The Best Things to do in Bowral: Where to Eat, Play & Stay

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    Mums & Bubs

Just over an hour's drive from Sydney, Bowral is the largest town in the Southern Highlands and makes for the perfect little weekend getaway, especially when there are so many things to do in Bowral!

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 - as well as being the birthplace of Mary Poppins (see if you can find her statue)! There's something for the whole family to enjoy, so make sure you check out this guide before you hit the road!

The Best Things to do in Bowral: Where to Eat, Play & Stay

1. See the Tulips

The best things to do in Bowral
Tulip Time Bowral is a huge drawcard for families.

Bowral comes to life in September when the annual Tulip Time festival paints the town in a rainbow of colours.

Tulip Time is certainly one of the best things to do in Bowral—this popular festival showcases over 75,000 tulips along with 15,000 annuals, planted in the stunning Corbett Gardens.

As well as the gorgeous floral displays, there are also market stalls, art installations, live music, and roving performers happening at Tulip Time, as well as select opportunities to see the blooms at night at Tulip Time After Dark! 

Location: Corbett Gardens, Wingecarribee Street

2. Visit The Bradman Museum

The Bradman Museum
The Bradman Museum at Bowral is an absolute must-visit for families.

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. 

Location: Bowral Oval, St Jude Street

3. Go for a Browse at Dirty Jane's

Dirty Jane's Bowral
Dirty Jane's

Spread across three warehouse spaces, Dirty Jane's 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 seven days a week, Dirty Jane's has been dubbed 'the best in vintage', so swing past when you're looking for things to do in Bowral to snag a bargain. 

Location: 13 Banyette Street

4. Grab a Glass at Centennial Vineyards

The best things to do in Bowral
Centennial Vineyards

It's not a trip to Bowral without a visit to a vineyard! 

At Centennial Vineyards, the vines ripen in lower temperatures producing a balanced, aromatic taste. There are plenty of wines to taste at their cellar door, which is family-friendly to boot, and plenty to keep the little ones occupied while the grown-ups enjoy a sip.

There's also the beautiful onsite Centennial Vineyards Restaurant, which boasts large, open glass doors for an al fresco, country dining experience with the latest and greatest in innovative, locally sourced produce. There's a huge fireplace to keep you warm and cosy in the winter months—making it one of the best things to do in Bowral. 

Location: 252 Centennial Rd

5. Visit The Mill Cafe

The Mill Cafe Bowral
The Mill Cafe Bowral. Image credit: Sitchu

All that exploring will build up an appetite so head to a favourite among locals, The 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 extensive breakfast and lunch menu focuses on local produce and caters to every palette, with plenty of options for kids, too. 

We're eyeing up The Mill Stack; sourdough stacked with avocado, halloumi, roast tomato, poached egg, beetroot hummus, and dukkah. Drool!

Location: Shop 6, 210 Bong Bong Street

6. Soak Up Stunning Vistas at Bowral Lookout

The best things to do in Bowral
Bowral Lookout

The Bowral Lookout provides a scenic view overlooking the historic town centre, 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.

Location: 223 Oxley Dr, Mittagong 

7. Stay at Berida Hotel

Berida Hotel
Idyllic country escapes in Bowral don't come much better than at Berida Hotel.

Nestled among well-maintained gardens just a stone's throw away from Bowral's main street, Berida Hotel is your ideal family-friendly retreat.

It boasts 42 newly renovated guest rooms and a range of recreational amenities, including an indoor heated pool, tennis court, and day spa.

Don't miss the chance to indulge in the in-house French-inspired Bistro Sociale, which is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's the perfect blend of comfort and convenience and a winner of a place to stay in Bowral.

Location: 6 David Street

8. Grab Lunch at Briars Inn

The best things to do in Bowral
Briars Inn is the ultimate destination for a family-friendly meal in and around Bowral.

Meet the grand old dame of Southern Highlands' pubs—a stunning historical building deeply rooted in the Highlands' rich past.

Briars Inn seamlessly blends the old and new, creating a contemporary and stylish space. It's the perfect spot to gather with friends and family for a mouthwatering feed, plus it's got an onsite fenced playground and a sprawling lawn complete with a giant chess set. What more could you want?!

Location: 653 Moss Vale Road, Burradoo 

9. Visit Southern Highlands Botanical Gardens

Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens
The playground at Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens is sure to be a huge drawcard for families.

The Southern Highlands Botanical Gardens stands out as a favourite when looking for the best things to do in Bowral for families.

Encompassing 15 hectares, it's just a hop, skip, and jump away from the town centre and offers many engaging experiences. From savouring the fragrances of their vibrant garden and plant displays to discovering impressive sculptures, exploring the plant nursery, navigating the fantastic Meadow Labyrinth maze, and letting the little ones frolic in the onsite playground, there's so much to see and do for everyone.

Location: 1 Old S Rd

10. Stop off at the Highlands Entertainment Centre

Highlands Entertainment Centre
Highlands Entertainment Centre

If you're sheltering from the rain in Bowral and its surrounds or just fancy some good family-friendly competition, Highlands Entertainment Centre has got you covered.

This recently expanded entertainment hub boasts 10 lanes for tenpin bowling, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and an impressive selection of 25 amusement arcade games for everyone to enjoy.

There's a fully licensed cafe right on-site, perfect for recharging after a session of gaming fun. Whether it's perfecting your bowling and golfing techniques or aiming to level up on the arcade games, this venue ensures hours of engaging entertainment for the entire family.

Location: Level 2/205 Old Hume Hwy, Mittagong

11. Catch a Family-Friendly Flick at Empire Cinema

Empire Cinema Bowral
Empire Cinema 

The oldest commercial cinema in the country, Empire Cinema has been operating since 1915, and is a must on your list of the best things to do in Bowral.

After a busy day in Bowral, you might feel like watching the newest family release or classic movie surrounded by a whole lot of history.

Location:  327 Bong Bong Street

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