Eat, drink and play your way through the Southern Highlands region.
Winter is the perfect time to pack up the car and get out of the big smoke. A quick 1.5 hour drive south west of Sydney’s CBD, the Southern Highlands is ultimate winter destination, with its quaint cafés, fine dining restaurants, boutique shops and beautiful wineries. Home to towns like Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale, Berrima and more, we reveal exactly where you should eat, drink, play and stay in this stunning NSW region.
Birch Restaurant, Moss Vale
Birch Restaurant is fairly new to the Southern Highlands dining scene, opening in the historic Moss Vale post office in late 2017. Evident from the outset though is the passion owners Glenn and Renée Wallace have for great food and hospitality, translating into a menu both refined and incredibly abundant. Head Chef Ben Bamford’s close ties with local producers and suppliers results in a constantly evolving menu, available as à la carte or as a five-course degustation. Do yourself a favour and put Birch on your radar. It’s an absolute must visit.
Birch, 2/249 Argyle Street, Moss Vale, Southern Highlands.
After a day of frolicking in the region, nothing beats retiring to an open fire with a selection of carefully curated drinks and great food. Bistro Sociale, a European-inspired restaurant inside the iconic Berida Hotel, ticks the romance box with its cosy chesterfield lounges, low-lit nooks and impressive food and drinks offering. Sip your way through a dedicated gin menu or take your pick from locally sourced wines and beers. The food takes its cues from the French countryside, with highlights including a rib-eye on the bone with lemon and pomme frites.
Bistro Sociale, 6 David Street Bowral. Open 7 days for breakfast and dinner, as well as brunch and lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.
Rated one of the top restaurants in regional NSW, Biota Dining is the ultimate showcase of local Australian produce. Let chef-owner James Viles guide you through his 5 or 7 course set degustation, sit back in the sun-drenched dining room and get ready to be suitably impressed.
Biota Dining, 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral. Open 12pm-11pm 7 days.
Opening in the front bar of Biota in early 2019, don’t get Bertha’s Meats confused with its fine dining sister. They might be co-owned by chef James Viles, but they have two completely different identities. Bertha’s Meats encourages casual dining with its mouthwatering low-and-slow barbecue, craft beers, locally supplied wines and hard booze. If you’re a herbivore, steer clear, this is a meat lover’s domain.
Bertha’s Meats, 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral. Open Thurs-Mon 12pm-10pm.
With the rolling countryside in the backdrop, McVitty Grove hits the mark as an aesthetically pleasing dining pit-stop. Service is personable and relaxed, the menu carrying itself with a selection of contemporary Australian dishes and locally sourced wines.
434 Wombeyan Caves Road, Woodlands, Open Weds to Sun 10am-4pm, Fri to Sat 6pm-10pm.
It’s not uncommon to see a lengthy line of people waiting outside this bustling patisserie. With three locations (all conveniently located in the Southern Highlands), take your pick from a selection of lovingly made cakes, tarts, slices, biscuits and more. You might have to wait for your cake, but once you eat it, you’ll know it was worth every second.
Offering breathtaking views across the vineyards, no wine tour of the Southern Highlands is complete without a visit to Centennial Vineyards. The cellar door is open daily from 10am to 5pm, giving you the opportunity to sip your way through their range, with a focus on cool climate grape growing and winemaking. The restaurant offers a relaxed alfresco dining experience, made all the more appealing by a big open fireplace.
Family owned, Cuttaway Hill Winery honour the tradition of cold climate grape growing and wine making. The result is a range of great table wines, blending traditional and new world wine styles. You can visit the Cuttaway Hill cellar door every week Thursday through to Monday and taste your way through their range.
Cuttaway Hill Winery, 212 Sallys Corner Road Exeter NSW.
This urban cellar door, brewery and soon-to-be smokehouse sits in stark contrast to its neighbouring wineries. The industrial space houses an impressive array of wine barrels and brew tanks, giving wine and beer lovers alike the opportunity to taste your way through the sustainable and bio-dynamic range.
Tractorless Vineyard, 3/11 Pikkat Drive, Braemar NSW, Open 7 days 10:30am-4:30pm.
Looking for a little adventure on your weekend vay-cay? Look no further than the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Adventures. As Australia’s premier treetop walk, set aside an hour of your day to experience the 1.5km walk through the rainforest, with 500 metres of steel walkway nestled in the canopies 20-30 metres above ground. For the adrenaline junkies, they also offer zip line tours both during the day and after dark!
Originally built as a private home in 1925, the Berida Hotel comes oozing in history and charm. Here you’ll notice exceptional attention to detail, with everything from the eclectic wall paper to the vintage chandeliers and European artwork all working in perfect harmony. Boasting 43 recently resorted rooms, the Berida Hotel is the place to book for when you feel like all the comforts of a hotel (including a daily house cleaning service, a buffet breakfast and fitness facilities) minus the generic cookie cutter hotel feel.
Berida Hotel, 6 David Street, Bowral, NSW, 2576.
This article was proudly brought to in partnership with Destination NSW.