Five new trails in the Southern Tablelands – south-west of Sydney and west of the Great Dividing Range – will help visitors navigate the under-the-radar region’s best bits. Created by the NSW Government, with funding from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, the itineraries offer expert local advice on where to eat, drink and stay, and what to see, in towns including Tarago, Collector, Bungendore and Marulan.
Each of the trails offers something different. Wine, Water, Wonder shares the best culinary gems and wineries in the area, as well as a French-cooking class to try, galleries and stores to check out, and must-see lookouts along the way. You’ll stop at the Bushranger Hotel in Collector (where the ghost of a deceased publican is said to wander the halls), sip award-winning shiraz at Lerida Estate at the foot of the Cullerin Range, and dine at an eatery that uses olive oil made on-site.
Quaint villages, locally owned stores, secret gardens and farmstays are all on the Vibrant Villages & Passionate Producers schedule. And adventurers can opt for the Wild Hume: Nature & History itinerary, which suggests walking tracks through a eucalyptus forest, a signposted tour through historic Marulan, a wild caving adventure and a river for swimming.
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Off the Beaten Track offers heritage and nature-based walks, while Recharge in the Great Outdoors gives tips on waterways to visit, lush national parks to check out, and scenic villages for when you return to civilisation.
Each trail is self-guided and comes with information on how far you’ll be driving, how many towns you’ll stop in along the way, trip duration and driving time from Sydney. They also have maps and estimates of how long it takes to drive from town to town.