Bowral

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Bowral draws grey nomads
Grey nomads are being hit for six by Bowral

While many grey nomads are initially drawn to the New South Wales town of Bowral because of its association with cricketing legend, Sir Donald Bradman, most leave with a much deeper appreciation of its many qualities.

Located just 126 kilometres from Sydney in the Southern Highlands, the town of 14,000 or so lucky residents boasts many historic buildings, pavement cafes, bookstores, craft shops, art galleries, museums, and excellent shopping facilities … and there are some great wineries on its doorstep.

Bowral has a strong artistic vibe and this is best evidenced at Ten Thousand Paces, a hybrid gallery, shop, arts project and regional wine hub.  The town also boasts some superb festivals – most notably the Tulip Festival held every Spring – to draw in the crowds.

For grey nomads, of course, its location just off the Hume Highway is another reason to ensure Bowral is included in that already crowded Big Lap itinerary.  There are bush camping options around, and also caravan parks at the nearby historic towns of Moss Vale and Mittagong.

Situated in a valley at the foot of the 863-metre Mt. Gibraltar, Bowral is in a beautiful area and has been ‘enhanced’ by a century or more of the planting of exotic deciduous trees, English gardens, and annual massed displays of bulbs and perennials.  Corbett Gardens in the centre of town is a great place to see the results, and an eye-popping 100,000 tulips are on display at the hugely popular Spring Garden Festival held at the end of September each year.

To get a more holistic sense of the area’s stunning beauty, a drive up to Mt Gibraltar is highly recommended, as is a stop at some stunning lookouts on the way, including the Bowral Lookout and Mount Jellore Lookout. There also a great variety of walking trails available.

Being so close to Sydney, Bowral has long been a place where wealthy people from the state capital have gravitated towards, and this is reflected in the magnificent historic buildings and mansions in the area.  Highlights include a series of old cottages made from a locally mined a volcanic rock called trachyte, and the courthouse, police station, the council offices, and St Jude’s Church …all built at the end of the 19th Century. But, for many sporting ‘tragics’ the real highlight remains  a trip to the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame.  Through interactive experiences and seeing numerous cricket artefacts, visitors can trace the rich history of our national sport … and its most iconic player.

No wonder so many grey nomads are hit for six by a visit to Bowral.

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