In episode 50 of Mind Your Own Retirement, co-hosts John Deeks and Kaye Fallick talk with Izabella Lane, tourism coordinator for Destination Southern Highlands.
Kaye Fallick: I was excited to receive a list of ‘213 adventures for 213 days’ from Destination New South Wales.
John Deeks: Izabella start with number one!
Izabella Lane: It’s the Southern Highlands, of course!
KF: So we looked at this and thought – well that’s a bit much for a podcast, let’s get someone on the spot who can describe a simply gorgeous area.
JD: Izabella the podcast is yours.
IL: Excellent. Well Kaye and John, the Southern Highlands is the place to come and visit. We are so lucky to be positioned one and a half hours drive south of Sydney, 2 hours drive North of Canberra, or 1 hour from the south coast so it’s the perfect self-drive destination. However it is easily accessible by public transport, there’s an excellent train service where you can get off in one of the major towns in the Southern Highlands.
JD: What are some of those towns?
IL: Okay, starting from the North there are five major sort of towns that most people know are Mittagong, Bowral, Moss Vale, Robertson, Bundanoon and then historic Berrima, I better not leave historic Berrima off – but there’s no train station there.
KF: We don’t need a train station because John and I will be driving, I believe.
JD: Yeah we’ll drive up. We’ll grab the combi and head up aye?
KF: Hit the road, and we won’t be alone because so many people are emerging/have emerged and I’m hearing that some places are booking out.
IL: That is absolutely correct we have been smashed with people wanting to just escape isolation – they’ve just had enough of being cooped up in Sydney, or wherever they’ve been, and they’re ready to visit. And I mean it’s the perfect destination for a day trip but there’s so much to see and do here for a couple of days, or even a week. We cover 2700 sq. km with over 16 towns and villages, what more could you want if you want escape and adventure at this time?
KF: So Izabella you have sold us on the beauty of the area and the historic towns, there’s also something to do with pies that’s been going on, I think?
IL: There is, we are currently in a “piesolation” week of virtual events but we have a year round ‘pie trail’ where you can eat your way around the Southern Highlands, and sample some of the great range of pies that have been crafted by some of our fantastic bakers. One of our biggest ones is Gumnut and honestly their pies are to die for – savoury and sweet. We’ve got Polly’s, we’ve got Southern Rise, we’ve got lots of the local cafes and restaurants that craft pies specially and have them on their menu, particularly during June which is pie month but also the have them on the menu all year round.
KF: Perfect, and in terms of the history of the area are we talking indigenous history, bush rangers, all of the above?
IL: All of the above but specifically bush rangers. We have a fantastic heritage trail, because there’s a lot of history in the towns and villages with quite a unique past. Particularly out of Berrima which is our most well-known historical town, and we’ve got awesome places like the Berrima court house museum, Harper’s mansion which is a National Trust listed colonial Georgian house that even has a garden maze in the backyard which is a bit of fun if you want to lose hubby or you want to lose the wife. But also we’re very lucky to have Retford Park which is the late James Fairfax property and that was donated by James Fairfax to the National Trust for people to come and enjoy. Now the house dates back to 1887 and it is open once a month, the gardens are open once a month and every second or third month pre book to do a tour of the house, and it is just stunning and the landscaped gardens are just stunning. I have to admit I had the privilege of visiting – beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
JD: As we emerge, Izabella, from the isolation of COVID-19 and relaxing certain restriction that we have been caught up in. We are looking to virtually see Australia first because it’s going to be easier to see Australia than go overseas so let’s spend our money in Australia, and certainly visiting the Southern Highlands is a great idea. Where can people find out more information?
IL: Okay our website is the first port of call and it is just simply visitsouthernhighlands.com.au All the information, all the trails – we’ve got an amazing art trail, coffee trail, nature trail, pie trail, wine trail.
JD: I’m revving up the combi now!
KF: We’re packing our bags! We’re on our way! Izabella, thank you so much for painting that picture we’ve been pent up and we’re ready to jump out now.
IL: Well we will welcome you with open arms, and please call in and visit us we are situated in the northern gateway which is in Mittagong, and we can give you any and all of the information you need if you haven’t already done your research.
JD: So to know more go to visitsouthernhighlands.com.au thanks Izabella.
JD: Well Kaye we’re going to get the kitchen table full of your receipts.
KF: Get cracking on the tax.
JD: Get ready for tax to see what we can get back and thank you very much indeed to Dr. Adrian for mrtaxman.com.au to find out more about what you should be doing. And of course finding out from Dr. Billy about what should we be doing in winter.
KF: So many doctors today.
JD: Lots of doctors today, you must be a doctor of something?
KF: I am a doctor of cooking.
JD: Oh I’m making an appointment now! And of course go visit the Southern Highlands, sensational place. Go visit Australia first, we’ll see you again very soon it’s lovely to be talking to you again Kaye Fallick.
KF: Thank you John
JD: The founder of YourLifeChoices we will be back with our next podcast Mind Your Own Retirement soon, see you then.
Learn more about the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
Here’s a list of some of NSW’s most sought after adventures across food, culture, Indigenous experiences, nature and wildlife, plus everything aquatic and coastal. Choose your own holiday adventures from NSW’s roundup of unique experiences.
- Visit the ‘rooftop of Australia’ at Kosciuszko National Park in the NSW Snowy Mountains.
- See the sunrise from Australia’s most easterly point Cape Byron on the NSW North Coast.
- Gaze over the second-largest canyon in the world at Capertee Valley.
- Go back in time and ride on a paddle steamer along the historic Murray River.
- Go foraging for fungi or snuffle for truffles in Oberon in Country NSW.
- Witness the awesome natural spectacle that is the Kiama Blowhole on the beautiful NSW South Coast, one of the largest blowholes in the world.
- Drive nearly 950kms of spectacular landscape and history through Outback NSW on the Darling River Run.
- Explore Lord Howe Island, home to the world’s southernmost coral reef and one of the most unspoilt and sustainable paradises on the planet.
- Enjoy the peace up high on a hot air balloon ride over the Hunter Valley.