SthHighlandsMapBooktown Booktown Southern Highlands

HILLTOP: Starlight’s Trail is the path to the legendary valley hideaway of the aristocratic bushranger, Captain Starlight, from Boldrewood’s novel Robbery Under Arms and a favourite bushwalkers’ trek.

ALPINE: Little Forest is the final resting place of novelist, George Johnston, author of My Brother Jack.

MITTAGONG: Frensham School was attended by authors Nancy Keesing, Joan Phipson and poet Rosemary Dobson, among many other writers.

WELBY: Home to Ginger Meggs cartoonist, James Kemsley.

BOWRAL: Jasmine Street was home to Arthur Upfield, creator of the Bony aboriginal detective character, and also Paul White, author of the popular Jungle Doctor books. Both had their works published in dozens of languages. Bowral has been home to P.L.Travers (author of Mary Poppins), critic Clement Semmler, playwright and film producer, Maslyn Williams. Cricketer Don Bradman was also a journalist and author of classic works such as The Art of Cricket and his autobiography A Farewell to Cricket.

BERRIMA: In Rolf Boldrewood’s classic bushranging tale Robbery Under Arms (1888), Dick Marston and Captain Starlight escape from Berrima Gaol. Berrima has been home to poets, Grace Perry, John Millet (Winner NSW Premier’s Poetry Award) and radio scriptwriter Gwen Meridith of serial Blue Hills fame.

MOSS VALE: Nobel Literature Prize Winner and novelist, Patrick White, spent his early school days at Tudor House. Thwaites Street is named after prolific author, F.J.Thwaites, who lived here. HarperCollins Publishers has their major distribution centre in Moss Vale. Popular author, Frank Clune, was another longtime resident.

SUTTON FOREST: Oldbury Farm (not open to the public) was the home to Charlotte Barton, author of the first book for children to be published in Australia A Mother’s Offering to Her Children (1841). Her youngest daughter, Caroline Louisa Atkinson also lived here and wrote the first work of fiction by an Australian-born woman Gertrude the Immigrant (1875).

BUNDANOON: Home to David Foster, leading contemporary Australian writer and Miles Franklin Award winner. The local post office features prominently as a location in Foster’s fiction.

GOULBURN: The surrounding rural region towards Goulburn is linked with the famous author of My Brilliant Career, Miles Franklin. She grew up here and records her impressions of the area in her diaries.

Southern highlands Booktrail

Browse through Australia’s First Booktown

It is in this spirit that we welcome you to the Southern Highlands Booktrail and hope that you enjoy all that this beautiful area has to offer the discerning literary visitor.

The Southern Highlands Booktrail is part of the international Book Town movement started in the UK town of  Hay-on-Wye over 30 years ago.

 It is usually defined by a rural location with a high concentration of mainly secondhand and antiquarian booksellers, who co-operate to celebrate the literary heritage of their district, as well as the art and craft of the book. 

These bookshops are often complemented by artisan enterprises such as paper production, calligraphy, printing, book design, book illustration and traditional bookbinding.