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Top 12 Things To Do in Bowral, NSW Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

14/08/2023
12 mins read
Bowral
Source: Destination NSW

Bowral, located in the heart of NSW’s Southern Highlands, is a charming town that offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Surrounded by picturesque countryside, Bowral is a destination for all seasons, offering everything from spring blooms to autumn foliage and from croquet on the lawn on a summer’s day to sipping wine by a log fire in winter. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or a foodie, Bowral has something to offer everyone.

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in Bowral, NSW Australia. From exploring the town’s rich history to immersing yourself in the natural wonders, and savoring the culinary and cultural delights, Bowral promises unforgettable adventures. Get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey through Bowral, NSW, and discover the hidden treasures that make this enchanting town a must-visit destination.

Things To Do In Bowral, NSW

1. Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame – A Tribute to the Cricket Legend

Step into the world of cricket and celebrate the life and achievements of Sir Donald Bradman, one of the greatest cricketers of all time, at the Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame. This fascinating museum showcases a vast collection of memorabilia, interactive displays, and multimedia exhibits that chronicle the history of cricket and its legendary players. Immerse yourself in the stories of iconic moments and unforgettable matches that have shaped the sport.

The museum is located within the beautiful surrounds of Bradman Oval, a picturesque cricket ground where Sir Donald Bradman honed his skills as a young player. After exploring the museum, take a leisurely stroll around the oval, soak in the atmosphere, and imagine the roar of the crowd as Bradman scored his record-breaking runs. Don’t forget to visit the adjacent Stumps Café for a delicious meal or a refreshing drink, overlooking the scenic oval.

  • Address: St Jude St, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10 am – 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Located in the heart of Bowral

2. Dirty Janes Bowral – A Treasure Trove of Antiques and Vintage Finds

Discover a unique shopping experience at Dirty Janes Bowral, a popular antique market that houses over 75 individual dealers offering a diverse range of antiques, vintage items, and collectibles. Wander through the maze of stalls and uncover hidden gems, from furniture and homewares to fashion and jewelry. Each visit to Dirty Janes promises a new adventure, as the ever-changing inventory ensures there’s always something fresh and exciting to explore.

Dirty Janes Bowral is more than just an antique market; it’s also a hub for local artisans and creatives. The market regularly hosts workshops and events, providing an opportunity to learn new skills and connect with like-minded individuals. After a day of treasure hunting, relax and refuel at the Dirty Janes Café, which serves delicious meals, cakes, and coffee in a charming vintage-inspired setting.

  • Address: 13-15 Banyette St, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10 am – 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Located in the heart of Bowral

3. Centennial Vineyards – A Picturesque Winery in the Southern Highlands

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Southern Highlands, Centennial Vineyards offers a delightful wine tasting experience in a picturesque setting. Sample a range of award-winning wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling, while learning about the vineyard’s history and winemaking process from knowledgeable staff. The cellar door’s rustic charm and stunning views of the vineyards create a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for savoring the flavors of the region.

In addition to wine tastings, Centennial Vineyards also offers guided tours, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the winery’s operations and the opportunity to learn more about the art of winemaking. After your tasting, indulge in a delicious meal at the on-site restaurant, which serves seasonal dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients, expertly paired with Centennial Vineyards’ wines. The vineyard is a popular venue for weddings and events, offering a romantic and unforgettable backdrop for any special occasion.

  • Address: 252 Centennial Rd, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10 am – 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 3.8 km (7-minute drive) from Bowral town center
  • Best time of the year: Wine tastings are available year-round, but visiting during spring or autumn offers pleasant weather and beautiful vineyard views.

4. Corbett Gardens – A Floral Wonderland in the Heart of Bowral

Escape to a floral wonderland at Corbett Gardens, a beautiful public garden located in the heart of Bowral. Established in 1911, the garden features a stunning array of flowers, trees, and manicured lawns, providing a tranquil oasis for visitors to enjoy. Wander along the winding pathways, relax on a park bench, or spread out a picnic blanket and soak in the serene atmosphere of this charming garden.

Corbett Gardens is particularly famous for its annual Tulip Time Festival, held in late September to early October. During this time, the garden comes alive with a vibrant display of over 75,000 tulips, creating a breathtaking spectacle of color. The festival also features live music, market stalls, and family-friendly activities, making it a must-visit event for locals and tourists alike.

  • Address: Wingecarribee St, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9 am – 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Located in the heart of Bowral
  • Best time of the year: The annual Tulip Time Festival in late September to early October is a popular time to visit, showcasing vibrant tulip displays.

5. Retford Park – A Historic Estate with Stunning Gardens

Experience the grandeur of Retford Park, a beautiful historic estate that once belonged to James Fairfax, a prominent Australian businessman and philanthropist. The elegant Italianate-style mansion, built in 1887, is surrounded by 12 hectares of stunning gardens, featuring a diverse range of plants, sculptures, and water features. Wander through the manicured lawns, rose gardens, and woodland areas, and marvel at the beauty and tranquility of this magnificent property.

Retford Park is not only a feast for the eyes but also a place of cultural and historical significance. The estate hosts various events throughout the year, including art exhibitions, garden tours, and workshops, providing visitors with a glimpse into the past and an appreciation for the arts. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the mansion itself, which is open for guided tours on select days, showcasing the opulent interiors and fascinating stories of its former residents.

  • Address: 1325 Old South Rd, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Thursday – Sunday 10 am – 4 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 3.5 km (8-minute drive) from Bowral town center

6. The Milk Factory Gallery – A Showcase of Artistic Talent

Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of art at The Milk Factory Gallery, a contemporary art space that features a diverse range of works by local and international artists. Housed in a beautifully restored historic building, the gallery showcases a rotating program of exhibitions, ensuring there’s always something new and inspiring to discover. From paintings and sculptures to ceramics and textiles, the gallery offers a visual feast for art lovers and collectors alike.

The Milk Factory Gallery is more than just a place to view and purchase art; it’s also a hub for the local creative community. The gallery regularly hosts workshops, artist talks, and other events, providing an opportunity to learn new skills, connect with fellow art enthusiasts, and gain insights into the creative process. After exploring the gallery, take a moment to relax and enjoy a coffee or a light meal at the on-site café, surrounded by the inspiring works of art.

  • Address: 33 Station St, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10 am – 4 pm
  • Distance from town: Located in the heart of Bowral

7. Fitzroy Falls – A Majestic Waterfall and Scenic Walks

Discover the natural beauty of Fitzroy Falls, a stunning 81-meter waterfall located in the nearby Morton National Park. The easily accessible viewing platform offers breathtaking views of the falls and the lush valley below, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers. The area surrounding the falls is home to a variety of native wildlife, including lyrebirds, wallabies, and a diverse range of bird species.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, explore the East Rim Track and Wildflower Walk, which meander through the park’s beautiful landscapes, offering panoramic views of the falls and surrounding bushland. The well-maintained walking trails cater to various fitness levels, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the natural wonders of Fitzroy Falls. Don’t forget to stop by the visitor center to learn more about the park’s history, flora, and fauna.

  • Address: 1301 Nowra Rd, Fitzroy Falls NSW 2577, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9 am – 5 pm (Visitor Centre)
  • Distance from town: Approximately 23 km (25-minute drive) from Bowral town center
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn offer mild weather and beautiful foliage, but the falls are worth visiting year-round.

8. Belmore Falls – A Picturesque Waterfall and Scenic Walk

Venture to the nearby village of Wildes Meadow to experience the beauty of Belmore Falls, a picturesque waterfall cascading over two drops into a deep gorge. The 1.8 km Belmore Falls walking track offers sensational views of the falls and the surrounding area, as well as opportunities to spot native wildlife, including wallabies, wombats, and various bird species.

The walking track is suitable for most fitness levels, with well-maintained paths and several lookout points along the way. Be sure to bring your camera, as the stunning views of the falls, lush rainforest, and sandstone cliffs provide a perfect backdrop for memorable photos. After your walk, enjoy a picnic at the nearby Hindmarsh Lookout picnic area, taking in the panoramic views of Kangaroo Valley.

  • Address: Belmore Falls Rd, Wildes Meadow NSW 2577, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 20 km (35-minute drive) from Bowral town center
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn offer pleasant weather and beautiful foliage for exploring the falls and surrounding area.

9. Glow Worm Glen – A Magical Nighttime Adventure

Experience the enchanting world of glow worms on a guided night walk in Bundanoon’s Glow Worm Glen. This unique adventure takes you through a hidden valley, where thousands of glow worms illuminate the darkness with their bioluminescent glow. The walk is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

The best time to visit Glow Worm Glen is during the warmer months when the glow worms are most active. The guided night walks are led by knowledgeable guides who share fascinating insights into the life cycle and habits of these tiny creatures. Bundanoon is approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Bowral, making it a convenient destination for a memorable nighttime adventure.

  • Address: William St, Bundanoon NSW 2578, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 31 km (30-minute drive) from Bowral town center
  • Best time of the year: Glow worms can be seen year-round, but visiting during the warmer months offers more comfortable nighttime temperatures.

10. Bowral Cherry Tree Walk – A Scenic Stroll Among Cherry Blossoms

Experience the beauty of the Bowral Cherry Tree Walk, a picturesque 7.9-mile walking trail that features an avenue of cherry blossoms. The walk is a memorial to the Australian soldiers who served during the Vietnam War, with each tree representing a fallen soldier. The serene path is perfect for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply admiring the vibrant colors of the cherry blossoms.

The best time to visit the Cherry Tree Walk is during late October to early November when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, creating a breathtaking display of pink and white flowers. The walk is easily accessible and located in the heart of Bowral, making it a convenient and enjoyable activity for visitors of all ages.

  • Address: Bowral NSW 2576, Australia
  • Distance from town: Located in the heart of Bowral
  • Best time of the year: Late October to early November, when cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

11. Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens – A Celebration of Flora and Fauna

Explore the beauty and diversity of the region’s flora and fauna at the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens. This 33-acre garden showcases a wide range of plants, including native species, exotic flowers, and seasonal displays. Wander through the manicured lawns, themed gardens, and woodland areas, and marvel at the stunning landscape design and horticultural expertise on display.

The Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens also features a range of facilities, including a visitor center, café, and gift shop, making it a perfect destination for a day out with family and friends. The gardens host various events throughout the year, including plant sales, workshops, and guided tours, providing an opportunity to learn more about the region’s unique plant life and gardening techniques.

  • Address: Cnr Old South & Kangaloon Roads, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9 am – 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 3 km (7-minute drive) from Bowral town center

12. Carrington Falls – A Spectacular Waterfall in Budderoo National Park

Visit the impressive Carrington Falls, located in the nearby Budderoo National Park. This 50-meter waterfall plunges into a deep pool, surrounded by lush rainforest and sandstone cliffs. The well-maintained walking tracks and lookout points offer stunning views of the falls and the Kangaroo River Valley, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers.

The best time to visit Carrington Falls is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the foliage is at its most vibrant. The falls are approximately 35 minutes’ drive from Bowral town center, making it an easily accessible and enjoyable destination for visitors of all ages.

  • Address: Carrington Falls Rd, Budderoo NSW 2577, Australia
  • Distance from town: Approximately 30 km (35-minute drive) from Bowral town center
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn offer pleasant weather and beautiful foliage for exploring the falls and surrounding area.

Towns Nearby Bowral, NSW

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Bowral, NSW Australia, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Bowral, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Mittagong, NSW (6 km from Bowral): Explore the charming town of Mittagong, known for its boutique shops, art galleries, and cafes. Don’t miss the chance to visit the historic Sturt Gallery, showcasing contemporary Australian craft and design. Mittagong is also home to the stunning Mount Gibraltar, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  2. Berrima, NSW (10 km from Bowral): Step back in time in the historic village of Berrima, known for its beautifully preserved Georgian architecture. Explore the Berrima Courthouse, visit the Berrima Gaol, and wander through the quaint streets lined with boutique shops and cafes. Berrima is also a gateway to the Southern Highlands wine region, with cellar doors offering tastings of award-winning wines.
  3. Kangaroo Valley, NSW (30 km from Bowral): Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Kangaroo Valley, nestled between the Cambewarra and Barrengarry Escarpments. Explore the picturesque Kangaroo Valley Village, browse through local arts and crafts shops, and enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, bushwalking, and cycling. Don’t miss the iconic Hampden Bridge, a historic timber suspension bridge that offers stunning views of the valley.
  4. Robertson, NSW (15 km from Bowral): Known as the “Green Heart of the Highlands,” Robertson is surrounded by rolling green hills and picturesque countryside. Visit the famous Robertson Pie Shop and indulge in their delicious homemade pies. Explore the Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, where you can walk among the treetops and enjoy breathtaking views. Robertson is also a gateway to the stunning Carrington Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls set in a lush rainforest.
  5. Moss Vale, NSW (10 km from Bowral): Discover the vibrant town of Moss Vale, known for its beautiful gardens, boutique shops, and cafes. Visit the historic Leighton Gardens, home to the annual Tulip Time Festival, where you can admire a stunning display of tulips and other flowers. Moss Vale is also a great base for exploring the nearby Southern Highlands wineries, offering tastings of cool-climate wines.

These nearby towns and suburbs offer a range of attractions and experiences, from historic charm to natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking cultural delights, outdoor adventures, or a taste of the region’s culinary offerings, these destinations are worth exploring during your visit to Bowral, NSW Australia.

Getting To Bowral, NSW

To get to Bowral, NSW Australia from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Sydney CBD:

  • By train: Take the Southern Highlands Line from Central Station to Bowral Station. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes, with trains departing every 4 hours.
  • By car: Drive southwest on the Hume Motorway (M31) from Sydney towards Canberra or Melbourne. Bowral is approximately 136 km from the Sydney CBD, and the drive takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes, depending on traffic.

From other nearby towns:

  • From Mittagong, NSW: Drive north on the Old Hume Highway for about 10 minutes or 6 km.
  • From Berrima, NSW: Drive northeast on the Old Hume Highway for about 15 minutes or 10 km.
  • From Kangaroo Valley, NSW: Drive southeast on Moss Vale Road for about 45 minutes or 30 km.
  • From Robertson, NSW: Drive northeast on Illawarra Highway for about 20 minutes or 15 km.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Transport for NSW website (https://transportnsw.info) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

Hafiz Kashif

Kashif, our associate writer at HumbleTrail, brings stories from across the globe to our readers. Originating from Pakistan, his journey has taken him through the vibrant cityscape of Dubai and now to the diverse and cultural melting pot of Melbourne, Australia.

His writing is a reflection of his own journey - rich in diverse experiences and filled with the excitement of discovering new places. Melbourne, with its unique blend of cultures and bustling energy, has captured Kashif's heart, a sentiment that deeply resonates in his work.

Kashif's articles for HumbleTrail are more than just travel logs; they are narratives that weave together the beauty of diverse cultures and the thrill of exploration, inviting readers to see the world through his eyes.

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