The school holidays are here and if you’re eager to get out and explore your backyard, we’ve got you covered with a host of activities from caving to wildlife parks and wineries. Discover what southeast regional NSW has to offer, with many activities being free. Choose from the Southern Highlands, Upper Lachlan Shire, Yass Valley and Goulburn Mulwaree below.
Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame
When: Daily, 9 am to 4 pm
Cost: $60 per family (two adults and two children)
The Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame is the definitive cricket visitor experience. Enjoy footage from around the world, touchscreen interactives, fascinating memorabilia and absorbing stories from cricketing greats to keep you entertained for hours. It is set among the beautiful surrounds of Bradman Oval and includes the Bradman Cafe and gift store.
Upper Lachlan Shire
Taralga Wildlife Park
When: Daily, 10 am to 4 pm throughout the school holidays
Cost: $30 per family (two adults and two children)
Taralga Wildlife Park features a collection of native and exotic animals, including waterfowl, parrots, dingoes, emus, wallabies, deer, llamas, alpacas and miniature horses. Just a short drive from the historic town of Taralga, the park is a great place to take the kids during the school holidays or at the weekend during school term times. You can feed and interact with baby farm animals in the Friendship Farm area.
Alpaca Farm Experience
When: Call 0414 464 206 to organise a visit
Cost: Approximately $10 per person
The Alpaca Farm Experience at Crookwell is a fun, hands-on farm experience for animal lovers of all ages. Join the herd and watch them closely interact with each other and jostle for attention. Hand feed and observe their cheeky behaviour, while learning about alpacas and the Australian alpaca industry. Includes an informative talk on the origins and history of alpacas, their uses and their husbandry.
The Upper Lachlan Shire is a state-declared fossicking district, which means people do not require the permission of exploration licence holders to fossick there. Permission of the landowner is still required, although there are two public areas where no permission is needed. Grab a pan and head to Tuena Creek to look for gold, or Grabben Gullen Creek on Sapphire Road to look for gemstones.
When: Tours leave at 12 pm and 1.30 pm, Monday to Friday; 12 pm, 1.30 pm and 3 pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
Cost: $22 per adult and $15 per children (no children aged under five during COVID-19)
Careys Cave is located in the beautiful Wee Jasper valley, about 50km from Yass and 80km from Canberra. Set in a spectacular limestone landscape, it features beautiful, naturally sculpted rock and a wealth of different cave formations. Access is down a flight of 30 steps, after which floors are mostly level with well-trodden and lit paths passing through various chambers. Suitable for all ages, two tours are on offer, covering different parts of the cave system, depending on group size.
Canberra District Wine Region
When: Check with each winery
On the doorstep of the Yass Valley is the cool-climate Canberra District Wine Region, boasting some of Australia’s best wineries. Sit back and relax with a glass of wine and some cheese while the kids run through the vineyards. Most wineries are open daily and offer tastings and food. If you’re lucky, you may have a chance to meet the winemaker. Canberra Wines features all the wineries available to visit.
Johnny Gilbert’s Grave
Situated on the outskirts of Binalong, NSW, is the historic gravesite of notorious bushranger Johnny Gilbert. There is an area to stop and park along Burley Griffin Way, at the foot of the hill. From there you can walk to the grave. As you explore Johnny Gilbert’s stomping ground, you might consider whether he was Australia’s worst bushranger. With 630 armed hold-ups, he was certainly hard working! On 13 May, 1865, Johnny was shot dead in a paddock on the bank of the Balgalal Creek, near Binalong.
Rocky Hill War Memorial and Museum
When: Daily, 10 am to 4 pm, throughout school holidays
Cost: Gold coin donation
Rocky Hill War Memorial opened in 1925 as a lasting tribute to the men and women of Goulburn who served during World War I. The memorial tower is constructed of concrete and clad in local stones, some of which were carried to the site by local residents and returned servicemen as part of Anzac Day commemorations in 1923. Located on a prominent rocky outcrop, the memorial is a must-visit with the viewing platform at the top of the tower providing a spectacular view over the city and surrounding areas.
Goulburn Regional Art Gallery
When: 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday; closed Sunday and public holidays
The Goulburn Regional Art Gallery is the region’s hub for presenting, exhibiting and collecting contemporary art. It hosts a big, bold program each year that is full of ideas that provoke conversation and connection to the work of the artists. It has a brilliant website with program information, educational material and a store.
Goulburn Adventure Playground
The Goulburn Adventure Playground caters for children of all ages, from toddlers to teens as well as carers and families. It is located within Victoria Park on Verner Street. The playground’s centrepiece is a climbing structure with an eight-metre tower, climbing nets, slides and connecting bridges to towers of varying heights. The park also includes a double flying fox, inclusive play structure, merry-go-round, sensory play elements, a maze and disabled access.
Note: prices and opening times may change.