Bowral, NSW
[ South Coast ]
[ Southern Highlands ]
Welcome to Bowral
Welcome to BOWRAL

A slow pace of retreat is found in Bowral, a distinguished town with crisp winters and pleasant summers, a town of spectacularly colourful springs and autumns.

Bowral is situated on the southern side of Mt Gibraltar or "The Gib" as locals fondly call it. A climb to the summit should not be missed as the peak affords fine views of Bowral and Mittagong below and of the breathtaking scenery of the rest of the Southern Highlands beyond. The mountain is ringed with well marked walking tracks and picnic facilities.

Bowral, then known as Wingecarribee, was originally the site of the property of Surveyor General and explorer, John Oxley. His son subdivided the land and established a private village which grew steadily, first catering to the needs of the newly arrived railway workers and then after the railway was operating, as a handy holiday resort for tourists from Sydney.

It fast became the commercial centre of the Southern Highlands and today is still the preferred spot for a relaxing weekend away for thousands of Sydneysiders and others each year.

Many of Bowral's earlier visitors built stately mansions for their summer escapes and some of these historic homes together with their magnificent gardens can be appreciated by visitors today. The conversion of some of these homes to tourist accommodation provides popular venues for a relaxed and opulent stay.

Other buildings, commercial, official and churches, of historical interest are found throughout the town, restored to their original splendour.

In the late 1880's, a tree planting program was begun in the town and today this has left a legacy of a beautiful garden town with avenues of mature, deciduous trees and well planned expansive public and private colourful gardens. The most famous of the public parks are Corbett Gardens which are the focus of Bowral's Tulip Time festival in September each year. The colour and grandeur of the town's plantings are best appreciated during this renowned annual festival which attracts and entertains thousands of visitors.

Other history to be appreciated here includes the Donald Bradman Museum. Although born in Cootamundra, Australia's, and indeed the world's, undisputed finest ever cricketer, (Sir) Donald Bradman, played his first cricket in Bowral as a boy and the town proudly claims him as their own. The Museum, which is situated on Bradman Oval, honours Sir Donald's amazing career and documents Australia's cricketing history with many pieces of fascinating memorabilia.

The shopping centre in Bowral is second to none in the region and combines stately older buildings converted to retail outlets and the sophistication of city shopping. Many specialty shops offer crafts and a wonderful array of gift and decorating ideas. Antiques are also a feature of shopping in Bowral and many outlets exists for the browser or the serious collector.

Eating in Bowral is a delight with a good range of cuisines, ambiences and prices. From a cappuccino and snack whilst shopping to a night out on the town with silver service and good wine, you'll find just the right venue in Bowral.

Accommodation is offered with a wide variety available. The upmarket resorts are mostly located in examples of the aforementioned stately homes and many older and charming guest houses also open their doors with a warm country welcome to tourists. Other accommodation includes motels and licensed hotels, apartments and lodges, caravan and camping areas.

Natural attractions around the area are easily accessible and will top off a good all round short break or an extended stay in Bowral.

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