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(Get out: The whole southern highlands is on the Hume - this should probably be the focal point)
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Revision as of 02:55, 22 August 2009

Goulburn [6] 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.


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 [7] is at 201 Sloane St, opposite Belmore Park in the centre of town.


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.


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 degrees Celsius (50-104 degrees Fahrenheit) and winter's is -5-18 degrees Celsius (23-64 degrees Fahrenheit). 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 [8] 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.

A slower alternative is to take a Cityrail [9] train from Sydney. These trains have more intermediate stops and take three and a half hours. Cityrail fare structure is different, and kids will be cheaper on the Cityrail train. Cityrail also convey bikes at no extra charge, while space on the Countrylink service is limited, and there is a charge. Cityrail trains cannot be booked, just show up at the right time.

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.


The Big Merino

In town

  • The Big Merino is 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). The lookout at the top of the stairs is currently closed for safety reasons. The base of the concrete ovine houses a tourist gift shop. Located at the Freeway Services, near the second Goulburn exit heading from Sydney. Phone: +61 (02) 4822 8011. Fax: +61 (02) 4822 8017.
  • Goulburn War Memorial built on Rocky Hill in 1924 in memory of the people who died during World War 1. Has good view of the town so worth visiting even when the museum is closed. Museum open 11am - 3pm weekends and holidays all year round. Gates to Rocky Hill lookout open 9am – 5pm daily.
  • 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.
  • antique shop, 126 sloan st. Goulburn Court House is located across from Belmore Park free.
  • St. Saviour's Cathedral, Church Street. 10am-2pm. This gothic cathedral dates from 1874. free.
  • Historic Waterworks Museum [10], Marsden Weir. Phone: +61 (2) 4823 4462 (Email: [email protected], 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 [11] can be accessed through the nearby town of Taralga. It is possible to drive in a 2 wheel drive from the Caves to Mittagong, however the road is of poor quality. The scenery is however quite pleasing.



  • Australian Blues Music Festival, [1]. Generally around the 2nd weekend of February. See the website for yearly times.
  • Liliac Festival, [2]. Annual festival in early October. Floral displays, markets, parades.


  • The Public Swimming Pool is located 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, [3]. 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.



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 furthest from Sydney has a bakery and choices of fast food chains.

Other choices in town, include:

  • Tamnak Thai [12] is a thai cafe / restaurant located at the northern end of the main road. 380 Auburn Street, Goulburn, NSW. Telephone: +61 (02) 4821 3388. Email: mailto:[email protected]
  • Our Place Bistro @ Tully Park Tavern 33 Taralgo Road, Goulburn... Offering American Style Barbecued Ribs/ Steaks/Seafood/ Pizza .. Family owned and operated Ph 02 48221258


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.


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)
  • 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.
  • Alpine Heritage Motel, 248 Sloane Street, +61 2 4821 2930, [4]. 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, [5]. 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.

Stay safe

Being the largest town around in the region, Goulburn has inherited a confused personality that is friendly, but also questioning of outsiders. As such, if you don't fit in, you can really stand out in town. Most of the people in town are fine, but if you do look or dress a bit differently stay alert if you go out drinking at nights. The end of the week can get quite rowdy with people out drinking very late on Fridays and Saturdays.


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.

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