 Braidwood Rd (in Tirrannaville - 10km south of Goulburn), +61 2 4822 2811, [12]. Open 7 days a week (8AM - 5PM). Wakefield Park runs public 'No Speed Limit' days (check the website for details) in which the public is allowed to drive to their hearts content. Rides in V8 supercars are also available for race fans wanting a thrill ride.

Buy

Eat

Goulburn plenty of cheap and quick food open all hours. in town and at the highway services. There are two exits from the freeway from at Goulburn, and the the southernmost exit (the furthest from Sydney, and closed to Canberra) has highway service area by the Big Merino, with a bakery and choice of fast food chains. If you take small diversion through Goulburn there are other fast food options, including another McDonalds.

  • Tamnak Thai [13] is a thai cafe / restaurant located at the northern end of the main road. 380 Auburn Street. Telephone: +61 2 4821-3388. info@tamnakthai.com.au
  • Our Place Bistro @ Tully Park Tavern 33 Taralgo Road. American Style barbecued ribs, steaks, seafood and pizza. Family owned and operated. +61 2 4822-1258

Drink

Essentially all the clubs and pubs in Goulburn are located around the central part of town up and down the main street and along perpendicular streets. All are within easy walking distance of each other.

  • Goulburn Club, Market St (located opposite Belmore Park on the top floor of the Goulburn Club building), Phone: +61 (2) 4821 2043. Open Thur-Sat from 5PM onwards. Relaxed old English gentlemens club feel with sofas and chairs. Constantly changing art exhibits line the walls and live bands (generally jazz or blues) can be found irregularly.
  • Flamingos
  • Worker's Club, McKell Place, Phone: +61 (2) 4821 3355.
  • Soldier's Club 15 Market Street, Phone: +61 (2) 4821 3300.

Sleep

Coming off the freeway from Sydney, the road into Goulburn is lined with a range of convenient motels.

  • Goulburn Gateway Backpackers, Old Hume Highway & Common Street, Phone: +61 (2) 4821 9811 (Fax: +61 (2) 4821-2055)
  • Lilac City Motor Inn 126-128 Lagoon Street - Goulburn, NSW 2580 Australia | Ph: 61 2 4821 5000 | Fax: 61 2 4821 8074 | Toll free 1800 654 12476 This motel located on the north side of town and you enter Goulburn from Sydney. Has quiet and comfortable rooms, a fully licensed Steakhouse Restaurant and all the features you would expect of a well run accommodation - great for business travelers and families on holiday. [14] Member of Golden Chain Motels
  • Tattersalls Hotel 76 Auburn Street, Phone: +61 (2) 4821 3088. This hotel is right in the middle of town on the main street, and if you are unlucky enough to be in town at the end of the week or a public holiday expect lots of noise all night long.
  • Mandelsons Guest House, 160 Sloane Street (Cnr Sloane St & Clinton St), Phone: +61 (2) 4821 0707 (Email: reception@mandelsons.com.au, Fax: +61 (2) 4821 0225), AUD$140-$205 (Packages available). [15]
  • Alpine Heritage Motel, 248 Sloane Street, +61 2 4821 2930, [16]. Budget Rooms: single $59, double $69, Queen $74 family $100. Deluxe Rooms: Small (queen bed) $89, Large (king bed plus 3 single) $129. (from $59,)
  • Pelican Sheep Station, Braidwood Road, (02) 4821 4668, [17]. Prices start from $45 per person in a bunkhouse to $125 per person in a 5-bedroom house. And there are farm tours complete with sheep shearing too.

Contact

All mobile networks have good coverage in Goulburn. The visitors centre offers free Internet.

Get out

Goulburn is approximately 50 minutes from Bowral, Mittagong the Southern Highlands.

Sydneysiders tend to think of Goulburn as being half way to Canberra from Sydney, but it less than an hour to drive to Canberra from Goulburn, on fast, good quality roads.

Sydney and Wollongong are both around 2 hours drive away; and day trips to Sydney are available by train from Goulburn as well.


Routes through Goulburn
SydneySouthern Highlands  N noframe S  → Junction Australian National Highway 23.pngYassAlbury



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