A drive along Sydney’s South Coast provides the perfect start for a scenic weekend escape to the Southern Highlands, just under two hours out from the city centre. Featuring some of Sydney’s best artisanal products and diverse landscapes from coastal vistas to lush rainforest, there is plenty to do and even more to eat.
Located at the foothills of the Jamberoo Valley, Minnamurra Rainforest is the perfect place to take in one of Australia’s most unique ecosystems. There are a number of walks that depart from the visitor centre along elevated walkways as well as plenty of picnic stops. If you are lucky, you might spot local wildlife such as the lyrebird or swamp wallaby.
Continue up to Robertson along the winding mountain pass, which offers alternate views of the coast and foggy forest nooks. If you fancy a mid-morning snack there is no place better than Robertson’s famous pie shop. This place is the real deal. Grab a classic Aussie meat pie or opt for a freshly baked apple turnover with cream.
A cruise through the town of Robertson offers the perfect opportunity to collect all you need for a gourmet picnic spread. The Robertson Old Cheese Factory sells a lavish selection of local and imported cheeses, ice cream and homemade relishes. There is also a café on site open for breakfast and lunch, boasting a view of Robertson’s lush green countryside and a couple of local stores to peruse through for thoughtful handmade gifts. A peep at the Robertson Big Potato is a must while you are in town.
Loch and key
If picnics aren’t your thing then try high tea at the historical Robertson Hotel. After a few slices of cake, soak up the stunning ocean views and explore the sprawling gardens. The Loch in Berrima is also worth a detour, especially for its popular Sunday lunch. Walk off the extra calories at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, which takes in panoramic views of the native rainforest at heights of up to 50 metres above the forest floor. There is an exciting zip-line tour for the adventurous.
Just a short drive from Robertson, and a brief detour from the main tourist drive, are three stunning waterfalls. Fitzroy Falls are best viewed on a clear day and feature a breathtaking 81-metre drop. The visitor centre has a number of displays on Aboriginal culture, wildlife and bird watching and is worth a look to further explore the remarkable history and nature of Australia. Carrington Falls and Belmore Falls also offer lookouts with fabulous vantage points.
Nod to Nostalgia
Kangaroo River flows through the peaceful Kangaroo Valley and is home to a charming village town. You could easily spend the whole weekend here with plenty to do from wine tasting to kayaking. There are loads of options if you wish to spend the night from luxurious spa retreats to quaint holiday cottages. The village is well suited for guests and has a number of fine artisanal stores and galleries to visit including Kangaroo Valley Woodcrafts, Galeria Aniela, K. V. Forge and The Nostalgia Factory. No visit is complete without a stop at Kangaroo Valley Fudge House. Finally, The Friendly Inn Hotel is the perfect place to refuel for your trip home!
From luscious rainforests to charming villages, a cruise down Sydney’s South Coast and through the Southern Highlands promises an array of natural and artistic delights.
For more information visit southern-highlands.com.au