A Guide to Southern Inland New South Wales
Fast developing as a commuter belt to the ACT, the area designated as Southern Inland NSW extends from just south of Sydney in Wingicarribee Shire to Bombala Shire in NSW's south eastern corner. It is a diverse area that includes the Sydney-Canberra corridor, the Snowy Monaro, the Southern Highlands and a host of farming and agricultural communities. The area is actually a 'region' for governmental and developmental purposes rather than a strictly geographical description.
The Towns of Southern Inland NSW
Bowral - The largest town in the Southern Highlands and once a country retreat for Sydney's elite, Bowral is today most closely associated with the king of Australian cricket - Donald Bradman. The Bradman Oval is here as is the International Cricket Hall of Fame. It might also be considered the birthplace of Mary Poppins as her creator, P L Travers, grew up here. There is plenty for visitors in Bowral other than paying homage to Bradman and these include the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens, Vietnam War Memorial and Cherry Tree Walk, Tulip Time Festival, and the Bong Bong Picnic Races. The shopping is great, Mount Gibraltar reserve provides excellent recreational facilities and there are a few vineyards scattered around.
Cooma - Nicknamed the 'Gateway to the Snowy Mountains' because it is en route to the winter snowfields, Cooma is a small town in the Monaro region. The plains and foothills around Cooma offer plenty of bush walking, horse riding and fishing. A favourite spot is Nanny Goat Hill Lookout which is on the Lambie Town Walk. Another terrific viewing opportunity is Mount Gladstone Lookout and Nature Reserve. In Cooma, visitors might take a look at the Aviation Pioneers Memorial and heritage buildings such as the Court House and Post Office.
Goulburn - Welcome to Australia's first inland city. As such, the heritage and cultural experience is excellent. You can't miss the giant sheep a.k.a. The Big Merino, the town brewery - one of the most famous in Australia, various recreational areas including Victoria Park and Bungonia National Park, and the Garrooigang Historical Home. A heritage walk will take you round the town's key buildings whilst another tour - The Gold Trail - will take you out to the minefield villages. Goulburn plays host to an annual Lilac Festival and an annual Blues Festival.
Mittagong - Sitting on a plateau between Mount Gibraltar and Mount Jellore and near Lake Alexandra, Mittagong is a small, pretty, rural town mostly associated with Open Gardens. Pop into the Visitors Information Centre and pick up a leaflet that will guide you on a tour of the heritage buildings of the town, many of which are on Pioneer Street. Bush walking is fun and there are lookouts with great views on both mountains, there are a few boutique wineries for tours, the town has a smattering of excellent art galleries and a golf course at nearby Braemar.
Moss Vale - 'Mossy' is one of the more industrialised small towns of Wingincarribee Shire and is a busy railway stop - the only cross country stop in the Southern Highlands. Although its farming roots are becoming less significant the Annual Agricultural Show is still one of the largest in NSW as are the cattle sale yards. The visitor centre can point you in the direction of the town's heritage buildings and the streets which are home to some excellent restaurants and antique shops. Moss Vale like many of its Southern Highland neighbours has an annual Flower Festival.
Queanbeyan - At just 15 kms from Canberra, this is Australian suburbia. Its most notable economic factors are a solar farm and a thriving roses market. Queanbeyan is probably most famous for its sporting prowess having fostered such greats as David Campese (Rugby Union) and Mark Webber (Formula 1 racing). The town can also lay claim to George Lazenby, the actor who played James Bond, just once. Sitting on a river, one of the town's most notable sights is the suspension footbridge. It's a great place for cyclists, being connected to the Canberra Cycleways.
Tumut - Sitting on the Tumut River in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, Tumut was one of the original candidates for the site of the Federal Capital - of course, Canberra was chosen. The lush green valley provides the wealth of the town which is based on softwood production and milling. Tumut is an ideal base for country lovers and adventurers who can enjoy the slopes, the valley, the river and the scenic bounties Mother Nature has endowed this area with. It's also close enough to the winter snowfields for winter sports enthusiasts.
Yass - This vibrant town is charming with landscaped streets and restored heritage buildings. As the home of explorer Hamilton Hume, the history is well embedded here and visitors can follow in famous footsteps on the Hume and Hovell Walking Track. The Yass Valley is a wine producing region and the Poachers Trail is a self guided driving tour of the wineries, cafes and galleries of the area. With walking trails and the Australian Paragliding centre at Murrumbateman there's great opportunity to see the pretty countryside.
Young - The Cherry Capital of NSW, Young is home to the National Cherry Festival. The valley and the South West Slopes are the ideal location for the fruit. One of the prettiest places in Young is the Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Gardens, next to Chinaman's Dam - learn the story at the visitor centre. The area around Young is also wine country and there are a number of boutique wineries open for tours. Those interested in the gold mining history of Australia will enjoy a visit to Blackguard Gully.
Towns located in Southern Inland
- Bowral - In the spectacular Southern Highlands region
- Cooma - The town of Cooma is located on the Monaro Plains in the south-eastern corner of New South Wales
- Goulburn - Go to Goulburn and visit Australia's first inland city
- Mittagong - Gateway to the Southern Highlands
- Moss Vale - Moss Vale, or Mossy as it is affectionately known
- Queanbeyan - The city of Queanbeyan is located in the south-eastern part of New South Wales
- Tumut - At the foot of the Snowy Mountains
- Yass - If you're in New South Wales a visit to Yass is an interesting option