You should always leave space in your travel itinerary for spontaneity.
A large focus of our Australian road trip is to ask for suggestions from our readers and social communities on things to do and see.
When we asked for suggestions on where to go in Southern NSW, there were far too many shout outs to visit Kangaroo Valley for us to ignore. We shuffled around our itinerary and made room for it.
We’re so glad we did. You should really go to Kangaroo Valley too.
As one reader said, “I didn’t know Australia was so green.”
Australia is surprising. You’ll find a bit of everything in this country.
The valley is as green as Ireland and with the Australian bush and escarpments framing it, it’s really a pretty place. We would have loved a couple of extra days.
Check out this video of us arriving in the Valley – see how excited we were:
We had plans for exploring the many bike trails, but the weather had other ideas (if you are looking for good bike trails, head down the Upper River Road through the Upper Kangaroo Valley.)
We stayed at the Crystal Creek Meadows and the owners, Christopher and Sophie had lots of great tips on things to do and see in Kangaroo Valley.
Combine Christopher and Sophie’s tips with our reader’s suggestions and you get a pretty great time in Kangaroo Valley, which I think should be renamed to Wombat Valley.
See some wild wombats
The first thing you notice on the drive into Kangaroo Valley are the signs warning you to watch for wombats. In Australia, this is a sign usually reserved for kangaroos and koalas, and in far North Queensland, cassowaries.
Rarely do you see them for wombats.
Rarely do you see wombats.
Before coming to the valley, I had never seen a wild wombat. Thanks to Kangaroo Valley I saw three. They were grazing in the paddocks like lazy cows on a lovely spring afternoon. It was a thrill for us to encounter them at the Bendeela Picnic Area, which is also a place for free camping.
Pretty cool hey! Camping with the wombats.
Oh and we managed to see the only kangaroo in Kangaroo Valley in the distant paddock. (We’re still pondering why it’s Kangaroo Valley and not Wombat Valley).
Historic Hampden Bridge
The focal point of the town is the sandstone Hampden Bridge spanning the Kangaroo River.
The historic Hampden Bridge was built in 1898 and is Australia’s last surviving wooden suspension bridge. It was considered an engineering feat of the Victorian era and second only in importance in Australia to Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It’s a pretty bridge to drive across and maintains it’s old wordly charm, with only one lane. I love how this forces you to slow down and wait, acknowledging those with a polite wave of thanks as you drive past.
If you want a calm afternoon, head down to the river below to skim rocks and take a dip.
Try the World’s Best Pies
This is a bold statement to make in Australia. Judging by the amount of people coming in and out of this small Barrengarry store, it could well be true.
Craig was disappointed to not really be able to judge it as they ran out of all pies but the vegetable curry.
Since he has returned to eating meat lately and hasn’t had a meat pie in years, he was shattered he could not try the world’s best. But, he said the curry one was pretty good. I”m gluten free so no pie tasting for me 🙁
Visit Fitzroy Falls
There’s a lovely 3 – 6 km walk here along the cliff face. Fitzroy Falls plunges over the escarpment into the thick Eucalpyt forest in the valley below.
I didn’t find Fitzroy Falls an overly dramatic waterfall, but it’s pretty enough and the views over the valley reminded me of the Blue Mountains. (Having said that, after visiting Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe I find most waterfalls aren’t that dramatic. Vic Falls will do that to you.)
The boardwalk along the creek, through restored native bushland, takes you to a lookout at the top of the Falls.
Have lunch at the Burrawang Village Hotel (Pub)
Sophie told us the Burrawang Hotel won NSW Country Pub of the year. You cannot ignore a title like that. (Thank goodness for local tips).
The food was good, although not the best ever, but that did not matter as the views and the beer garden were world class. Any parent who needs a little time out and to feel happy that their kids are happy running around huge grassed areas and climbing trees, needs to come here.
There were lots of happy, squealing kids and lots of calm, contented parents gazing out yonder to soak up the serenity. Australia, give me more of these pubs please.
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