plan your booktown visit

Our guide to the Southern Highlands

Southern highlands - Australia

Come for the books - we’re booktown!

The Southern Highlands of NSW Australia is the ultimate destination for book lovers.

The Southern Highlands is a unique pocket of New South Wales, surrounded by nature, rolling hills and magnificent views. Renown for its distinctive seasons and the sense of feeling a world away, yet it is an easy drive from Sydney, Canberra and the Illawarra. The perfect destination for a break away.

Follow the Book Trail through the towns and villages that make up the Southern Highlands and unearth speciality booksellers, authors, publishers and literary points of interest throughout the region. Discover for yourself why the region is Australia’s first Booktown. 

Australian Map Booktown Southern Highlands


Take a literary journey through
the Southern Highlands

Conveniently situated between Sydney, Canberra and the South Coast, The Southern Highlands is the perfect place for booklovers to visit.

Made up of towns and villages, the Southern Highlands is an unique mix of natural beauty and old world charm. Each of its towns and villages has its own distinctive character with friendly locals welcoming you to explore and enjoy this beautiful area that is Australia First Booktown.

SthHighlandsMapBooktown Booktown Southern Highlands

Getting here

Escape to the Southern Highlands & discover the booktrail

The beautiful Southern Highlands is easily accessible. Ideally situated between Sydney, Wollongong and Canberra.


From Sydney: 1 hour from Sydney via the M5 or M7 motorways. Heading south from Sydney take the first exit to Mittagong (exit 11) to enter the Southern Highlands.

From Canberra: 1.5 hours north from Canberra. Travel via the Federal and Hume Highways. Use the Southern Highlands exits to Moss Vale, Berrima or Mittagong.

From Wollogong: 1 hour from Wollongong travelling the M1, take the Picton Rd/B88 exit towards Picton/M31/Hume Highway and take the first exit to Mittagong (exit 11). Alternatively, follow the M1 and Illawarra Highway, then onto Tourist Roa passing through Roberston, follow Kangaloon Road to Moss Vale.


Sydney trains and NSW Trainlink services stop at various Southern Highlands towns daily.
For more information call 131 500 or visit


Coaches operate between Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra. Bookings can be made directly with coach companies.


Visit Destination Southern Highlands: for a list of electric vehicle recharge stations in the Southern Highlands.

More information

Our guide to things to do and see on
your visit to Australia’s First Booktown

Places of interest, where to eat, stay, dine whilst visiting the Southern Highlands

Destination Southern Highlands

The Southern Highlands is the perfect destination for a short break away. Discover all the region has on offer here. Plan your visit, find things to see and do, discover what’s on, where to stay& eat and trip ideas.

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Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame

The Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame is a permanent cultural exhibition dedicated to the game of cricket. Featuring exciting and interactive displays and cafe. Well worth a visit!

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Mary Poppins Birthplace

Did you know the Southern Highlands town of Bowral lays claim as the birthplace of Mary Poppins? Discover why Bowral
has a compelling claim to be her birthplace.

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Berrima Courthouse

Step back in time with a visit to
the Berrima Courthouse. Take a tour through the magnificent Georgian building, view “The Berrima Story” which chronicles
the village from the 1830s to the present day, and the fabulous light and sound show in the Courtroom of one of the most notorious cases in not to be missed.

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Mittagong Antiques Centre

Emporium of vintage, collectables and antiques. With over 45 dealers exhibiting their wares sourced from all around the globe, you will need to allow yourself time to explore the wondrous array of antiquities, collectables and fine arts, including arts by local artisans.

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Needlecraft & Fibre Arts in the Southern Highlands

The Southern Highlands enjoys an unparalleled reputation for the quality of its needlecraft artists, stockists, authors, publishers and associations. Follow the trail and be inspired.

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Explore Berrima

Berrima village is the perfect spot to slow down and breathe in the country air. Surrounded by bespoke boutiques, vintage shops, art and handmade galleries, charming places to spend the night and delicious dining options to relax and soak up village life.

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With national parks and waterfalls to walk and ride through and, lovely wedding venues, charming restaurants and shops, a variety of accommodation options, a thriving art community, a friendly and unpretentious “working village” atmosphere and events all year round.

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