While there’s so much to love about Canberra and the NSW South Coast, there’s even more to love about the places that surround them, whether it be the snowy mountains, the beach, or the bush. Here are our top picks for day trips to add to your calendar this spring.
Photography by NSW National Parks
KOSCIUSZKO NATIONAL PARK
Only a two-hour drive from the centre of Canberra, Kosciuszko National Park offers endless opportunities and activities to enjoy on a sunny spring day. From walking up Mount Kosciuszko, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, cycling, rock climbing, driving through the undulating alpine landscape, or soaking up the picturesque views on a relaxing picnic, there’s something for everyone. You might even be lucky to see and enjoy some snow! On the way to the alpine region, take a break in the historic town of Cooma, have lunch by Lake Jindabyne, then stop by the Wild Brumby Distillery for a drink. While you’re in the national park, don’t forget to visit the charming Thredbo Village, soak up the scenery around Mount Selwyn, Charlotte Pass and Perisher, and stop by the familyfriendly Lake Crackenback Resort.
A spot within the Kosciuszko National Park that is worth its own mention is the Yarrangobilly Caves area, most notably the 20m-long, 2.5m-deep thermal pool fed by a natural spring. The main pool here is heated to 27ºC all year round and overflows into a children’s wading area, so the whole family can enjoy a swim any time of year. This natural swimming spot is surrounded by picturesque mountains and lush bushland – the perfect location to spot local wildlife, including lyrebirds, blue wrens, crimson rosellas, king parrots, or some platypus if you’re around at dawn or dusk. There’s also a family-friendly 3km walking loop that travels along the crystal-clear river – it’s a must if you come here. For a little extra adventure, you can also buy a ticket for a self-guided tour of the South Glory Cave.
Photography by Chelsea Pridham
Braidwood is positioned halfway between Canberra and the NSW South Coast in the Southern Tablelands and is a common rest stop for travellers, but there’s so much more to this pretty historic town than stopping for a quick break. Braidwood is a charming National Trust-classified town renowned for its prize-winning truffles and vibrant arts scene, with a main street full of cafes, bakeries, retro-collectable stores, galleries, antiques, jewellery, and old-world colonial buildings frozen in time. If you’re interested in history, you can take the official Heritage Walk, which includes some of the town’s best sights, including the Royal Mail Hotel, St Bede’s Catholic Church, and the Braidwood Museum, which showcases a rich collection of historical objects and archives. If you fancy art, then you’ll be impressed by the many galleries in the area, notably Studio Altenburg, Fyre Gallery, Braidwood Regional Arts Gallery, and Mona Farm. If you visit Braidwood on the first and third Saturday of each month in the morning, you’ll catch the farmers market where you can taste and buy some of the local fare.
VINEYARDS AND WINERIES
What’s perfect about the ACT and surrounding region is that it is home to over 140 vineyards and more than 40 wineries, offering endless opportunities to taste some fine wine and meet the local makers. The NSW South Coast’s Shoalhaven wine region is much the same, with vineyards peppered along the coastline both north and south of Batemans Bay. This spring, head to your local winery and enjoy a taste of their finest drop alongside a delicious cheese board or go on a tour of their cellar door. Near Canberra, some of the best vineyards include Clonakilla, Shaw Wines, Eden Road, Four Winds, and Mount Majura, which is known for its flagship tempranillo and riesling. Near the NSW South Coast, be sure to visit Cupitt’s Estate, Tilba Valley Winery and Ale House, Cambewarra Estate, Crooked River Wines, and the region’s mostawarded winery, Coolangatta Estate.
Photography by Philip Martin
NAMADGI NATIONAL PARK
This spring, escape the urban sprawl to the Namadgi National Park and immerse yourself in over 100,000 hectares of picturesque bushland, thriving flora and fauna, and fascinating Indigenous history. Only an hour from Canberra’s city centre, the national park offers countless areas to bushwalk, picnic, take in the views, and admire the local wildlife in its natural habitat. One of the area highlights is the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve located on the park’s fringe, home to a wildlife sanctuary full of kangaroos, koalas, cockatoos and emus. Also located within the Tidbinbilla area is Corin Forest, an outdoor adventure playground with slides, forests, and lots of space to play and have a picnic. In the Namadgi National Park, there’s also a rich Indigenous history for you to explore, including the Aboriginal rock art at Yankee Hat and the Birrigai rock shelter, a site the Ngunnawal Aboriginal people occupied more than 20,000 years ago.
Enjoy this complimentary magazine, become inspired and find endless possibilities for your own inspired living.
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