Best day trips from Canberra


A view over Cooma from Mt Gladstone Lookout.

Most of us love a good road trip and we’re pretty lucky in Canberra to have so many great places close enough to visit relatively easily in a day. This short list of the best day trips from Canberra has been compiled based on the suggestions from the previous post, along with comments from other similar posts.

Whether you’ve just moved to Canberra or you’ve lived here your whole life, there are sure to be a few destinations you’ve never been to, so why not add them to your must-visit list. Please also feel free to let me know if you have any other recommendations and I’ll try to incorporate them into any future updates. Enjoy!

Less than one hours’ drive 

  • Hall (Approx 15 kms/20 mins): While it’s technically still within the ACT border and barely qualifies for day trip status, the monthly Hartley Hall markets are worth a visit.
  • Gundaroo (Approx 40 kms/35 mins): A small and cute place within easy reach for lunch with a visit to the cork street café recommended. Grazings Restaurant is also considered ‘top notch’.
  • Bungendore (Approx 40 kms/40 mins): Not a bad little town within easy reach. Visit the village antiques store, the wood works gallery, the Paul Kowalski photography gallery or take some time out relaxing at Lake George.
  • Murrambateman (Approx 40 kms/40 mins): This is one for the wine lovers, with so many wineries to choose from. Recommendations include the Four Winds Vineyard for its wood-fired pizzas, the Shaw Vineyard Estate for its lovely setting, Eden Roads Wines for its knowledgeable staff, Gallagher Wines for its friendly staff and Flint in the Vines for a long leisurely lunch. The local pub also received a mention, as did the Murrumbateman Field Days.
  • Collector (Approx 60 kms/45 mins): The Bushranger Hotel is a great pub with an excellent café/bistro, the Linwood Café is lovely and there are some nice wineries nearby.

1-2 hour drive

  • Yass (Approx 60 kms/1 hr): An old town which was (and may still be) home to some ‘big money’ families with farms in the area. Hume Cottage is a great example of architectural evolution and there are a lot of sites of great significance to the various Aboriginal peoples who have called the region home. The Peter Crisp Galleries are well worth a visit with amazing glass wares and beautiful gardens.
  • Captains Flat (Approx 60 kms/1 hr): A quirky old mining town with an old pub that boasts about previously having the longest running bar in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Gunning (Approx 70 kms/1 hr): Pay a visit to the local pub the Telegraph Hotel or enjoy the monthly Gunning Market.
  • Braidwood (Approx 85 kms/Just over 1 hr): This heritage listed town is one of the few left in Australia to retain its original Georgian town plan. Make sure you visit the old fashioned lolly shop and the Dojo bakery with bread to die for!
  • Goulburn (Approx 90 kms/Just over 1 hr): This relatively large regional city has a charm about it and you can tell that historically there was plenty of wool money there evidenced by some nice architecture. If you haven’t already met the Big Merino it’s almost a rite of passage for every visitor to Goulburn.
  • Wee Jasper (Approx 90 kms/1.5 hrs): While Wee Jasper received some mixed reviews because there isn’t a town centre as such, you may find it an interesting place with some good camping/picnic/bushwalking spots beside the river.
  • Crookwell (Approx 115 kms/1.5 hrs): Crookwell is an experience with rolling green hills and some really nice B&Bs and self-contained accommodation. It’s also well worth driving on a little further to the Pub of The Mill in Laggan.
  • Cooma (Approx 115 kms/1.5 hrs): There’s plenty to choose from in Cooma in its location en route to the snowfields. The Lott was recommended for a great feed.
  • Jugiong (Approx 120 kms/1.5 hrs): Not a great many attractions other than the pool and a monument to Richie Benaud, however there is a fabulous café serving homemade organic jams and sauces for sale and a great fruit and veg store.
  • Taralga (Approx 135 kms/Just over 1.5 hrs): A gorgeous place an the Taralga Hotel is definitely worth a visit.
  • Southern Highlands (Approx 160 kms/Just under 2 hrs): So many great towns to visit in the district including Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale, Berrima and Bundanoon among other smaller towns. A must-do trip for those who have never been.
  • Gundagai (Approx 160 kms/Just under 2 hrs): Gundagai is small but cute. There is a café with wooden booths that has gone unchanged since the 50s and a big park with an old wooden bridge.
  • Batemans Bay (Approx 150 kms/2 hrs): Batemans Bay is a charming seaside town with plenty to do. It is also well worth driving on a little further to Mogo where there are some great crafty shops and a zoo. Only downside is that traffic can tend to build when it’s time to head home.
  • Young (Approx 160kms/2 hrs): Boasts some great eateries and apparently, the car museum in Binalong is worth a stop on the way back.
Prince Alfred bridge

Prince Alfred bridge – Gundagai.

More than a 2 hour drive

  • Moruya (Approx 175 kms/Just over 2 hrs)
  • Cowra (Approx 190kms/Just over 2 hrs): Cowra isn’t too far away and the Japanese Gardens are worth a look.
  • Kangaroo Valley (Approx 200 kms/2.5 hrs): Definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a touch of nature, with Fitzroy Falls, Carrington Falls and Belmore Falls all noted as highlights.
  • Yarrangobilly caves (Approx 170 kms/2.5 hrs)
  • Wombeyan caves (Approx 170 kms/Just over 2 hrs)
  • Nowra (Approx 190 kms/2.5 hrs): Beautiful beaches and if you’re game, if drive another 40 minutes to Jervis Bay.
  • Kosciuszko National Park (Approx 200 kms/2.5 hrs): A beautiful natural environment, home to the Thredbo Ski Resort and the towns of Crackenback and Jindabyne.
  • Bundawang National Park (Approx 200 kms/2.5 hours): Offers spectacular day hikes.
  • Temora (Approx 200 kms/2.5 hours): The Aviation Museum received a few mentions.
  • Tumut (Approx 200 kms/2.5 hrs): A typical but great country town.
  • Picton (Approx 215 kms/2.5 hrs)
  • Ulladulla (Approx 200 kms/Just over 2.5 hrs)
  • Canowindra (Approx 220 kms/Just over 2.5 hrs): Great for foodies, with the Spanokopita from a place called The Shed receiving an honourable mention.
  • Narooma (Approx 220 kms/3 hrs)

What's Your Opinion?

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6 Responses to Best day trips from Canberra
batmantrilogy batmantrilogy 1:24 pm 27 Nov 15

perfect get away on a weekend . Beautiful spot

Ian Ian 11:28 pm 13 Mar 15

When you visit Fitzroy and/or Carrington Falls, Belmore Falls are also in the same area, near Robertson, and well worth a look.

farnarkler farnarkler 10:03 pm 12 Mar 15

There is a lot around; Yarrangobilly caves or maybe Wombeyan if you got up early and got back late. Temora is fun when the planes are flying. If you like your motor racing, Wakefield Park is only an hour away just out of Goulburn. Old Berrima is nice too. There may be some gold still in the ground at places like at Araluen or Majors Creek.

Maya123 Maya123 4:53 pm 12 Mar 15

MERC600 said :

You could wander over to Temora. Its not to far away. Just slip out of Yass, go a little way along the Hume, then throw a righty onto a reasonable country highway.

Temora has a exceptional aviation museum , and a rural museum that is very good.

You could then wander back through Cootamundra where Sir Donald Bradman was born , and have a squiz at his home.

If you are going to Temora, the Barmedman Mineral Pool is not far away.
I used to be taken there as a child. In those days the pool bottom was dirt. It was free. Don’t know if it is now.

MERC600 MERC600 1:28 pm 12 Mar 15

You could wander over to Temora. Its not to far away. Just slip out of Yass, go a little way along the Hume, then throw a righty onto a reasonable country highway.

Temora has a exceptional aviation museum , and a rural museum that is very good.

You could then wander back through Cootamundra where Sir Donald Bradman was born , and have a squiz at his home.

Dame Canberra Dame Canberra 12:26 pm 12 Mar 15

I didn’t know about Carrington Falls but it looks amazing. Might have to make the day trip on the weekend! I’ve heard that there are some pretty spectacular day hikes in the Budawangs on the way to the south coast too, which I’d like to try too.

Flint in the Vines in Murrumbateman is my pick for a long leisurely lunch just outside of Canberra. A really lovely spot with great food.

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