24 March 2020

Canberra Day Trips: Robertson – home of the Big Potato and a whole lot more

| Canberra Day Trips
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Robertson’s quirky Big Potato is a tourist drawcard. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The village of Robertson is known as the green heart of the Southern Highlands, and for good reason. It’s a picture-perfect destination that has several claims to fame. It’s surrounded by gorgeous waterfalls, is home to a renowned pie shop and cheese factory, was the setting for the smash hit movie Babe, and is the site of the quirky Big Potato.

Perched above Macquarie Pass and the Illawarra Escarpment, Robertson is at the centre of three major regions – the coast, the forest and inland towns like Bowral and Berrima. It’s at the heart of lush pasture country where you’ll see beef and dairy cows grazing, and is also widely known for potato growing, which explains the Big Potato, a structure that was created by a local grower in the 1970s.

Things to do

Robertson Pie Shop is a popular rest stop for travellers. Photo: Roger Allnutt.

  • The Big Potato is a local landmark just off the Illawarra Highway. At 10 metres long and four metres wide, the structure was originally built to contain a potato information centre, which didn’t eventuate. In more recent times, the locals have worked to turn the surrounding land into a park.
  • The Robertson Pie Shop, which you’ll find close to the top of Macquarie Pass, has 20+ sweet and savoury pies on offer.
  • While you’re treating yourself, drop into the old Robertson Cheese Factory, where you can grab a meal in the café or stock up on homemade cheeses to take with you and enjoy later.
  • Visit the National Trust-listed Robertson Heritage Railway Station.
  • If getting out into nature is more your thing, head to the rainforest walking trackin the Robertson Nature Reserve.
  • The Robertson Heritage Walk will take you to 12 significant locations around town, including the local railway station and historic buildings dating back to the 1880s.
  • Fitzroy Falls, Kangaroo Valley and Carrington Falls are nearby, and well worth a visit.

Getting there

It’s an easy highway drive from Canberra to Robertson via the Federal, Hume and Illawarra Highways. Follow the signs towards Sydney, and once past Marulan, keep an eye out for the turnoff to the Illawarra Highway. Follow the Illawarra Highway through Moss Vale, continue driving for another 20 minutes or so, and you’ll be there.

When to go

Photo: Facebook.

There’s always something to see and do in Robertson no matter the time of year.

Robertson Markets are a favourite every second Sunday of the month. Follow the village’s Facebook page for event listings, or read more about them here.

Key details

  • Duration: 2 hours each way.
  • Distance from Canberra: 180km.
  • Recommended for: film buffs, nature lovers, cheese aficionados and anyone interested in history.
  • More information: Visit NSW: Robertson

Do you know of any other towns with larger-than-life attractions like the Big Potato that you think we should visit?

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