G’day mates! Ever had that yearning to step into a living postcard? Well, let me whisk you away to the misty, rolling landscapes of the Southern Highlands, a place that’s as charming as a cuppa on a cool morning. Nestled a wee bit south of Sydney, this beauty of a region is like a well-aged wine, replete with character and begging to be savoured.
Just picture this: ancient trees standing tall amidst the early morning fog, roads winding through villages that seem like they’ve been plucked right out of an English countryside tale, and that deliciously crisp air that fills your lungs and teases your hair. Ah, the Highlands. A place where time doesn’t just stop; it waltzes gracefully, hand in hand with old-world charm.
Speaking of old-world, if there’s one thing the Highlands love as much as their rich history, it’s a good drop of vino. And boy, do they deliver! With vineyards that offer not just fine wines but panoramic views of the undulating hills, you’re in for a treat. Pair that with a platter of local cheeses, fresh bread, and perhaps a gourmet dish or two, and you’re not just eating; you’re journeying through the culinary soul of the region.
So, if your idea of a getaway involves lazy strolls in vintage lanes, sipping on some of the finest wines, and immersing yourself in a tapestry of culture and nature, well, mate, the Southern Highlands is calling. Ready to answer?
From Historic Mansions to Boutique B&Bs: Southern Highlands’ Luxury Accommodations
1. Berida Manor, Bowral
Berida Manor isn’t just a hotel; it’s a slice of the 1920s, echoing the Roaring Twenties right here in Bowral. Initially a grand residence, the manor today seamlessly blends its old-world charm of wooden accents and grand fireplaces with modern luxuries. Dive into their indoor heated pool, challenge someone to a game at their tennis court, or simply rejuvenate at the famed Berida Day Spa. Oh, and their European Bistro & Bar? Pure gourmet delight.
2. The Old Bank Boutique Hotel, Mittagong
Entering The Old Bank feels like stepping into another era. This 1890s majestic structure, once a bustling bank, now promises a wealth of experiences. The ‘Vault Suite’ especially stands out, offering a chance to sleep in an erstwhile bank vault. Set right in the heartbeat of Mittagong, you’re never too far from the town’s vibrant offerings of local cafés, boutiques, and antique treasures.
3. Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa
Perched regally atop the Highlands, this property is nothing short of a European fairytale brought to life. The vast gardens dotted with elegant fountains, bird baths, and trees that have seen generations come and go are reminiscent of nature’s canvas painted with a poetic touch. The Wellness Spa here is a sanctuary in every sense, with treatments that speak to the soul. And their Horderns Fine Dining Room? It’s a culinary voyage with a side of opulence.
4. The Loch, Berrima
At The Loch, mornings are magical. The shimmering waters of the lake, melodious tunes of birds, and the aromatic whiff of a freshly prepared farm-to-table breakfast set the tone. Sundays here are particularly special thanks to their legendary farm feasts that showcase the property’s very own produce. Whether you’re keen on engaging farming workshops or yearn for tranquil moments amidst nature, The Loch promises both.
5. Peppers Craigieburn, Bowral
History and luxury come together at Peppers Craigieburn. Over a century old, this property is an epitome of elegance, reflected in its period furnishings and classic decor. Golf enthusiasts have a treat waiting with the hotel’s private 9-hole golf course. Even if golf isn’t your sport, the sprawling greens beckon for leisurely strolls. The Hickory’s Restaurant and Bar, with its local produce-centric menu and an exquisite wine collection, ensures every meal becomes a cherished memory.
6. Fitzroy Inn, Mittagong
The Fitzroy Inn feels like it was plucked from the pages of a classic romance novel. This Victorian Regency venue, built in 1836, carries an ambiance of colonial grandeur with its ten luxury suites and historic schoolhouse. The Inn’s manicured gardens are the heart of the property, the perfect backdrop for high tea sessions. Beyond its stunning architecture, the inn is also home to a cellar brimming with the region’s finest wines, setting the mood for many an evening soirée.
7. Links House, Bowral
Links House whispers intimacy with its boutique nature. Built in 1928, this charming country guesthouse has managed to retain its original charm whilst injecting a touch of contemporary elegance. Each of its 17 rooms has its own unique character, decorated with a careful mix of antique and modern furnishings. Given its proximity to Bowral Golf Course, it’s an undeniable attraction for those looking to tee off in style. After a day of activities, their in-house restaurant, Ethos, invites guests for a gastronomic delight focusing on local produce.
8. Bendooley Estate, Berrima
If you’ve dreamt of a lakeside retreat with vineyards sprawling to the horizon, Bendooley Estate might just be your dream come true. Home to the iconic Berkelouw Book Barn, the estate allows you to snuggle up with a good book by the fireplace or indulge in wine tasting from their very own vineyard. Their cottages are a masterclass in luxury, each overlooking the serene lake or the poetic vineyards. Dine in the Book Barn Dining, where the ambiance is as palatable as the food.
9. Bowral Road Bed and Breakfast, Mittagong
Here, the B&B stands not just for bed and breakfast but also beauty & bliss. With a façade that exudes vintage charm and interiors that spell warmth, this B&B is all about cozy luxury. Mornings here are special, with a gourmet breakfast featuring the freshest of local ingredients served in their Victorian-style dining room or sunlit courtyard. Just a stone’s throw away from Mittagong’s attractions, it’s the perfect base to explore and return to after a day’s adventure.
10. Solar Springs Health Retreat, Bundanoon
A retreat in every sense, Solar Springs is where you come to recharge your body, soul, and senses. Nestled in the scenic town of Bundanoon, it overlooks the mesmerizing Morton National Park. Whether it’s yoga sessions at dawn, therapeutic massages in the afternoon, or culinary workshops using garden-fresh ingredients, Solar Springs promises holistic rejuvenation. Their rooms, bathed in earthy tones, ensure peaceful slumbers, making every morning a refreshing start.
High Living in the Highlands: Perks of Going Premium
Ah, the Southern Highlands, a place where the ordinary is turned extraordinary, especially when it comes to the high living experiences at the luxury accommodations. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
- Local Flavours: Imagine sipping a glass of local Pinot right amidst the vineyards from where it came, or tucking into a farm-to-fork meal in an English-style garden. Accommodations in the Southern Highlands often come with their own vineyards or exclusive culinary experiences that showcase the region’s rich bounty.
- Spa Days with a View: How about a massage with a view of Mount Gibraltar or a soak in a private tub overlooking rolling hills? Luxury in the Highlands isn’t just about plush beds and gourmet meals; it’s about indulgence in wellness where nature plays a vital backdrop.
- Heritage Experience: Many luxury spots here are housed in historic buildings, offering a beautiful blend of heritage with modern comforts. Enjoy an afternoon tea in a Victorian drawing-room or a stay in a converted barn filled with antique charm.
- Tranquility Galore: The art of ‘Highlands Relaxation’ is almost a philosophy here. With vast expanses of pristine landscapes and the muted elegance of old-world charm, relaxation becomes an immersive experience, not just a fleeting moment.
Now, those aren’t your run-of-the-mill hotel perks, are they? It’s a taste of the good life, done in true Highlands style.
Pack Your Pullover: Tips for Your Highlands Hideaway
So, you’re setting your sights on a Highland fling, eh? Here’s how to ensure it’s a memorable one:
- Seasonal Serenades: If tulips make your heart sing, plan your visit in spring. Autumn, with its golden leaves and crisp air, is perfect for those romantic getaways. And for the ones smitten by the idea of a misty, poetic winter, the Highlands won’t disappoint.
- Baggage Basics:
- The Cozy Jumper: Evenings in the Highlands can get a tad cool, so pack that snug pullover. It’s perfect for those evening strolls or wine sips by the fireplace.
- Sturdy Strollers: Planning to meander through the historic villages? Get those walking shoes in. You’ll thank me later.
- Wine Whiz Notebook: If wine tasting is on your agenda, a notebook to jot down those flavours and aromas might just come in handy. Who knows, you might discover a new favourite!
- Booking Brilliance: Want the room with the best view? Or perhaps the suite with the vintage bathtub? A little insider tip: Call the accommodation directly. You’d be surprised how often they’re willing to go the extra mile for guests who show keen interest. Plus, you might just snag some exclusive deals or experiences to make your stay even more luxurious.
With these tips in your travel arsenal, your Highland hideaway is sure to be both plush and perfect.
Catch Ya ‘Round the Highlands: Signing Off
Well, mates, as we wind up our plush journey through the verdant valleys and historic hamlets of the Southern Highlands, there’s one thing I can’t stress enough: this place is more than just a destination. It’s a mood. A lush tapestry of old-world allure seamlessly woven with today’s luxe comforts. Picture waking up in a heritage manor, the morning mist gently lifting over sprawling vineyards, while in the distance, the quaint hum of a village begins its day.
But you know, reading about it and living it are two different tales. The Southern Highlands isn’t just to be explored; it’s to be felt, lived, and cherished. So here’s my nudge: get down here and let the Highlands cast its spell on you. From its genteel charm to its unabashed luxury, it’s an experience that, I promise, will linger long after you’ve returned.
Sing Your Highlands Praise: Call to Action
Oi! Over to you, fellow luxe-travel lovers. Ever had a swanky Southern Highlands stay? A twilight wine tasting, perhaps, or a memorable night in a regal room with a roaring fireplace? I’m all ears! Drop your tales, tips, and titbits in the comments below – there’s nothing like a good Highlands yarn.
And hey, if this guide added even a smidge of wanderlust to your day, why not spread the love? Share it with your mates, your fam, or that mate who’s a tad too obsessed with luxury travels (we all have one, don’t we?).
Oh, and just before you dash off – fancy a regular dose of Australian luxury, sprinkled with travel tips and a dash of my cheeky humour? Click on over to the newsletter. Trust me, it’s more tempting than a Southern Highlands pinot on a chilly eve. Catch ya later, explorers!