I have travelled alone internationally and domestically but the final frontier was to travel alone in my own state. This was accomplished a few weeks back. I took some leave from work, packed an esky and off I drove for a day trip to the Southern Highlands.
I love travelling alone. I like taking the time to walk about, going into any store that tickles my fancy and taking way too long to decide if I want to purchase this or that. I like to search for peaceful places or places with nice views or beautiful buildings.
The Southern Highlands is about a 1.5 hour drive south west of Sydney. The land is quite fertile and temperatures mild so there are vineyards a plenty. It’s the home of the annual tulip festival and farm stays. The day trip out to the Southern Highlands was what I needed. Leaving the higher density and concrete world behind me, I was in amongst the rolling green-ish hills (it’s summer here so more like…..yellow), driving between National Parks and going at 110km/hr.
On this particular trip, I was doing just a day trip. I had gotten some tips prior and made a list of what my day was going to look like. You might be wondering why I had packed an esky. I was told of a really nice handmade jam (condiments) store and I thought that I would probably be buying something from that store. Not that I usually eat jam but I can’t say no to having a peep into a local store especially with handmade items.
The first stop was Berrima, a small historical village. Unfortunately as this was a day trip, there were no vineyard stops planned (don’t drink and drive kids). There was a place that I wanted to visit nearby, Berkelouw Book Barn, however it was closed this day for a private function. I had read that there are wild platypuses in the Wingecarribee River and found a walking path along the river. I have never seen wild platypuses in my life and did feel a little ashamed at the lack of Australian wildlife I have seen in the wild. Despite my attempts at being still and hoping that I wouldn’t come across a snake, the only wildlife I saw were ducks and lizards!
There were a few stores along the main street of Berrima and I had a little wander around. I came across The Little Hand Stirred Jam store selling jam and other condiments offering an array of deliciously lipsmacking combinations. I came away with the selection pictured above and into the esky they did went. Since, I have tried the rhubarb jam and can confirm that it is marvellous and not too sickly sweet! I’m sure I will be back.
Next stop was the Red Cow Farm Gardens. This is a privately own property and garden which is open to the public for a small entry fee. The garden features 20 garden rooms and has a lot of tree cover and benches which is perfect for a warm summer’s day. There’s also a nursery if you wish to add to your own garden. While there were still some blooms left, I can only imagine what spring would look like. I think I also spotted some apple trees.
For the afternoon, I drove to Bowral which is the biggest town in the Southern Highlands region. I’m sad to say that I didn’t take many pictures that afternoon. I had lunch at a cafe and then walked around the town (popping my head into odd stores and deciding if I wanted to buy this or that). One of the stores I was most looking forward to going to was Dirty Janes, an antique warehouse. There were so many odd bobs and beautiful bobs. I came across these ‘retro whiskey glasses’ and suddenly recognised them. We had these glasses at home when I was a kid! I’m going to have to check to see if my parents still have these.
My last stop was to the Gumnut Patisserie which seems to be the holy grail of trips to the Southern Highlands. This Patisserie has won various Pastry awards at the Sydney Royal Easter Shows. I was here on a weekday so didn’t have to queue very long but if you’re vendering here over the weekends, best to get here early (with your esky!). There were so many goodies but having my waistline in mind, I settled for the almond croissant and vanilla slice to bring back home with me.
Exhausted, I started my drive back to Sydney. The ice pack in my esky was now liquid but it was still cool and containing my new kitchen friends. It looked so far on the map but wasn’t that bad and I got to get outside the city and some place new. Needless to say, I slept like a rock that night.
24 thoughts on “Day Trip to the Southern Highlands, NSW Australia”
It is an area I have always wanted to visit, but never have. Maybe one day in the future. Thanks for sharing. That Vanilla Slice is tempting.
Hopefully one day soon. I’d like to go back in another season or when my jams run out.
This seems like a nice trip for a weekend, I love going on trips to local towns that are nearby especially those I’ve never visited before.
Yes! It is something I envy in countries where other towns are alot closer. Driving anymore than 1.5hrs does put me off going.
Beautiful photos. Our state truly has some amazing wonders. One good things from all this border closure business is the push it gave me to explore NSW and I am rather grateful for it! I, also, frequent Berrima quite a bit as it is only about 1 hour drive from where i live.
I have to say I haven’t been exploring so much in the past year- driving for very long distances puts me off. Is there anything you do in Berrima that you could recommend?
Day trips are exhausting, but incredibly satisfying (especially if you pack in a lot to see)! I prefer traveling alone as well, as it offers you the freedom to go at your own pace, as opposed to accommodating for other people if going in groups. Those jams look enticing, and I can imagine they must be delicious on a slice of bread during afternoon tea (particularly that fig + ginger jam)! Glad you had a fulfilling day out, and here’s to more day trips this year. 🙂
They are, especially when you compare it to a work day. I’ve done group travel too and like it when there’s free time in the afternoon for example to break away and do your own thing. I’m now trying to figure out all the things I can eat with jam. Hoping this year brings more day trips to you too!
Longing for travel and summer. You brightened my day. Thanks for sharing this.
Summer has been nice this year- none of this 44C days that we usually get. Hoping you’ll get to travel and be in summer soon. Thank you for reading!
Lovely day out!
We had fun attending the Royal Easter Show some years ago and whilst sorting out cupboards last year came across a Sydney Swans bag that one of my son’s got from there! Lovely photos, thank you.
What a memory to stumble across! I wonder when the next Royal Easter Show will be, maybe in 2022! Thank you for stopping by.
What a beautiful place, those garden shots are stunning. We ae sitting out the end of winter here in the UK so thoroughly enjoyed this post. A little bit of Summer and a little bit of travel inspiration for the future.
I can only imagine what spring is like down that way. Thank you for reading and wishing you summer soon!
Beautiful places. Is the first building a former railroad station? The lines look like ones I’ve seen in the Midwest US.
No, it’s actually the oldest continuously licensed hotel in Australia! Many buildings back then were built from sandstone although there are not many around now.
Cool, thanks for the info. Perhaps that shape with the porch is a good shape for the area. Here it means RR. 🙂
I love your way of expressions! I hope I could use English like you someday. And I totally agree with this part, “I like…taking way too long to decide if I want to purchase this or that” I’m so indecisive that I sometimes feel sorry for keep waiting accompanying one, but I don’t have to care about that when I’m alone. I can use my time as I like : )
You are already doing so well with your English. I also sometimes like to go back to places that I have already been.
Sounds like a full day
We went to Berrima a couple of years ago on our road trip from Perth to Brisbane. It has a fascinating history of being the home to many German prisoners and how they built a community there. Very interesting
As Brisbane natives and expats, we’ve only skirted that part of NSW but it looks so quaint. Your photo of the vanilla slice has brought a tear to our eyes.
Hope it didn’t make you both too homesick! There must be many more places like this but with a much longer car ride. Hope you’re both keeping well in US.
Definitely – though living in NYC we don’t have a car – it would be awesome to be able to drive on weekends though.