Town in New South Wales
Bowral is the largest town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, about ninety minutes southwest of Sydney. It is the main business and entertainment precinct of the Wingecarribee Shire and Highlands. At the 2016 census, the population of the Bowral area was 12,949.
Elevation: 690 m
Best Things To Do in Bowral, Australia
Have you ever visited a new place and felt ‘wow’ about it? For many visitors, it happens at Bowral.
Bowral may not be as popular as other cities in Australia, but don’t let that fool you. Bowral is a smaller but beautiful upcoming tourist destination that is worth a visit. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination.
You can definitely plan a few hours of a side trip here while traveling to Sydney or Canberra. You might wish to revisit it someday again, to take a break and relax at Bowral.
If you have plans to visit Australia and are not sure if Bowral should be included in your itinerary, keep reading. In this list, we have put together some of the things to do in Bowral and around. We have a hunch that if you include this city in your travel plans, you will be thrilled you did so.
Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall Of Fame, Bowral
While the international cricket hall of fame opened in 2010 as a cricket-related cultural exhibition, the Bradman Museum was established in 1989 honouring Sir Donald Bradman, the popular Australian batsman. Interactive touch screens, huge video screens, and original match equipment is what makes a visit to this museum even more engaging and interesting. A not-to-miss for cricket enthusiasts, the place features six galleries, a cafe, and a gift store. Get to know about the history of cricket and the famous people associated with the sport while you visit this museum and hall of fame.
Dirty Janes Emporium, Bowral
Boasting of being Southern Highlands’ largest indoor market, Dirty Janes Emporium is the perfect place to head to for a shopping spree when in Bowral. Serving the best of everything vintage, the emporium also hosts events like fashion exhibitions, workshops, and trade events. Nestled at a beautiful location in a cozy environment, the shop features flea market items and other goods being sold by various vendors. A delightful place with a cafe on location which serves delicious snacks and coffee, Dirty Janes Emporium is a paradise for shopaholics.
Bowral Lookout, Bowral
Providing stellar views of the Bowral city, the Cuckbundoon Ranges, Mount Gingenbullen, Moss Vale and the Wingecarribee River Valley, the Bowral Lookout is the perfect place you can head to for an outdoor getaway in the lap of nature. With picnic areas, shelters, restrooms, tables, and ample parking space, picnicking here is a common activity. While your furry friend on the leash is also allowed here, strolling on the walking trails with pets is another activity enjoyed at the lookout.
Milk Factory Gallery & Exhibition Space, Bowral
A gallery and art exhibition space offering artists a place to showcase their talents and art lovers the opportunity to view great works of art, the Milk Factory Gallery & Exhibition Space occupies over 90 square meters and is the perfect place to exhibit large artworks. Established in 2005, the place displays varying kinds of works, from photography and printmaking to photography and ceramics. The art centre on the location is home to varying designs of woodwork, prints, paintings, sculptures, glasswork and a lot more. Look out for the limited-edition prints, fine woodwork, calendars, books and cards at the gallery shop.
Centennial Vineyards, Bowral
Being an award-winning producer of wines, Centennial Vineyards has just the appropriate climate for growing quality wines and making stellar wine flavours. Breath taking views, fine wine, and scrumptious snacks is what await you at these vineyards. Host to events like military vehicle vineyard tours, limited release and museum wine tasting, paint pinot and various others, this place is a paradise for wine connoisseurs. Book a tasting tour and you shall be delighted by the flavoursome wine, cheese, dips, and olives served here.
Retford Park National Trust, Bowral
With a history dating back to the 1880s, the Retford Park National Trust features a picturesque garden with an extensive collection of deciduous and evergreen trees that perfectly adorn the beauty of the homestead on site. Attractive sculptures, pavilion, a knot garden, and a swimming pool are other points of interest at the place. Also available for weddings, the house is a great example of Italianate style and once served as a host to prime ministers, governor generals, and other royalties. Gifted by James Fairfax to the National Trust, the residence and surrounding parks are of great historic significance and well worth visiting.
Corbett Gardens, Bowral
Host to Australia’s primary floral festival named the Tulip Time, Corbett Gardens is a place that is abundant with colours and natural beauty. Nestled in the heart of Bowral and established in 1911, the gardens are loaded with springtime bulbs, trees, shrubs, and tulips. While the garden attracts more than 39,000 visitors during its peak festive season, other events at the garden too see a flock of locals and tourists. Live music, stalls, and blooming flowers during the Tulip Time and other events add to the vibrant vibes of the place making it worth a visit.
Jellore Lookout, Bowral
Nestled in the Mount Gibraltar Reserve, the Jellore Lookout provides visitors with stunning views of the Main Southern Railway and the Mittagong-Bowral Road. While the Blue Mountains, the Kanangra and Nattai areas can also be spotted far away on a clear day, this place is ideal for the photography enthusiasts. Self-guided walking trails which come with panoramic vistas of mountains and farmlands are best enjoyed by nature lovers. Grab a trail map from the Visitors centre and you are sure to have a fun time witnessing nature at its best at this lookout point.
Mount Gibraltar Reserve, Bowral
A historically and naturally significant landmark in Bowral, the Mount Gibraltar Reserve is the highest point, 863 meters above sea level between Canberra and Sydney. Spanning across a wide area of over 130 hectares, NSW Heritage Council has listed the reserve on the State Heritage Register for its importance. The reserve provides visitors with over 7 walking trails where dogs on the leash are also welcome. The four official lookouts at this reserve include-
- Mount Jellore Lookout
- Bowral Lookout
- Mittagong Lookout
- Oxley View Lookout
All these points provide stunning views of different areas loaded with natural beauty. Picnic areas with tables are also available here.
Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens, Bowral
Featuring an extensive collection of exotics, endemic as well as native species, the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens are a natural attraction worth exploring when in Bowral. With an aim to educate the public regarding horticulture, biological communities, plants and everything botany related, the gardens are still under construction. Host to various events in order to meet funding needs, the gardens are a favourite among nature lovers. Events like the earth hour, lantern making workshops, autumn open gardens and plant fair, and music in the gardens are regularly organized here.