10 February 2020

Canberra Day Trips: Junee - a treasure trove for licorice and chocolate-lovers

| Canberra Day Trips
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Lorne Street in Junee. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Have you been to Junee? If you are a fan of chocolate or licorice, put it on your list of places to visit, because the magnificent Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory is one of the town’s star attractions. But there are plenty of other ways to enjoy a day in Junee. Its beautifully preserved buildings dating back to the 1800s will delight history buffs while railway enthusiasts will enjoy the largest working railway roundhouse in the southern hemisphere. There’s an urban wetland teeming with plants and wildlife, you can explore a haunted house, and there’s lots more to discover too.

The medium-sized town of Junee sits in the Riverina region of NSW, around half an hour from Wagga. It was founded in the glory days of the government railways and these days, combines old-world charm with modern lifestyle. Junee’s economy is based on agriculture, rail transport, light industry and correctional services – it’s the location of Junee Correctional Centre.

Things to do

The entrance to Junee Chocolate and Licorice Factory. Photo: Facebook.

For a tasty adventure, visit the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory, the home of Green Grove Organics. The five-storey brick building it hard to miss. Sign up for a factory tour and see how licorice is made, and enjoy some tasty samples of chocolate as you go. There’s lots to see and an extensive shop if you want to stock up on some chocolately treats to take home. If you’re up for a more substantial meal, The Millroom has outdoor and indoor dining. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and coffee.

If you’re a thrill-seeker, brave the renowned haunted house at Monte Cristo Junee. It’s known as Australia’s most haunted house, so be prepared to be scared!

A great way to explore Junee is on foot. Grab some info from the Junee Visitor Information Centre. You’ll find it in the Broadway Museum, which is a heritage-listed pub built in 1914. There are interesting discoveries about the railways, the bushranger era and the discovery of gold waiting to be made. Here’s some more information about the self-guided Junee Heritage Tours. There’s a café in the museum for when you’re finished walking.

Take a short drive out of town and explore the natural beauty of Bethungra Dam and Sandy Beach Reserve, both great spots for camping if you’d like to extend your stay.

Getting there

Junee’s Broadway Hotel has a history dating back to 1914. Photo: Denisbin.

From Canberra, take the Barton Highway to its intersection with the Hume Highway near Yass. Continue until Gundagai, where you’ll see signs to Olympic Way and Junee.

When to go

  • Plan your visit to coincide with festivals and events such as the Junee Poker Run and Blues night, Junee Rhythm n Rail Festival, Riverina Schoolboys Football Carnival, Illabo Country Music Stampede, or the Bethungra Markets.
  • The Junee Farmers Market is held on the second Sunday of the month
  • The annual Junee Rhythm ‘n’ Rail Festival in March celebrates the railway heritage as well as local wines and produce, with steam train rides, live music and activities for the whole family, from carnival rides to heritage trains to vintage cars.

Key details

  • Duration: 2.5 hours via the Hume Highway and Olympic Highway
  • Distance from Canberra: 222 km each way
  • Recommended for: Junee happily combines a taste of yesteryear with its modern lifestyle and culture. Visit Junee to explore a rich history in rail, gold and bushrangers
  • More information: Visit NSW: Junee

Our number one favourite thing to do in Junee is to visit the chocolate and liquorice factory. Do you know of any other foodie locations we should visit in the region?

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