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Braidwood – Speed Hump or Worth a Stop? Your Views!

By Im a country member - 1 February 2010 139

As the owner of a small business in Braidwood, it has become very apparent just how much commerce in our town depends on Canberra residents who pass through en route to or from the coast.

Now that we’re on the “other side” of summer and the holiday traffic has subsided, business operators have to meet the challenge of maintaining trade from Canberra residents who might not be passing through to and from the coast quite so often. The Riot ACT is a very effective way of reaching Canberrans and it’s a good idea to get some feedback in regards to how you view our town. Is it just a speed hump on the way to the coast or do you value it as a place to visit for lunch, a spot of shopping or a destination from whence to explore nearby wilderness areas?

We’d love your opinions!

What makes you stop in Braidwood?

What Makes you drive straight through?

What are the attractions that make you stop?

Which businesses stand out in your opinion?

Do you think that as such a unique and aesthetically pleasing town, anything lets it down? Service, opening hours, lack of choice, parking etc!

How could Braidwood be improved to make it a destination as opposed to just a stopover?

What’s Your opinion?

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139 Responses to
Braidwood – Speed Hump or Worth a Stop? Your Views!
Snarky 11:15 am 01 Feb 10

We always stop for a wee and a bite to eat when we’re going to and from the coast, and trade is pretty much exclusively with the bread shop, the pizza place and the lolly shop, although we had some marvellous hamburgers at the place near the old service station opposite the antiques shop last time through.

Mrs Snarky is a keen pottery purchaser and we’ve stopped at the little gallery just at the bend as you enter the town from Canberra, but that turned out to belong to a frightful god-botherer and we snuck out quietly…

There’s not a lot that could be done to make the place more attractive as longer visit now for us now because we’re generally still travelling with kids, and the essentials (toilets, fast food and confectionery) are all we’ll stop for. But I can see that post-children we’d like to stop a bit longer to explore the galleries and other bits and pieces hidden away in the town, and we’d probably stop in a B&B to do it. It wouldn’t be a regular thing – perhaps once every couple of years. And if there were theatre possibilities, exhibitions etc it’d be more often. HTH


jenny123 10:58 am 01 Feb 10

We stop for a smoko and maybe a coffee or gelato.

Although we normally have the dogs and since they arn’t allowed at the park, we never stop long

justbands 10:48 am 01 Feb 10

> I would rather push on, then lose valuable position in the rat race.

There will always be another truck or crazy driver ahead of you regardless.

p1 10:42 am 01 Feb 10

Yes, trees and semi-trailers are a much more effective means of breaking the journey when you’re tired! We see it frequently.

There are so many crosses and flowers within 1km either side of Braidwood that I sometimes wonder if the town somehow has a bad influence on vehicles. Sadly I saw yet another car wrapped around a tree east of town last Friday.

On the original topic, I find Braidwood a perfect spot to break the trip from Canberra to the Coast, for a stretch of the legs, or a pie at the bakery. Occasionally for something else food related.

I have also visited the lamp shops for lamp related products.

troll-sniffer 10:39 am 01 Feb 10

I admire the thinking behind your post, but all I can say is… If your business model doesn’t fit the model of summer boom, winter bust, then nothing you can do for Braidwood will allow you to get over that hump.

Probably the single greatest opportunity for braidwood was missed 30 odd years ago when the far-sighted council knocked back a plan to line the main street with large shady trees, as it would have reduced main street parking. Anyone who has been to Yackandandah knows how welcoming their main street is, particularly in summer, and a lot of people are happy to park in a back street and walk the shady main street and get a coffeee or visit a gallery while there.

Too late now though.

Im a country member 10:38 am 01 Feb 10

“I’m too tired to stop and just want to get home.

Yes, trees and semi-trailers are a much more effective means of breaking the journey when you’re tired! We see it frequently.

churl 10:24 am 01 Feb 10

Speaking personally, we would happily stop there for something to eat, but everything closes too early.

Gungahlin Al 10:20 am 01 Feb 10

Fantastic pizza shop. After several days hiking and camping up on mountains in the Budawangs, that pizza went down like ice cream.

Thumper 10:14 am 01 Feb 10

I usually stop for a pie and a drink at the bakery.

motleychick 9:50 am 01 Feb 10

Have to say that it’s a speed hump for me also. When I’m going to the coast, I just want to get there (and plus the trip is short why would you stop and break), and on the way back I’m too tired to stop and just want to get home.

Ceej1973 9:47 am 01 Feb 10

We only ever stop if we REALLY HAVE TO use the toilet facilities. We would love to stop more often, albeit for the lack of overtaking lanes between the coast and Canberra. Hence when travelling between the two, it really isnt worth stopping if you manage to pass a truck, slow vehicle, tractor or eratic driver. I would rather push on, then lose valuable position in the rat race. Yes it sounds pathetic to be concerned over losing 15 minutes (in around a 1 hr trip) over a bunch of eratic or slow drivers, but the frustration is what annoys us. Having said that, we have stopped on other trips for a dinner/lunch break so that the “annoying” traffic is long gone before we continue our trip, inclusive of Braidwood on the rare occasion.

reepy 9:35 am 01 Feb 10

The bakery is tops. I’ll plan our trip to make sure we pass through Braidwood at lunch time. I’ll also go for a drive there to pick up some pies for dinner or to have lunch.

pelican 9:31 am 01 Feb 10

Our family loves Braidwood. We would at a guess visit Braidwood without going on further to the coast about five times a year for lunch and a look around usually buying something while we are there. This does not include the other times we stop on the way to the coast – probably about another 6 each year.

The main places we frequent for eating are the Bakery, Braidwood Deli, Cafe Altgenburg and we tried the Nambawan Coffee place for the first time recently. We have also had coffee at the Serrated Tussock (?) and at the Grapevine Cafe (I think it is called) the one with all the old books. If we are in a rush we tend to go for a pie at the Braidwood Bakery but when visiting for lunch will go somewhere nicer.

A few months ago we had lunch (mixed grill) at the yellow painted hotel on the corner near the park. Meal was delicious.

We also buy bread from Dojo Bakery, sweets at the lolly shop, plants at the nursery and visit the galleries and quilt shop with mainly small purchases. My husband and daughter like the car shop on the way out of town and have bought from them about three times.

We may not be your typical shoppers or eaters.

If you want to attract more people during winter some ideas:
– food and wine festival or a market for which Braidwood could become famous such as in Lismore
– a maze type garden such as that around Sheffield in Tasmania
– Wineries seem to attract people
– What about a whiskey distillery with tours?
– the shoalhaven for canoeists or fishing trips.
– an apple festival (might take a bit of time to establish) as I would think the climate good for apples with all the roadside trees around Araluen way.
– environmental expo for sustainable living
– attract businesses that can be located anywhere eg.IT – website developers,authors, online shops (depending on the quality of your communications network).

Sorry if this is a silly question but is there a train track through braidwood? If so what about an old train like the one that goes to Bungendore to bring people in. I have never noticed any tracks.

It would be a shame to get too commercial though as Braidwood is Braidwood because of its old worlde charm. Bungendore is being ruined by becoming another satellite town of Canberra with all those characterless McMansion estates on the increase.

Isn’t there a new Gold mining enterprise going in at Majors Creek? That may increase business through winter.

colourful sydney rac 9:28 am 01 Feb 10

I just can’t believe you got away with using that as a user name. To quote Gough “we remember”….Although for accuracy I think you the accurate name would have been ‘I am just a simple country member”.

PURSUTE 9:25 am 01 Feb 10

I’m sorry to say it, but Braidwood is just a speedhump for me.

As the length of my trip when I pass through Braidwood is almost always less than 3 hours, I rarely need to stop. I much prefer to do my resting at my destination on such a short trip.

No offence, but “unique and aesthetically pleasing” are not really terms I would use when describing Braidwood. Yes, it is a rather pleasant little country town, but it is no different to hundreds of others in NSW.

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