Southern Highlands (New South Wales)

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Southern Highlands (New South Wales)

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Belmore Falls, Southern Highlands
The Southern Highlands [2] is located south west of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia.


Large Towns

Several towns in the southern highlands have a choice of accommodation, restaurants, large variety of services.

Smaller Towns and Villages

Smaller towns and villages offer general stores, cafes, and other local attractions.


The Southern Highlands is within commuting distance of Sydney and is popular for weekends away from Sydney. It is a cooler climate than Sydney. It has more identifiable seasons than Sydney, with a cooler spring, and leaves falling in Autumn.

Get in

Moss Vale's historic railway station, and Endeavour Railcar that services the Southern Highlands Line

The district can be reached by train from Sydney and by car via the Hume Highway. Allow 80 minutes to travel by car from Sydney to Bowral unless driving on a weekday afternoon when an additional 30-45 minutes will be needed. Friday afternoon traffic can be particularly bad. A regular mini-bus shuttle service [3] from Sydney Airport is also available.

Get around

Private car is the easiest way to travel around the villages of the Southern Highlands. The region has a taxi service [4] and a local bus company [5], which also connects to Nowra allowing access to the South Coast.

Cycling around the many country lanes and national parks can be a pleasant way to see the area.


Tulip at Corbett Gardens, Bowral
  • The Morton National Park has view, waterfalls, cliffs, bushwalks, and picnic and cycling opportunities access the park at Bundanoon, Tallong and Fitzroy Falls The Macquarie Pass National park waterfalls, views, and more bushwalking and cycling opportunities. Access the National Park from Robertson.


  • Cricket tragics can't miss the Bradman Museum [6] attached to Bradman Oval in Bowral. A walking tour of Bowral starting at the museum passes a number of historic sites connected with Sir Donald Bradman .


Most of the small towns of the Southern Highlands have cafes or small restaurants. A more extensive choice of restaurants is in the major towns at Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale, Bundanoon and Berrima.

There are also several wineries in the area which serve food.

Short diversions off the main freeway from Sydney can give a much more pleasant and tasty place to eat than the highway services.

  • Meridian Cafe, 85 George St, Marulan (Coming from Sydney, take the first exit, go under the freeway, turn left into George Street. The cafe is just past the railway line on the left. Coming from Canberra or Melbourne, take the service centre exit, head up George Street, the cafe is on your right past the pub), (02) 4841 1126 (fax: (02) 4841 1126), [1]. Thu-Mon 8AM-11AM (for breakfast) & 12-3PM (for lunch). The only cafe on the 150º meridian. Highly recommended, lovely food, great for a half-way stop between Sydney and Canberra or vice-versa (and much better than the fast food services). Restaurant food serves local produce and wines, menu changes often depending on seasonal produce. Breakfast $5-$15; Lunch $9-18;.


There are country pubs in Bundanoon, Sutton Forest and Berrima. There is more serious nightlife in the larger towns of Bowral, Mittagong and Moss Vale. The Bowral scene is more upmarket, and caters more for the tourist traffic. The Moss Vale pubs by contrast seem a little smaller & friendlier, catering for locals & tourists.


  • Berrima Bakehouse Motel [7] is in Corner Wingecarribee Street and Old Hume Highway, Berrima, New South Wales.
  • River Island Nature Retreat [9] secluded naturist resort in 1500 acres along the Wollondilly River. Access via the Wombeyan Caves Road, approximately 39km from Mittagong.
  • Poplars Motel in Mittagong [10] pleasant family run accommodation in a garden setting. On the Old Hume Highway as you enter Mittagong Ph: 02 4889 4239 | Fax: 02 4889 5074 | Toll free 1800 656 963

Stay safe

The southern highlands is generally a safe area. Beware of some alcohol fueled violence in the larger towns, like Moss Vale. Many of the roads in the area can be narrow and sometimes unsealed. There can also be cyclists and pedestrians walking on the roads.

Get out

If you are travelling from Sydney you have made it half way to Canberra. It is only a short drive down the freeway to Goulburn.

If you are travelling on to Sydney, consider taking the Illawarra Highway from Moss Vale over the Macquarie Pass via Robertson and Wollongong, with spectacular winding mountain roads, and coastal views, and only adding 30 minutes or so to the trip to Sydney.

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