Ask any Canberran where they think is the top place to go for a romantic getaway that’s close to Canberra, and a common answer is ‘The Southern Highlands’.
And they’re so right!
The Southern Highlands IS the place to go for a romantic getaway with a loved one, or even for just some time out from life.
It truly is one of the most beautiful regions in Australia, and I absolutely love it. So much so, that I’m manifesting hard everyday so I can someday live in a beautiful manor house there…
For those who are unaware, The Southern Highlands is a glorious region, located 1.5 hours drive south of Sydney, and 2 hours north of Canberra. It is made up of many towns and villages, each with their own unique character, charm and attractions. These towns include Moss Vale, Mittagong, Bowral, Berrima, Robertson, Bundanoon, Canyonleigh, Fitzroy Falls, Exeter, Burrawang, Sutton Forrest, and Joadja.
A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend Sam and I headed up to The Southern Highlands, in particular Bowral, Moss Vale and Burrawang, for a much needed weekend away for some R&R.
When investigating the best place to stay to get the best R&R experience, we couldn’t resist the incredible, luxurious country features of Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa.
Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa is an esteemed five star luxury hotel offering supreme accommodation, dining and spa experiences. Surrounded by sprawling World Heritage listed gardens, Milton Park is set apart in its own secluded hill top woodland just east of Bowral.
The heart of the hotel is a grand mansion, which was built in the turn of the 20th century, and MY GOD does it have character! The estate offers breathtaking views to the horizon in every direction over gardens which are some of the best I have ever seen – so magical.
Upon arrival into Milton Park on a rainy Saturday evening, Sam and I ventured into a world of luxury that we had never experienced before (and were very thankful to experience).
As we drove up the grand driveway of the estate, and saw the grand mansion, we knew that this was the place to spend a fantastic weekend away. From the moment we stepped foot in the hotel, we were greeted with incredible hospitality, as well as a beautiful hotel interior and hotel room.
Upon entry into Milton Park, you will instantly feel like you’re a world away with the warm and inviting beautifully furnished sitting rooms, cozy fireplaces, charming antiques, and French Provincial meets Grand Country Manor interiors, all throughout. And I cannot forget to mention the irresistible accommodation rooms, which really do give you a good reason to never leave!
The hotel was a hustle and bustle when we arrived on Saturday evening, which gave me a strong indication that this WAS the place to visit and stay on a cold and rainy weekend.
Actually, I feel that it would be like this most weekends; especially in winter.
We were treated to a night in the Milton Park Forest Suite, which is a suite that perfectly characterises the timeless elegance for which Milton Park is renowned. It ticked all the boxes for us with it’s stunning views of the Estate Gardens, A FOUR POSTER BED!!, marble bathroom with spa bath (which was massive!), FIREPLACE!! (aka, the best feature ever), along with all the comfortable amenities you need for a weekend away.
It was here at Milton Park where we could really switch off from reality, and focus on the present.
With the rain drizzling down, we really enjoyed sitting out on the balcony, overlooking the Estate Gardens.
On Sunday morning, we ventured out into the wet and wandered around the Milton Park grounds with our mouths constantly wide open in awe of how incredible they were.
We probably spent an hour and a half just walking through paths, admiring the different garden scenes, whilst Sam played photographer and got artsy with some shots of what we saw. At one point we walked to the top of a hill, and looked out to see low cloud and a magical sort of mist that was washing over the green scenery. I think that’s when we both felt truly relaxed and at ease.
What I’m Wearing
Jacket – Zara
Top – Viktoria & Woods
Pants – Bohemian Traders
Shoes – Walnut Melbourne
For lunch, we drove 15 minutes down the road to Burrawang, which is most definitely the most beautiful country town I’ve ever visited! We were treated to a delicious, and very hearty lunch at Burrawang General Store, which is located right in the towns centre.
Built in 1867, Burrawang General Store has developed from a traditional General Store to a culinary destination for locals, as well as visitors to the Southern Highlands. Open Sunday- Thursday, the Burrawang General Store Cafe prepares and serves a high quality and innovative menu with a large emphasis on local produce.
We were able to relax right in the middle of the warm and inviting cafe, and admire the interior which is filled with old General Store memorabilia and gorgeous timber features. This is THE cafe, and region that you need to visit during your next trip to The Southern Highlands, and I can assure you, you wont be disappointed!
The front of the General Store also provided as a great spot for an outfit photo…how could I not resist!
What I’m Wearing
Jumper – MNG
Jeans – Atmos & Here
Shoes – Walnut Melbourne
Once our tummies were full with delicious food (I had the cauliflower soup – yum!), we ventured into Bowral and headed straight to Dirty Jane’s.
Dirty Jane’s is the ideal spot for a touch of vintage shopping, and it’s here where you will find 75+ dealers spread across 3 large warehouse spaces with a range of antique and vintage furniture, lighting, vintage clothing, jewellery, books and so much more.
After rummaging around for a couple of hours and checking out their new space next door, we then ventured into new cafe, The Press Shop, for a quick coffee stop.
It is here at The Press Shop where you will find a unique cafe experience, as well as gorgeous stationary, in the heart of Bowral. The Press Shop’s interior is absolutely beautiful, and most days you can even watch the vintage presses in action whilst you enjoy your coffee and house made treats.
Post our lunch and wander around Bowral, we headed back to Milton Park (we couldn’t get enough of the place!), where we played a round of pool in the sophisticated billiard room, where I didn’t want to touch anything for fear of breaking it! We had one last wander through the grounds, and then sadly and reluctantly hopped in the car and made the trip back to Canberra.
There is most definitely SO MUCH more to see and do in The Southern Highlands, which is why regular trips up there are a must.
Next time we visit, I would love to check out a winery or two, and spend a couple of nights at Milton Park, so that we have more time to enjoy it, and visit their wellness spa too!
A bit about the regions in which we visited…
The largest town in the Highlands, Bowral is full of historic buildings, stunning country gardens and grand estates. It’s also known for it’s array of antique home wares stores, markets, galleries and bookshops. Last year I wrote a post on places to visit in Bowral, click here to read it.
Moss Vale is most known for its gardens, walking areas and boutique shopping. The main street is full of amazing home wares stores and fantastic cafe’s.
Burrawang is most definitely a town where you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. It’s truly magical with its quaint and pretty old country charm. It has great country hospitality, and is so scenic you’ll literally just want to drive around there for hours and admire all the wonderful estates.