Road trip: Bathurst to Wagga Wagga

Wagga Wagga Road Trip
Wagga Wagga Road Trip

Taste your way from the Central and Southern Tablelands through to the Riverina region, while discovering the rich agricultural and colonial heritage of the historic towns of Cowra, Greenthorpe, Young, Boorowa, Yass and Wagga Wagga.

Learn how Japanese culture has woven into the fabric of one Australian community, sample elegant wines at a range at a fine range of cellar doors, enjoy seasonal and hearty meals, drive past vibrant fields of gold, visit a fairy tale castle, pick ripened cherries from an orchard, and enjoy the country hospitality along the way.

Highlights
  • Wander under Cherry blossoms
  • Visit a fairy tale castle
  • Go fruit picking
  • Ride on a miniature railway

Day 1: Bathurst to Cowra 

1 hr 19 mins | 108km

Before you embark on your journey, check the my nrma app for your nearest and cheapest fuel. There are plenty of fuel stations to choose from. 


Stop 1: See dinosaurs at Bathurst 
Australia’s oldest inland city and the place where gold was first discovered in 1823. Big and little kids will love the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, home of the world renowned Somerville Collection of fossils (including a full size Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton) and rare gems and minerals.
Stop 2: Walk among cherry blossoms at Cowra
Almost 8000km might separate Japan from Cowra, but there are visible cultural relations of post-war peace and reconciliation between the NSW Tablelands township and the Pacific Ocean island dotted all over town. Walk among the pink and white orchards of Sakura Avenue, and you might be forgiven for thinking you’re in a beautiful cherry blossom tunnel in Tokyo rather a small town on the banks of the Lachlan River. History buffs should head to the Cowra War Cemetery, the POW Hologram Theatre, and the Prisoner of War Camp – where the largest P.O.W breakout was staged during World War II, before ordering morning tea at the Japanese Garden Café which overlooks 5ha of exquisite manicured gardens and lakes. 
Cowra Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossom Tree in Cowra (Photo credit: VisitNSW)
Stop 3: Sample a drop of the region’s finest wine 
A cellar door is a given when in Cowra, but with more than 40 vineyards calling the region home, it’ll be a struggle to choose which one. Kalari Wines is family-owned boutique vineyard set on the banks of the Lachlan River and doubles up as an art gallery, while Rosnay Organic Farm and Vineyard offer a unique organic farming principles to produce wine, figs and olives. Or let Ideal Tours do the planning while you sit back and sample the region’s premier wines on a half or full day wine tour, the latter of which is inclusive of lunch, around Cowra and Canowindra. 
Stop 4: Dine al fresco among the vines
Where there is good wine, there is good food, and the Cowra region is no exception to this, serving up a plethora of casual cafes, bistros and restaurants. For a traditional Australian pub grub, the Imperial Hotel delivers, while Peregrines Brasserie includes a ‘weekly specials’ board alongside its standard menu options. For al fresco fine dining, The Quarry restaurant is situated among the vines, its menu championing local and seasonal produce.

Stop 5: Stay in a farm stay
Offering plenty of rustic charm, ‘The Shed’ is the ideal countryside setting if you’re seeking a little bit of peace and relaxation, just minutes from Cowra town centre. While Hotel Cowra Resort offers unpowered and powered sites, alongside cabins with all the mod-cons, and amenities including hot showers, BBQ areas and a heated swimming pool. You can even bring your fur baby to this pet-friendly holiday park. 

Day 2: Cowra to Yass

2 hrs 19 mins | 179km

Stop 1: Visit a castle at Greenthorpe
You wouldn’t usually expect to see a castle while road-tripping through Australia, yet sitting majestically among the canola fields, Iandra Castle looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. To explore the homestead, surrounding buildings and gardens, be sure to time your visit with one of the Open Days throughout the year. 
iandra-castle
Iandra Castle, Greenethorpe (Photo credit: Iandracastle.com.au)
Stop 2: Sample the local fudge in Young
Nestled in the heart of the Hilltops Region you’ll find Young, a charming country town where orchards surround heritage architecture and roadside farm shops. Stop in at Art of Espresso for award-winning coffee and a light lunch, before grabbing a mouth-watering treat from Poppa’s Fudge and Jam Factory or the heavenly cherry pie at Wilders Café.
Stop 3: Traverse through Young’s history
Originally named Lambing Flat due the land’s use as a place for ewes to give birth, Young is also a significant site of the 1860s Gold Rush era. To discover the town’s rich history, take the one-hour Young Heritage Walk to discover 59 locations of significance, including the Riot Act Declaration and the Lambing Flat Folk Museum
Young Flat Folk Museum
Young Flat Folk Museum (Photo credit: The Young Witness) 
Stop 4: Go fruit picking during harvest time
Best known as the Cherry Capital of Australia and producer of other stone fruit such as peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums, be sure to visit one of dozens of orchards, such as the Lavender Hill, during harvest to pick your own ripened fruit. Most orchards also sell jams, spreads and preserves, making for the perfect Christmas gifts. Cherry season runs late from October through to December, while fruit season ends in April. 
Stop 5: Take Devonshire Tea at Boorowa 
With its tree-lined streets, heritage buildings, antique shops and country pubs, Boorowa is a picture-perfect Australian country town. Follow the Shamrock Trail to discover the town’s colorful Irish and heritage, before visiting the Magistrates Tearoom at the Old Court House to indulge in a delicious Devonshire Tea.  
Stop 6: Rest your head in Yass
Established in 1847, The Globe Inn makes up one-part of the ‘golden triangle’ in that it is a hop, skip and a jump away from Clementine Restaurant and the Yazzbar. For a more budget-friendly option close to Yass town cenre, The Yass Hotel offers basic but comfy and clean rooms, and features a welcoming restaurant, bar, terrace and garden. 
The Globe Inn Yass
The Globe Inn, Yass (Photo credit: VistNSW) 
Stop 7: Dine at a 170 year old manor 
Set in the grand establishment of Linton Manor and surrounded by picturesque gardens, Vieux Restaurant & Café offers a dining destination like no other, where the pan-European menu is made up of seasonal produce direct from suppliers within a 150km radius. Or visit the much-lauded Clementine Restaurant where, before you’ve even finished your sobrassada and white anchovy starter, you’ll understand why the three-time hatted French-inspired restaurant has status as a must-try restaurant NSW. After dinner, pop into the effortlessly cool Yazzbar for live music and a nightcap before strolling back to your BnB.

Day 3: Yass to Wagga Wagga 

2 hrs 7 mins | 193km

Stop 1: Breakfast at Yass
Kick-start your day with a classic eggs benedict served with ham, salmon or spinach topped with a house made hollandaise sauce at Kaffeine 2582. Coffee lovers will appreciate the choice of organic direct trade coffee blends, and tea drinkers for the large range of organic tea tonics available by the pot.
Kaffeine_2582
Breakfast at Kaffeine 2582 (Photo credit: Yassvalley.com.au) 
Stop 2: Visit a monument at Snake Gully 
Slowdown 10 minutes before you pass through Gundagai -- a picturesque country town in the beautiful Riverina in southwest NSW, to pat the Dog on the Tuckerbox monument and recite a line or two of the famous bush poem.
Stop 3: Dine among the vines at Eunanoreenya
Sample a local drop with a lunch of traditional tapas or gourmet wood-fired, while overlooking four hectares of vineyard and olive trees on 40ha of pristine country at Cottontails Restaurant and Winery in the Riverina – the largest wine producing region in NSW. There’s even a children’s menu.
Cottontails-640x360
Stop 4: Visit the Botanic Gardens at Wagga Wagga
Perched on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, vibrant, cosmopolitan and welcoming Wagga Wagga is the largest regional city in NSW and truly the heart of the Riverina region. If you’re looking to keep the kids entertained, head to the Botanic Gardens where within its 22 acres you’ll find a mini zoo, a free flight aviary, children’s adventure playground and a rainforest section, and a free downloadable Botanic Gardens Adventure app-based tour. There’s even a miniature railway that operates the first Sunday of every month. 
 

Exclusive discounts on fuel, parking and accommodation

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