The Southern Tablelands town of Braidwood lies on the plateau above the South Coast, halfway between Canberra and coastal Batemans Bay on the Kings Highway. Nestled in rolling hills on the plateau above the Budawang Ranges, the scenery around this district is both beautiful and diverse. It is only an hour down the mountains to the coast or west to Canberra and less north to Goulburn on the Hume Highway.
As you drive from Batemans Bay to Braidwood, you ascend the magnificent Eastern Escarpment and enjoy great views across the coast and the vast forests of the escarpment itself.
The area was first settled in the 1820s. The first white settlers farmed large tracts of land with the help of convict labour. The town boomed during the goldrush of the 1850s but today remains the service centre to the surrounding district which in the main farms sheep and beef.
But Braidwood is more than a rural centre. Many of its buidings from the boom days still stand and many have been faithfully restored under the guidance of the Heritage Council. The town's Post Office and the Tallaganda Shire Council chambers are just two particularly fine examples of public buildings which have lost none of their beauty and charm whilst remaining functional since their commissioning late last century. Many other buildings such as churches, residences and hotels, display the characteristic colonial architecture and an informative map of the town's best examples is available from the Tourist Information Centre.
The authentic pioneering atmosphere of the town has been widely appreciated, no more so than by the movie industry which has used the town on many occasions as the backdrop for period Australian movies, such as Ned Kelly (starring Mick Jagger), The Year My Voice Broke and the recent remake of Dad and Dave.
Amongst all this special architecture the town thrives as a centre for arts and crafts, galleries and eateries. Being the halfway point between Canberra and the coast, Braidwood attracts many travellers daily who stop to taste life in the slow lane and to take in the sights of this historic and attractive town.
If you'd like longer to relax and explore, there are plenty of places to stay. Accommodation includes motels, guesthouses and licensed hotels.
You'll also find plenty to do besides discovering the town's history and artisans. Other activities available are a beautiful 9 hole golf course, tennis and squash courts, swimming pool racecourse, bushwalking and fishing amongst others. Local attractions include the annual rural show (Feb/Mar), a trout farm, historical museum, heritage week (April), stock horse events (Dec) and the town's old marketplace which is now a beautiful park.
There are also three State Forests and three spectacular National Parks close by for your exploration. These parks protect the magnificent forests and mountains of the Eastern Escarpment and Braidwood is centrally located for unforgettable bushwalking experiences in the Morton, Budawang and the Deua National Parks. Don't miss "The Big Hole" an amazing natural phenomenon, only a short drive from Braidwood.
You can obtain further details on Braidwood and the region from a Southern Tablelands Tourist Information Centre.