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