Ex­plore the South­ern High­lands

Drive in style for a week­end get­away to Sydney’s South­ern High­lands.

Where Sydney - - Contents - By Olivia Stor­rie. For more in­for­ma­tion visit south­ern­high­lands.com.au

A DRIVE ALONG SYDNEY’S south coast pro­vides the per­fect start for a scenic and cruisy 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 moody rain­for­est, there is plenty to do and even more to eat! Why not pick up a lux­u­ri­ous BMW from Avis’s new Drive in Style range and get set to hit the road (avis.com).

Head­ing out from Sydney’s cen­tre fol­low the signs to Wol­lon­gong and be­gin head­ing south. Head past Wol­lon­gong, take a right at Al­bion Park and fol­low signs to Mac­quarie Pass Na­tional Park.

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 some of the lo­cal wildlife in­clud­ing the cheeky lyre­bird or adorable swamp wal­laby.

Con­tinue up to Robert­son along the wind­ing moun­tain pass, a de­light to drive, which of­fers al­ter­nate views of the coast and foggy for­est nooks. If you fancy a mid­morn­ing 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 whilst you are in town.

If pic­nics aren’t your thing then high tea at the his­tor­i­cal Robert­son Ho­tel is a de­light. Af­ter a few choice treats don’t for­get to soak up the stun­ning ocean views and ex­plore the 14 acres of sprawl­ing gar­dens.

A mere five min­utes from Robert­son, Illawarra Fly Tree­top Ad­ven­tures has plenty to do and see. The Tree­top Walk takes in panoramic views of the na­tive rain­for­est at heights of nearly 50 me­tres above the for­est floor. For the ad­ven­tur­ous, there is an ex­cit­ing zi­pline tour.

Most im­por­tantly how­ever, do go chas­ing wa­ter­falls! 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 bird­watch­ing 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.

Con­tinue your drive on to Kan­ga­roo Val­ley, but make sure to stop off at Grandpa’s Shed on the way, a per­fectly jam packed an­tique store, to try your luck at trea­sure hunt­ing.

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.

SOUTH­ERN GET­AWAY (Clock­wise from left) Robert­son. Misty morn­ing in the South­ern High­lands. Leave the city be­hind with Avis. Illawarra Fly Tree­top Walk.

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