Sunday Drive: We're Off To Bowral
By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
Just a pleasant 1-hour and 35-minute drive from Sydney, Bowral is the largest town in the Southern Highlands and makes for the perfect little weekend getaway. Pack the whole family into the car, leave the screens at home, and enjoy quality family bonding time whilst exploring this gorgeous, sophisticated and historic village.
Bowral is known for its fresh produce, wineries, boutique shops and country markets. There's something for the whole family to enjoy, so make sure you check out this guide before you hit the road:
1. Tulip Time
Bowral comes to life in September when the annual Tulip Time festival paints the town in a rainbow of colours. It is no doubt one of the best times to visit Bowral- this popular festival showcases over 75,000 tulips planted in the stunning Corbett Gardens. As well as the gorgeous floral displays, there will be live entertainment, a street parade, face-painting for the kids, puppet shows, balloon magic, and even an outdoor cinema. The 2018 festival runs from Tuesday 18 September to Monday 01 October. More information, here.
2. The Bradman Museum
The Bradman Museum at the International Cricket Hall Of Fame in Bowral is an exciting destination for cricket-loving families young and old. This is a cutting-edge museum featuring touch-screens, game-day memorabilia, and five huge video screens, with a particular focus on the legend that is Donald Bradman. More information here.
3. Dirty Jane's
Spread across 3 warehouse spaces, this is the largest vintage market in the Southern Highlands, offering goods from 75+ dealers including antique and vintage furniture, lighting, architectural elements, vintage clothing, jewellery and more. Open 7 days a week, Dirty Jane's has been dubbed 'the best in vintage', so swing past when you're in Bowral to snag a bargain. More information here.
4. Biota Dining
Biota Dining in Bowral has been upgraded to become super kid friendly. For the ‘foodie focused’ family, Biota ticks all of the boxes. We are excited to say that on our last visit we were blown away, as they have constructed a new adventure kids playground (see photo below) with cubby, climbing, bridges and slides all made from recyclable wood in their beautiful Bowral garden with high pine hedges and green lawns.
What makes this addition great is the distance from the dining tables. It’s a nice balance of easy viewing distance, close enough to run in an emergency yet far enough away for most of the noise to be muffled, so you can sit back and enjoy an inventive modern Australian meal (produce is sourced locally), with a glass of wine, by the fireplace or in the garden. (18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral NSW 2576, see: biotadining.com).
5. Centennial Vineyards
It's not a trip to Bowral without a visit to a vineyard. Here, the vines ripen in lower temperatures producing a balanced, aromatic taste. There are up to 35 wines to taste in their cellar, as well as an onsite restaurant with large, open glass doors for an al fresco, country dining experience. There's a huge fireplace to keep you warm and cosy in the winter months. More information here.
6. The Mill Cafe
All that exploring will build up an appetite so head to the delicious Mill Cafe. The interiors are a rustic paradise with a roaring fire in the winter and plenty of armchairs, cushions and blankets at this cafe-co-working-space hybrid. The menu focuses on local produce, and on the third Friday of every month, they host a 'street feast' full of local, artisanal, and fresh farm produce. More information here.
7. Bowral Lookout
The Bowral Lookout provides a scenic view overlooking Bowral, the Wingecarribee River Valley and Moss Vale. There are plenty of gentle walking tracks leading up to this spectacular vantage point, with picnic shelters and areas available for families to have a lovely day out and breathe in the fresh air of Bowral.
8. Empire Cinema
The oldest commercial cinema in the country- it's been operating since 1915! After a busy day in Bowral, you might just feel like watching the newest family release surrounded by history. More information here.
Once you're there, check out our complete guide to the Southern Highlands. There is so much to see and do for families including preserved heritage mansions, book barns, beautiful picnic spots, great galleries and more. The best part? Everything is just a short drive away from Bowral!
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