Southern Highlands (New South Wales)

Belmore Falls, Southern Highlands

The Southern Highlands is located south west of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia.


Several towns in the southern highlands have a choice of accommodation, restaurants, large variety of services.

Smaller Towns and Villages

Smaller towns and villages offer general stores, cafes, and other local attractions.


The Southern Highlands is within commuting distance of Sydney and is popular for weekends away from Sydney. It is a cooler climate than Sydney. It has more identifiable seasons than Sydney, with a cooler spring, and leaves falling in Autumn.

Get in

Moss Vale's historic railway station, and Endeavour Railcar that services the Southern Highlands Line

The district can be reached by train from Sydney and by car via the Hume Highway. Allow 80 minutes to travel by car from Sydney to Bowral unless driving on a weekday afternoon when an additional 30-45 minutes will be needed. Friday afternoon traffic can be particularly bad. A regular mini-bus shuttle service from Sydney Airport is also available.

Get around

By car

Private car is the easiest way to travel around the villages of the Southern Highlands.

By bicycle

Cycling around the many country lanes and national parks can be a pleasant way to see the area. Moss Vale and Bowral are linked by a pleasant cycleway by the river. Mittagong to Bowral is more problematic, with the highspeed four lane road being the only route past Mt Gibraltar without going over it!

By public transport

The region has a taxi service and a local bus company , which also connects to Nowra allowing access to the South Coast.


Tulip at Corbett Gardens, Bowral



Most of the small towns of the Southern Highlands have cafes or small restaurants. A more extensive choice of restaurants is in the major towns at Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale, Bundanoon and Berrima.

There are also several wineries in the area which serve food.

Short diversions off the main freeway from Sydney can give a much more pleasant and tasty place to eat than the highway services.


There are country pubs in Bundanoon, Sutton Forest and Berrima. There is more serious nightlife in the larger towns of Bowral, Mittagong and Moss Vale. The Bowral scene is more upmarket, and caters more for the tourist traffic. The Moss Vale pubs by contrast seem a little smaller & friendlier, catering for locals & tourists.


Stay safe

The southern highlands is generally a safe area. Beware of some alcohol fueled violence in the larger towns, like Moss Vale. Many of the roads in the area can be narrow and sometimes unsealed. There can also be cyclists and pedestrians walking on the roads.

Go next

If you are travelling from Sydney you have made it half way to Canberra. It is only a short drive down the freeway to Goulburn.

If you are travelling on to Sydney, consider taking the Illawarra Highway from Moss Vale over the Macquarie Pass via Robertson and Wollongong, with spectacular winding mountain roads, and coastal views, and only adding 30 minutes or so to the trip to Sydney.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.