Crookwell is a pretty little town not far from Goulburn that’s an easy day trip from Canberra. It’s small, but there’s a lot you can pack into your visit. Sitting in an elevated position on the Great Dividing Range in the heart of a productive agricultural and pastoral district, Crookwell is rich in history, full of lovely gardens, and packed with things to do. Take a tour, do a spot of shopping, visit a farm, enjoy a scenic drive or settle in to a cosy café or restaurant and feast on produce from the region.
8 reasons why you’ll love it
1. Crookwell is an easy drive from Canberra but gives visitors a sense of having escaped to the country. The region produces wool, potatoes, lamb, beef and cold-climate fruit and you’ll be able to enjoy the picturesque farming country on display as you drive along.
2. The Crookwell Information Centre is a useful place to start – just check opening hours before you go. They have all kinds of maps and brochures and you can pick up info about the Gold Trails and learn all about the bushrangers who were active in the region until the 1860s.
3. You can also explore the remnants of early-settler life – several of the historical buildings date back to the mid-to-late 19th century, including the Courthouse (1891), the Police Station (1878) and the Commercial Hotel (1874).
4. There are guided tours on offer that showcase both the historical and more modern features of the town. And if you’re into all things rail, then the Heritage Railway Museum tour is another option.
5. The Lindner Sock Factory and Shop produces and sells a huge range of wool and cotton socks. Crystal Brook Gardens and Lavender Farm is about 20km out of town near the village of Laggan and is a great way to while away a few hours. Browse the shop, have a bite to eat, or just wander around and take in the beautiful displays.
6. There are several lovely picnic spots around. Kiamma Creek Park offers spots among the poplars and willows.
7. Doonkuna Orchard grows several kinds of apples as well as pears and cherries, and if you’re there during the fruit season, is well worth a visit. Entry is free.
8. The village of Laggan is just 7km away and worth the drive over rolling hills and grazing land to take a look at the historical buildings, bushranger history and popular monthly markets. Laggan Pantry comes highly recommended.
Crookwell is on the Goulburn-Crookwell road, on the Crookwell River. It’s about 40km from Goulburn. We drove to Crookwell via the Federal Highway, Sutton Road, Gundaroo Road and Grabben Gullen Road, but the town is also accessible via Goulburn or Yass – see the map below.
When to go
Crookwell is a lovely place to visit year-round but to make it even more special, time your day trip to coincide with one of the town’s many events. The Crookwell Show rolls into town each February, the Potato Festival happens in May, the Garden Festival is on every November, and the Mary Gilmore Weekend promises art exhibitions, poetry and musical performances and historical displays each October.
The Laggan Village Markets run on the third Sunday of each month.
- Duration: 1 ½ hours’ drive from the CBD.
- Distance from Canberra: 110 km each way.
- More information: Aussie Towns: Crookwell
Are there any regional restaurants, venues or events you think Canberra Day Trips should visit soon? Let us know in the comments.