The Southern Highlands
a perfect place to raise a family
The Southern Highlands is the area centred on the commercial towns of Mittagong, Bowral, Moss Vale, Bundanoon and Robertson as well as the historic town ofBerrima. Smaller villages like Burradoo, Colo Vale, Avoca, Yerrinbool, Exeter, Welby and many more that make up the Wingecarribee Shire are spread in between and around these main centres and serve mostly as residential areas.
The Highlands geographically sits between 500m and 900m above sea level on the Great Dividing Range. Like other regions along this plateau such as the Blue Mountains to the north and the Australian Alps to the south, the Southern Highlands is known for its cool temperate climate.
The Southern Highlands as a region is part of the larger Capital Country Region with the Highlands forming the northern part of the region and the Southern Tablelandsforming the southern part of the region.
The Southern Highland’s council, Wingecarribee Shire, is home to about 44,379 (2006) residents and is growing at a rate of 2.1% per annum. Majority of the residents (84.5%) are Australian-born with the minority of the population being (15%) born overseas, primarily Europe. The population density of the Highlands is 16.5 persons/km2.
At the 2011 census, Mittagong had a population of 8,103 people. The town acts as the gateway to the Southern Highlands when coming from Sydney. Mittagong is situated at an elevation of 635 metres (2,083 ft). The town is close to Bowral, Berrima, Moss Vale and the Northern Villages such as Yerrinbool and Colo Vale. Moreover, Mittagong is home to many wineries of the Southern Highlands which has been a recent growing wine and cellar door region.
The town offers visitors the chance to explore its history, scenery, small waterfalls, bushwalks and its famed “Waratah” flowering in November. A chamber music festival is held each Easter. Tourists can visit Mount Gibraltar, Lake Alexandra and various wineries located around and in Mittagong. It also features one of the first iron mining sites in Australia, close to Lake Alexandra. The main street boasts a wide array of retailers and many antique shops.
Notably, Mittagong is close to many of the Southern Highland’s wineries and cellar doors. The wineries have established themselves in the region since the 1980s due to the soil and climate of Mittagong which is believed to be perfect for viticulture.
Mittagong is home to an abandoned historical building complex known as the “Maltings”. In the past, The Maltings served as malthouses for the old major beer company of New South Wales, Tooth and Co. One of the malthouse buildings can be seen when entering Mittagong on the Old Hume Highway from Braemar. This building is one of the original buildings and is over 100 years old
Bowral is considered the commercial centre of the Highlands and may be the most well-known towns of the Highlands. Bowral is well known for its boutiques, gourmetrestaurants, Corbett Gardens and renowned Springetts Arcade. The town is also home to the Sir Donald Bradman or Bradman Museum.
Berrima is a village located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of Bowral and 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) south west of Mittagong that once served as the main town of the Highlands. Notably, the region of Bowral, Mittagong and Berrima and various villages including the Northern Villages used to be known as the Berrima District. Berrima contains many historic buildings including the historical Berrima Gaol and Courthouse which is in use today and many other historical buildings.