If you’re looking for things to do over the Easter long weekend, why not consider a road trip to the Kangaroo Valley region.
My most recent road trip took me through the beautiful landscapes of the Kangaroo Valley – only about a two-hour drive from Canberra along the Hume and Illawarra Highways.
One of the stops on this road trip was the popular tourist spot of Fitzroy Falls, which is located just off the Illawarra Highway. Fitzroy Falls has established paths, a visitor centre, café and other facilities such as picnic tables. Parking on site is $3 per car.
It’s a short walk to the first lookout which hangs at the top of the Fitzroy Falls and has spectacular views out to the mountains beyond.
To get a better view of the falls, head to the next lookout, which is located about five minutes further along the track. I preferred this lookout to the first one as you get a full view of the falls.
For lunch, we decided on a pub lunch and chose the Friendly Inn Hotel on Mona Vale Road in Kangaroo Valley. This pub has a fantastic beer garden out the back with large tables shaded by trees and umbrellas. It’s also a good spot for families with a playground for the kids, as well as a giant chess board.
This place has a good menu filled with burgers, the typical schnitzels and parmi dishes, and other pub fare. It’s all fairly reasonably priced for a tourist town and the meals are huge – I didn’t even get through half of my meal. As you would expect, the town also has a good selection of shops for gifts, home wares, lollies and baked goods.
Venturing on with full stomachs, we headed onto Belmore Falls. There isn’t signage all the way but the route we took from the Friendly Inn Hotel took us back towards Fitzroy Falls on Moss Vale Road, and just before the reservoir you turn onto Myra Vale Road and then there’s signs a few kilometres along pointing you to Belmore Falls.
It’s an unsealed road part of the way into Belmore Falls but easily accessible by a 2WD. There is a low bridge (pictured below) however with flood level markers, so if there’s been recent heavy rainfall you may not be able to get up to the lookout. If you head up to the lookout it has a good view of the falls, which cascade over two levels.
If you want to have a quick dip, stop by the low bridge (there are some parking areas nearby). There’s a lookout there as well, but if you’re game you can go for swim above the waterfall. The water is now a little chilly but on a sunny day it’s still worth a try. This is another place that seems quite undiscovered and off the tourist trail – there were only a handful of cars near the lookout and no one at the top of the waterfall when we stopped for a swim.
If you have small children, Carrington Falls is only about 30 minutes further along the Illawarra Highway and Jamberoo Mountain Road and is a better place for children to swim as there are more protected swimming spots (pictured below) away from cliff edges.
Of course, no road trip to the Kangaroo Valley is complete without a winery stop. Southern Highland Wines is located off the Illawarra Highway at Sutton Forest and is a convenient stop on the way either to or from Canberra. Southern Highland Wines has a restaurant and a cellar door. The restaurant was very busy on our stop with nice views of the surrounding area and a reasonably priced menu for a winery.
Wine tastings are $5 per person but you get that off the cost of any wine purchased. They had a good selection of wines, the riesling was my favourite, while my friend enjoyed the pinot noir. The cellar door is open every day for tastings from 10am to 5pm. Their website doesn’t say anything about public holiday opening times so best to check ahead by phoning 02 4868 2300 if you’re planning to head up there over Easter .02 4868 2300