Bundanoon is on the southern edge of settlement of the Highlands, on the edge of the deep valleys and escarpments of the Great Dividing Range. Today it is the 4th largest (residential) area in the Highlands, and attracts vast numbers of tourists again (up to 20,000 in one day for Brigadoon alone).
There is a well established artists’ colony among its residents, and many of the old guest houses have been restored and opened for today’s visitors. Behind its sleepy old-world charm, Bundanoon is a vibrant community. Visitors can still enjoy the grand beauty of the National Park, and relax and enjoy the mountain air. There are plenty of things to see and do for adults and kids alike. The main street is very busy during Market Day (first Sunday of every month), and on weekends and holidays. There are often steam train excursions from Sydney throughout the year, and the town is a favourite destination for car and other clubs for weekend stays. Brigadoon, the Bundanoon Highland Gathering (held every April) is one of the biggest of its kind in the world, and not to be missed.
The most difficult decision for the visitor is whether “to do” Bundanoon in a day trip, or to indulge oneself and stay for a few days – or a week – or more.
Although it attracts so many visitors, Bundanoon is not “over-touristified”; it retains the quiet, sleepy, old-world atmosphere of yesteryear, and is the perfect place to wind down from the hectic pace of modern life (then again, it always was!).
Lots of good accommodation houses – guest houses and self-contained cottages, lovingly restored to their old charm and upgraded with the most modern of amenities – where you are positively pampered by your hosts; two health resorts; two motels and an historic hotel; youth hostel; camping area available.
Some good craft shops; several excellent art galleries; cafes and tea rooms; good restaurants; pub and licensed Bowling Club; theatre restaurant; little museum (open weekends); nurseries; a number of picnic areas. Park near shops, then stroll around – across railway, left to overhead bridge, back through town, up to art gallery, and back again (see some attractive old buildings).
Energetic? Hire a bike, or go walking through Morton National Park. Lots of famous lookouts (‘Echo Point”, “Fairy Bower”), walking trails, picnic spots, native flowers, flocks of native birds; and camping area. Even walking or biking around town is relaxing and enjoyable. At night walk down to “Glow Worm Glen”. Stroll to the edge of town at dawn or dusk and see kangaroos and wallabies. Play Golf at Sylvan Glen, Penrose (just 10 minutes away).
Fine foods, divine wines, delicious tastes and happy memories are what to expect from a visit to Illawarra and the Southern Highlands. What’s so refreshing is that most of the produce you’ll consume here is from the region.
Exotic varieties of mushrooms are grown in disused railway tunnels at Mittagong and sweet and juicy hydroponic vine-ripened tomatoes are grown in Wildes Meadow. The finest classes of potatoes can be found in the fields of Robertson.
In summer, you can visit a number of berry farms to pick your own strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and youngberries. At Yerrinbool, you can buy delicious fruit straight from the orchard when luscious peaches and plums and crisp apples and pears are in season.
The region also boasts a new olive industry. While locally grown olives for general consumption are still a few years away, the olive trees are already producing award-winning olive oils to sample.
There are plenty of other locally produced foods to buy: breads, jams, honey, pickles, chutneys and shortbread to take home as mementos of your stay.
The cool climate of the region allows the production of some superb wines. More than 20 vineyards now operate in the area, and many of their wines can be tasted at the Australian wine expo held at the Bundanoon Hotel in February.
There is also a choice of many eateries – serving dishes that range from fine a la carte and country cooking to vegetarian wholefoods and multicultural delights.
Activites and Experiences at Bundanoon
- Banking Facilities
- Coach Stop
- Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale
- Public Bar
- Medical Facilities
- National Park
- Post Office
- Public Telephone
- Rail Terminal
- Sporting Facilities
- Swimming Pool
- Takeaway Food
- Places of Worship
Nearest Airport: Mittagong