9 December 2017

Canberra Day Trips: Mittagong

| Canberra Day Trips
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Central Mittagong, via Aussie Towns.

Historic Mittagong is a bustling country town where old and new exist side by side. It’s the home of Australia’s first iron works but more recently, is beginning to gain acknowledgement for its growing wine region and cellar doors. It has several high-standard art galleries and antique and craft shops to browse. The town has excellent accommodation and plenty of places to grab a meal.

Why you’ll love it

There is no shortage of things to do in Mittagong. The golf course is first-class, the cool-climate vineyards are flourishing, there are cellar doors and open gardens to visit, and the beautiful landscape is well suited to walking or cycling.

Check out the wine tours on offer, but if you don’t have time to do that, several restaurants in town serve local wines, and there are plenty of other places to eat.


Nature lovers will find plenty to see in Mittagong. Lake Alexandra Reserve is an ideal spot for a picnic, and there’s a pretty lakeside path to work off your lunch with a stroll or jog. Also worth a look are Nattai Gorge lookout and the Box Vale Mine walking track, which follows an old railway line. Or try the Fitzroy Inn History Walk and take a stroll through early Australian history.

If you like getting a bird’s eye view of your surroundings, there are several lookouts on the surrounding hills. Mount Gibraltar, Mt Alexandra, and Gibbergunyah Reserve all have elevated spots from which you can see the region spread out before you.

If shopping is more your thing, drop into Sturt Craft or the Mittagong Antique Centre. The main street offers some excellent shopping opportunities, and you can take a look at the historic buildings while you’re there. Stop for a rest in Winifred West Park with its brilliant displays of flowers during spring and summer.

Getting there

Mittagong is on the main driving route between Canberra and Sydney. The town once straddled the busy road until the freeway bypassed it in the 1990s. Now, it’s a short diversion off the main road. It’s smooth highway driving all the way.

When to go

If you’d like to see the gardens of Mittagong at their best, November is when the rare white Waratahs are in bloom, and the gardens come alive. The Open Garden scheme usually operates in spring and autumn. The milder seasons are best for outdoor pursuits but anytime is a good time for food and wine buffs to visit.

Key details

  • Duration: the drive from the Canberra CBD is just under two hours
  • Distance from Canberra: around 175km
  • Recommended for: history buffs, people interested in crafts or antiques, walkers, gardeners and nature lovers.
  • More information: Destination Southern Highlands

Have you stopped in Mittagong lately? Any spots you’d recommend?

Header image from Aussie Towns: Mittagong NSW.

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