Southern Highlands of New South Wales (NSW)

One-Day Road Trip to Southern Highlands NSW in 2024

Embarking on a one-day road trip with my car, Ruhi, and friends proved an exhilarating adventure. Our destination: the Southern Highlands. Despite the ambitious goal of covering as many places as possible in a single day, our journey was anything but rushed. We managed to explore and experience many captivating sites along the way.

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Where is Southern Highlands NSW?

Situated in the New South Wales (NSW) state of Australia, the Southern Highlands, colloquially known as Highlands, presents a picturesque blend of village charm and rural tranquility in proximity to major cities. Nestled between Sydney and Canberra, this region has earned acclaim as one of the most desirable districts for residents. For a comprehensive list of all the places within the Southern Highlands, you can refer to Wikipedia.

Southern Highlands of New South Wales (NSW)

The Southern Highlands district is approximately 135 kilometers away, translating to a convenient 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from the Sydney Central Business District (CBD). Opting for a drive is considered the most efficient way to explore the places highlighted in this post.

Places to See in Southern Highlands NSW

Here is a compilation of famous places my friends and I explored during our spontaneous road trip in the Southern Highlands. We didn’t have any of these locations planned; instead, we discovered and visited them on the go during our journey.

Lake Alexandra in Mittagong

Lake Alexandra Reserve features a captivating man-made lake enveloped by a park, rendering it a beloved picnic destination for locals and a haven for birdlife, including swans, geese, and ducks. The park provides a scenic setting for leisurely picnics, and enticing bush walks leading to nearby waterfalls.

The Big Potato in Robertson

Nestled in the lush embrace of the Highlands, Robertson stands as the verdant heart of the region, renowned for its cultivation of potatoes. Notably, it is home to the iconic Big Potato, a monumental structure erected in the 1970s by a local potato grower. This charming town also gained cinematic recognition as the filming location for the beloved Babe movie. Robertson’s rich agricultural heritage and cinematic allure make it a unique and fascinating destination in the Southern Highlands.

For fun big things to see on the way, read 11 big things to see in NSW.

Sunnataram Forest Monastery in Bundanoon

The Sunnataram Forest Monastery is a serene and compelling destination in Bundanoon town. Established in July 1990, this Buddhist monastery offers a tranquil retreat, making it a great spot to explore. I highly recommend visiting this peaceful haven for a rejuvenating and contemplative experience.

  • Admission to the monastery is free of charge.
  • Please ensure to dress appropriately.

Caution: Be aware of the presence of red-bellied snakes in the vicinity. While we didn’t encounter any during our visit, there are warning signs in the area indicating the potential presence of snakes.

Harper Mansion in Berrima

Harper Mansion, a heritage-listed museum in Berrima, is celebrated for its distinctive Georgian design—a captivating two-story brick house constructed in 1834. Regrettably, my visit did not allow us to explore the interior, as the mansion was closed when we arrived in Berrima.

Route on Road Trip to Southern Highlands NSW

We covered approximately 353 kilometers, exploring most of the Southern Highlands in NSW. This one-day road trip proved to be exceptionally beautiful. I would also recommend an overnight stay at some of these enchanting locations for those with the luxury of time.

Southern Highlands  NSW
Route of our road trip in Southern Highlands NSW

Safety for Solo Female Travelers

The Southern Highlands NSW district has earned recognition as one of the finest places to live, ensuring a safe environment for solo female travelers. The well-structured community is characterized by a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Nonetheless, I would recommend exercising a bit of caution, particularly during nighttime excursions.

Southern Highlands of New South Wales (NSW)
At Sunnataram Forest Monastery

Closing Notes

This one-day road trip through the picturesque Southern Highlands NSW was unforgettable. Spanning approximately 353 kilometers, we immersed ourselves in the beauty of quaint villages, historical sites, and natural wonders.

From the charming town of Robertson, known for its iconic Big Potato, to the tranquil haven of Lake Alexandra Reserve, each stop added a layer of enchantment to our adventure. While the day was filled with exploration and discovery, the allure of the Southern Highlands NSW beckons for more.

As the road trip concludes, I reflect on the community’s warmth, rich heritage, and stunning landscapes. For those seeking a perfect blend of history, nature, and charm, the Southern Highlands is a testament to the beauty that lies beyond city limits.

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