Southern Highlands inland route to the NSW South Coast

Southern Highlands inland route to the NSW South Coast ...

From Sydney's [Mascot] airport, take the M31 motorway towards Liverpool, Camden and Picton.  When you approach the Sir Roden Cutler VC interchange, take the right hand 2 lanes for the Southern freeway, even though the natural inclination is to stay left, as you eventually want to go to the South. Otherwise, you'll find yourself heading up to the North Coast !!

Continue on until you reach Mittagong and either: take the first exit to Bowral and Moss Vale or the second exit to historic village of Berrima.

Rejoining the freeway, you can continue on to Sutton Forest and Marulan [which both have auto service stations with fuel, gas and distillate as well as the normal range of roadhouse fare].

For something completely different, try;

  1. Eling Forest Winery & Restaurant right on the highway, a few kilometres after you pass Berrima, or
  2. the Meridian Cafe which is located in the old village of Marulan. The Meridian boasts a surprising array of quality food and great coffee and teas. Take the Heavy truck checking station exit to leave the highway and find the Marulan township.

Marulan marks the end the Southern Highlands from where you'll enter the Southern Tablelands and Monaro regions.

Southern Highlands [cont]

This area comprises the towns and villages of Mittagong, Berrima,  Bowral, Fitzroy Falls, Burrawang, Robertson, Moss Vale, Bundanoon, Penrose and Marulan.

Natural attractions include the Wombeyan Caves,  Bundanoon and the Heritage Rainforest at Robertson, Belmore, Carrington and Fitzroy Falls.

Bowral is probably most famous as the place where Don Bradman developed his cricketing skills and for its popularity as a summer holiday destination for Sydney's rich and famous for many decades.  The cool climate provides an ideal climate for traditional English style gardens of which there are many excellent examples opened during Spring as a part of Bowral's Tulip Time festival.

Probably the oldest settlement in the Southern Highlands area, Berrima, was on the Cobb and Co route between Sydney & Melbourne, has taken on a new life in more recent times and become a mecca for shopping, with great dining options and the historic Surveyor General Inn which sits alongside the Berrima Gaol as 2 of the oldest buildings in the area.

Southern Highlands [cont]

From the Southern Highlands, you may choose to take a detour to the spectacular Fitzroy Falls and visit its natural history interpretive centre and cafe before taking the descent to Kangaroo Valley. The Kangaroo Valley pass is quite steep and windy but it doesn't normally carry too much traffic and it passes through some spectacular temperate rainforest as you travel down to the valley floor. When you reach the village you'll be able to sample its great eateries, local produce and the other attractions of 'The Valley',  including the historic Hampden Bridge, Tallowa Dam and the Yarrawa Estate winery.

If you want to see kangaroos in the wild, we'd suggest you try a trail ride with the 'Man from Kangaroo Valley'. This trail riding business is run by Geoff & Gail who form a husband and wife team. Their land abutts Mt. Moollootoo and you can ride through open grazing land, lush temperate rainforest and adjoins endless natural forest that expands into the Morton National Park.  The surrounding landscape provides some of the most scenic horseriding in Australia.

Southern Highlands [ends]

The Bungonia side trip.

[Take this detour if you've got an extra hour and a half to 'kill'.]

We stumbled upon this detour when our SatNav surprised us with a recommendation to turn off the freeway at the South Marulan exit, which has been built to service the new mine west of Marulan. This mine is the Lynwood Quarry, established by Holcim (Australia) Pty Ltd who financed the construction of the interchange with the Hume Highway a couple of kilometres south of Marulan.

The gps didn't quite have the new road layout right and we had to improvise a little before we found the Jerrarra Road exit which took us to the village of Bungonia. Bungonia is probably most famous for the Bungonia Gorge, which many people from around NSW trekked and camped as an excursion during their school days. Be warned, don't blink as you pass through Bungonia, or you'll miss it altogether !
As we progressed and the sealed road became narrower, Sue observed that this trip would not be recommended after dark, due to the likelihood of a tangle with wombats and/or kangaroos. 
Sealed road all the way, but quite narrow at times, as it passes thru quite a few hobby farms and lifestyle properties ranging from vineyards to the ubiquitous equestrian property with lots of money being ploughed into round yards and dressage arenas.
80kms speed limit is ignored by the locals, but isn't a bad idea as we came across a couple of farmers giving their cows with new calves the benefit of a green pick available on the 'long paddock' which runs along the roadside between the boundary frontage fences .

Look out for an ice cream at Johnno's corner & sandy will welcome you with some good old fashioned country hospitality.
Also sell lights of all sizes for indoor and out and supply LPG gas bottles to the surrounding landholders.
White belted cattle, black faced (Suffolk)k sheep .... You get the picture ! 
Just after Windellema, you can take the right turn back to tarago to stay on the sealed road) or if you're vehicle is suited to gravel road conditions, (and you have a sense of 'adventure') continue along Mayfield road with 16? klms of gravel road to link directly with the kings hwy before it meets Braidwood on the way back to the coast. It's short cut but you'll see some really light 'goat.' Country on this route punctuated by the occasional oncoming car or a rabbit or two crossing the road. Remember to wave at any passing cars because they'll most likely wave to you, or at least raise friendly finger or 3 from their steering e wheel.
Ford a few creeks where the old bridge is in state disrepair rendering unusable, or (non-existent). So check with Johnno & Sandy to make sure the Mayfield Road is passable. If not, you can take the sealed road back to Tarago for a safer alternative.

Suggested route:

95.6 km, 2 hours 37 mins Mayfield Rd and Kings Hwy/National Route 52

Driving directions from Marulan [Southern Highlands] to Braidwood NSW, Australia

1. Head south on Hume Freeway

1.5 km
2. At the South Marulan roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Jerrara Rd

14.7 km
3. Turn left onto Mountain Ash Rd

260 m
4. Slight right onto King St

650 m
5. Continue onto Oallen Ford Rd

20.8 km 37.9 km – about 59 minsWindellama NSWAustralia
6. Head south on Oallen Ford Rd toward Windellama Rd

4.8 km
7. Turn right onto Sandy Point Rd

16.5 km 21.2 km – about 39 minsMayfield NSWAustralia
8. Head south on Mayfield Rd toward Stewarts Crossing Rd

13.1 km
9. Turn left to stay on Mayfield Rd

6.2 km
10. Turn left onto Kings Hwy/​National Route 52

16.2 km
11. Turn right to stay on Kings Hwy/​National Route 52

950 m 36.5 km – about 59 minsBraidwood NSWAustralia

Rejoining the freeway, you'll next arrive at Goulburn, which was reputedly the first inland city in Australia, by virtue of its cathedral. Goulburn offers a range of eateries, but our pick is the Paragon Cafe in the main street.

From Goulburn, take the road to Braidwood, which also has a variety of special places including the very popular Braidwood Bakery,

Goulburn also has 2 specialty lamp shops which sell antique gas and oil lamps, sourced from all around the world.

From Goulburn, take the Kings Highway to Nelligen [check out the Steam Packet Hotel] and then Batemans Bay on the mid South Coast. The "Bay" is a bustling tourist town on the Princes Highway and sports a large shopping centre including the Village Centre, Bridge Plaza and a range of independent shops, cafe's and restaurants.

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