Gallery of places to visit & or stay near Canberra
Two hours’ drive from Canberra, the NSW Southern Highlands area including Berrima, Bowral, Moss Vale, Mittagong and other smaller villages is characterised by old stone churches, weatherboard cottages, stately homes and mansions, cosy warm fires, charming country lanes and white railing fences, not dissimilar to rural England. Cold and brisk, the region caters for those keen on antiques, cafes and restaurants, art galleries, pottery, golf, or brushing up on history. Many accommodation options are available, and accessibility from one town to another is a key. The region has a selection of government and private schools, and transport options to other places.
Berrima, Southern Highlands NSW
Berrima boasts antique, art, craft, pottery and gift shops, accommodation, cafes and bakeries. The Berrima Internment Camp museum dedicated to German prisoners during World War I is a poignant reminder of war. Other notable places include the historic St Francis Xavier Church and heritage walks, parks and picnic reserves.
Bowral, Southern Highlands NSW
Bowral is known for its magnificent gardens and festivals such as tulip time, and art galleries, eateries, fashion outlets and cosy accommodation. The International Cricket Hall of Fame in the Bradman Museum attracts many cricket fans. Come Saturday mornings and the village bustles as locals and visitors meander around squares, shopping precincts and cafes, and it’s not uncommon to spot various high-profile people who’ve made the area their home in the area.
Moss Vale, Southern Highlands NSW
Moss Vale has various antique, art and craft shops, gardens, heritage buildings and a golf course and the town is an important commercial centre.
Made By Others, Shop 2, 366 Argyle Street, Moss Vale, NSW, 2577, Tel: 02-4868 2026. http://www.madebyothers.com.au
This arts and design shop offers the works of Australian and international designers, including paintings, prints, textiles, clothing and jewellery. The shop also stocks Marimekko fashions and homewares, and its quiet café is a haven after a busy day of sightseeing.
Mittagong, Southern Highlands NSW
The gateway to the Southern Highlands when coming from Sydney, Mittagong’s attractions include antique shops and cafés, motels and a tourist information centre.
Mittagong Antiques Centre, 85-87 Main Street, Mittagong, NSW, 2575, Tel: 02-4872 3198. http://mittagongantiques.blogspot.com.au/
One is always guaranteed of some find at the Mittagong Antiques Centre. Open seven days a week, the Centre has a wide-range of wares in its huge space, such as books, crockery, silver, jewellery, clothing and antique furniture.
Victoria House Needlecraft, 49 Main Street, Mittagong, NSW, 2575, Tel: 02-4871 1682. http://www.victoriahouseneedlecraft.com.au/
Victoria House Needlecraft specialises in luxury knitting yarns, needlepoint and tapestry, cross stitch, crewel and embroidery, and is a supplier of threads, fabrics, accessories and books. The shop also conducts classes in stitching.
Bungendore, South Tablelands NSW
Located 38 km from Canberra, Bungendore Village lies near Lake George, the Molonglo River Valley and the Australian Capital Territory border. It has many cafes, restaurants and other tourist attractions. Prior to European settlement, the area was occupied by the Ngarigo people, the first European settlers arriving in the mid 1820s with the area proclaimed a town in 1837. Over the years, services such as a rail link, post office, courthouse, churches and public school were established. Trains operate on the Bungendore-Canberra-Sydney route.
Le Tres Bon Restaurant and Cooking School, 40 Malbon Street, Bungendore , NSW, 2621, Tel: 02-6238 0662. http://www.letresbon.com.au
Run by Chef Christophe Gregoire and his wife, Josephine, Le Tres Bon is a great spot for a convivial lunch or dinner. The couple regularly conduct cooking classes in Bungendore as well as annual Food and Wine Tours overseas. They recently participated in a Bungendore event giving people the chance to visit food stalls, talk about produce and collect fresh local ingredients for a later cooking demonstration (and eating) at the restaurant.
Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, 22 Malbon Street, Bungendore, NSW, 2621, Tel: 02-6238 1682. http://www.bungendorewoodworks.com.au
Designed by Bungendore architect, Maurice Barnes and built in 1994, largely from an array of Australian timbers, the Bungendore Wood Works Gallery stocks many exquisite products made of wood and other media. The main gallery is integrated around an historic 1883 house. The Café Wood Works has the capacity for over 100 diners and just the right acoustics for concerts. Representing over 200 makers and visual artists who offer works in a variety of styles, framing and timbers, the gallery sells fine quality art, furniture and artefacts, paintings and lamps.
Braidwood, Southern Tablelands NSW
Located in the NSW Southern Tablelands, Braidwood, is an hour’s drive from Canberra, two hours’ from Sydney and easily accessible to the south coast. With cafes, antique shops, tourist attractions, parks, accommodation options and a bakery, it’s a favourite stop en route to or from the south coast. Given Braidwood’s many historical houses, buildings and churches, it’s hardly surprising that the town has been listed on the NSW Heritage register.
Bathurst, Central West NSW
Best known as the home of legendary Labor Prime Minister, Ben Chifley and the annual Bathurst 1000 car races, the town is about 3½ hours’ drive from both Canberra and Sydney. Declared a town in 1815, Bathurst is Australia’s oldest inland settlement. It offers good accommodation, historic buildings including the Bathurst Gaol, Victorian Court House and Regional Art Gallery, churches, fine eateries and good shopping. Opening hours for these places can vary. A trip to the very modest cottage of Ben Chifley and his wife, Elizabeth, at 10 Busby Street, is a must: http://www.chifleyhome.org.au
Orange, Central West NSW
Located about 55 kms from Bathurst, Orange has many attractions, such as a selection of B&Bs, hotels and farm stays, good restaurants, galleries, heritage trails and opportunities to sample fine wines (for which the area is known) and fruits and cheeses. The nearby Carcoar Dam is popular for fishing, swimming, sailing and windsurfing and Orange is close to historic, Millthorpe.
Cotehele, The Magistrates House, Bed and Breakfast, 177 Anson Street, Orange, NSW, 2800, tel: 02-6361 2520; mob: 0431 256 090.
Charming, Victorian-era Cotehele Bed and Breakfast is a peaceful haven only a short walk from the town’s attractions including galleries, cafes, restaurants and theatres. Surrounded by lawns and cottage gardens and with five very comfortable guest rooms, Cotehele is owned and run by Marie Eedy. Marie is the perfect host, providing a very friendly atmosphere and generous breakfasts including hearty cooked fare, and complementary ports and liqueurs by the fire on cold nights. Cotehele is the perfect home-away-from-home experience.
Carcoar, Central West NSW
The tiny National Trust-classified village of Carcoar (Gundungura word for either frog or kookaburra), is nestled in a little valley on the Belubula River, 242 kms from Canberra. Its original occupants were probably the Wiradjuri Aborigines. With charming old buildings, churches and museums, Carcoar is a wonderful place for fossicking and taking a trip back in time. Its most notable ex resident is world champion wheelchair athlete, Kurt Fearnley, renowned for many significant sporting achievements. In earlier times, the town was the site of considerable mining activities and more recently has been a location for film and television productions.
Millthorpe, Central West NSW
Dating back to the 1823 establishment of a government stock station, other developments and gold discoveries around the 1850s, National Trust-classified Millthorpe, is 3½ hours’ drive from Canberra and 20 minutes from Orange. The earliest signs of village life appear to have been a slab and bark schoolhouse built by members of the Church of England in 1867. Set in a truffle and wine-producing area, Millthorpe boasts historic buildings, restaurants, boutiques, a museum, hotels and good accommodation and antique, art, craft and gift shops, and is home to a vibrant community of artisans. Millthorpe businesses are not open early in the week.
Tonic Restaurant, Cnr Pym and Victoria Streets, Millthorpe, NSW, 2798, Tel: 02-6366 3811. http://www.tonicmillthorpe.com.au
A visit to the award-winning Tonic restaurant, Millthorpe, is recommended where highly-acclaimed chef, Tony Worland, uses high-quality local produce for delicious entrees, mains, sides and desserts. An extensive beverage and wine list is also available. The restaurant offers dinner during Thursday-Saturday; lunch 12.00-3.00pm weekends only (last booking 2.00pm).
The home town of ABC Insiders host, Barrie Cassidy, historic Chiltern is a three-hour drive up the Hume Highway from Melbourne, handy for a stop en route to Canberra. Chiltern boasts various attractions including antique and second-hand and bric-a-brac shops, cafes, accommodation, a supermarket, a hotel and peaceful parks and spaces. Stopping off for a cuppa on a quiet Sunday afternoon, one almost expects to see “wild-west” characters step from behind a verandah post. Chiltern hosts the annual Henry Handel Richardson Birthday Celebration marking the life and works of the famous author. http://www.chilternvic.com/events/index.html
Euroa is a little town in the Shire of Strathbogie in north-east Victoria, roughly half way between Melbourne and Albury.
Euroa Butter Factory, 79 Boundary Road North, Euroa, Vic, 3066, Tel: 03-5795 1408. http://www.euroabutterfactory.com.au/
This circa 1891 building has been tastefully restored, transforming it from an old butter and ice factory into a comfortable retreat. Set in beautiful gardens, the boutique B&B is great for a weekend or longer and a favourite for weddings and corporate and other functions. The breakfasts are generous, served in a little store where the public are also welcome for breakfast, daytime meals and morning and afternoon tea.
The Seven Creeks Hotel, 30 Hume Highway, Euroa, Vic, 3666, Tel: 03-5795 3034.
On a cold afternoon or evening, this little pub in Euroa, is the epitome of cosiness and the place comes to life on Saturday nights as visitors and locals mingle at the bar. As with many country towns in winter, football is a popular conversation starter. The food is very good and the servings, generous. Overall, the atmosphere and setting are reminiscent of little pubs in rural England.
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