On Saturday morning, Mum and I made the 1.5 hour trip up to Bowral in the Southern Highlands, NSW.

Bowral is the largest town in the Southern Highlands and serves as a glorious rural retreat for both Sydneysiders and Canberrans, all throughout the year.

Best known for it’s picturesque location, boutiques, antique stores and gourmet cafes and restaurants; Bowral is a great spot for a quick day trip, or weekend stay.


As Mum and I began the drive up from Canberra to this gorgeous countryside, I started to realise that I need to start doing this more often.

Living in Canberra means that we are so lucky to live in an area where we are surrounded by some truly magical country towns – and they need to be explored! Who agree’s that there is nothing better than taking a day or two out from city life, and immersing yourself in the calm and relaxed countryside environment? I sure do!

We arrived in Bowral at around 11.30am, and found a park right out the front of Dirty Jane’s Emporium– perfect! I’ve heard so much about Dirty Jane’s from many friends, so I knew we would be in for a good shopping experience.

Dirty Jane’s is the ideal spot for a touch of vintage shopping, and here 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.

Mum and I were absolutely overwhelmed when we first stepped inside, and I was instantly drawn (as I always am) to the installations on the roof, the vintage furniture and of course; the vintage clothes.

We spent a good hour here rummaging around and found quite a few things that we wanted to bring home with us (which we did later on in the day when we came back for Round 2!).


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Dirty Jane’s Emporium Bowral –

Soon enough we became pretty hungry and decided that before we could press on with the shopping and rummaging around, we needed to re-fuel.

After reading a Southern Highland’s bloggers post about where to eat in Bowral, we found the perfect spot to stop and eat – at Grand Bistro, which was an absolute delight!

The interior was spot on, service was to a tee, and the food was delicious (the soy chai latte’s received a 10/10 too!).

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Grand Bistro Bowral –

After a MUCH needed feed, we began our way up and down Bowral’s main shopping street – Bong Bong Street, and ventured in and out of some seriously cute and chic stores and cafes!

A few of my favourites included:

Raw & Wild Market & Cafe

This was literally my heaven in a store. Organic fruit and veggies, wholefoods, healthy snacks and treats – I could of definitely spent lots of money in here!

Part market and part cafe, this place was a hustle and a bustle and although we didn’t eat here, I am definitely planning to next time!

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This is a cute lifestyle store situated in an old converted home – which made for a gorgeous fitting inside.

This store stocks some renowned contemporary designers with a range of fashion, jewellery, home-wares and candles.

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Lancelot Hill Antiques

This antique store was pretty wild and wacky, but a great one to explore nonetheless! I was immediately drawn to its mystical, overgrown storefront, and inside stocked some real treasures.

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Suzie Anderson Home

I’m not kidding when I say that my mouth literally when we stepped foot inside Suzie Anderson Home.

Think European homeware pieces, mixed with Hampton’s styling – this store had me imagining just how I would style every aspect of my future home even down to the bathroom sink…

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After walking and shopping around for a good couple of hours, we were feeling a little peckish and decided to treat ourselves to afternoon tea!

Mum had a few pieces in Dirty Jane’s that she had her eye on, and I remembered seeing a tea room located inside the Emporium, so we decided to check it out – and oh my, I am so glad we did!

The Dirty Jane’s Tea Salon is one of those perfect little hideaway cafes, which was super cosy and provided a fantastic high tea offering.

Mum and I shared the high tea which had some incredible tea cakes and mini sandwiches, as well as some very different, but equally delicious flower inspired green tea!

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After having a good shop around, and packing the car (literally) full of Dirty Jane’s goodies, Mum and I slowly made our way back to Canberra.

On the way back we made a brief stop at Moss Vale and took a short drive through Burrawang, where we saw some gorgeous properties and breathtaking views of the Southern Highland’s landscape!

Bowral, and the entire Southern Highlands area truly is a fantastic place to visit, even just for a day trip like we did.

Next time I plan on visiting for the entire weekend, and staying at one of the many luxury manor houses or hotels that are on offer!

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If you’re Canberra or Sydney based, and are looking for the perfect weekend countryside escape, then I definitely recommend heading to the Southern Highlands.

The locals really are right when they say that the fresh air and relaxed vibe does sooth the soul. Oh, and if you love shopping and eating delicious food, you definitely won’t be disappointed either!

Have you visited Bowral or other parts of the Southern Highlands lately? 

All images unless otherwise stated are my own.