Unwind from the city life of Sydney or Canberra and take the 90-minute drive to the New South Wales, Southern Highlands town of Bowral for a day or weekend trip. This charming town offers fine dining restaurants, cafes of Australian award-winning quality, charming antique and boutique stores to browse plus its gorgeous highland scenery and multi-million dollar property that will have you feel like you're taking a luxurious countryside escape.
Where to say in Bowral, NSW:
While we only spent a day in Bowral we would absolutely recommend it as a weekend destination and wouldn't hesitate to go back for longer. Having a few days would offer time to explore neighbouring towns such as the historical Berrima and relax in the countryside that little bit longer.
Top things to see and do in Southern Highlands town of Bowral, NSW on a weekend or day trip:
1. Shop for antiques or enjoy high tea at Dirty Janes Markets and Tea Salon: 13-15 Banyette Street Bowral, NSW
Dirty Jane’s is a vintage shopper's dream. We could have spent all day browsing the stalls here. We very nearly came home with a few vintage cameras pictured below too, which we thought the price tag was very reasonable for. This indoor antique market is filled with over 70 stalls offering everything from homewares, to clothes, souvenirs, furniture, cameras and more. If you have time stop at the Tea Salone for tea and scones while you're there.
2. Browse the Green Lane and Potting Shed: 15-17 Banyette Street, Bowral
After you've finished at Dirty Janes make your way outside to the Green Lane. This cute and quaint street offers cafe and restaurant dining options, homeware stores and plant nurseries. Be sure to take a browse through The Potting Shed while you're there.
3. Have lunch at the Plantation House: 15-17 Banyette Street, Bowral:
One of the cafes located along the Green Lane is Plantation House, which offers outdoor dining in the garden under the sun umbrellas or indoor seating options in their charming and Instagram worthy interior. It's a simple menu of lunch options all reasonably priced. We opted for a Ceaser salad and ham and cheese toasted sandwich along with coffee.
4. Taste the Award-winning baked goods of Gumnut Patisserie: Shop 7 Grand Arcade, Bong Bong Street, Bowral NSW
The Gumnut Patisserie has to be the most popular spot in Bowral. It's pretty hard to miss, you will notice the queues of people snaking down the main street to give their pastries a try. There doesn't seem a time when you can fully beat the crowd however, we opted to go in the late afternoon where it was less of a queue than at lunchtime. We waited about 10 minutes and the line was fast-moving.
There's a good reason people wait so long to give this place a try! Gumnut Patisserie was the 2021 Winner of the Sydney Royal Easter Show President's Medal, beating out the nationwide competition for both the quality of their food and for their sustainability efforts having near-zero waste production. They have also been consistent award winners for years before that (Just look at their signs on the window below). If you do miss out on this time around, there's also a store in Berrima and Mittagong. We shared a honey flavoured heart-shaped cupcake and since we'd waited so long in line order a few more options to go, which we ate as dessert in the late evening once reaching Canberra.
5. Take your time wandering and shopping along Bowral High Street and Bong Bong Street
6. Take a walk through Mt Gibraltar Reserve
Be sure to visit the Mt Gibraltar Reserve walk. It is only 864 metres to reach Bowral lookout and offering views from the highest point between Sydney and Canberra, overlooking the town. Be warned, it can be very windy up there.
7. Visit Oxley Hill Drive Lookout
As you make your way out of Bowral take a driver up Oxley Hill Drive and stop at the lookout views to witness some of the sweeping golden fields of grass along the countryside.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to Bowral, in the New South Wales Southern Highlands. To see more of our other Australian destination guides click here.
Follow us on Instagram: @littlesherpatravels
Follow us on TikTok: @littlesherpatravels