Braidwood, NSW: Destination Guide

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Take a step back in time and visit Braidwood, a charming NSW township that has lost none of its Georgian flair.

Read on to discover the best things to see and do in Braidwood or find and book accommodation in Braidwood today.

About Braidwood         

Beautifully restored buildings welcome you upon arrival into Braidwood, and it feels very much like you’ve wandered onto an old movie set (and considering Braidwood has actually played host to several iconic Australian films, you’re probably not the first to think that!). Braidwood is a town unspoiled by modern advancements, which has helped it secure its title as the first complete town to be listed on the NSW State Heritage Register. While the Georgian-style construction of Braidwood is a definite drawcard, the fact that some of Australia’s most pristine national parks are only a stone’s throw away definitely helps too. It’s a place where relics of the past line the streets, but there is also a vibrant energy that Braidwood radiates, and it keeps locals and visitors alike thrilled to be amongst it.

Things to do in Braidwood

A walk down the main street of Braidwood is like a history lesson in itself, with Braidwood able to boast that it is home to some of the most well-preserved 19th century architecture in Australia. The entire town exudes old-world charm, and it is well worth visiting the many churches, antique stores, worker’s cottages, even the pub, to really appreciate the sensitive work that has gone in to maintain these historic buildings.

As if these culturally significant contributions weren’t enough, Braidwood is surrounded by some of Australia’s most untouched and impressive natural landscapes. Bushwalkers, 4WDers, horse riders, even those who just love a scenic picnic spot will delight in choosing between Deua National Park, Monga National Park, Tallaganda State Forest and Morton National Park to visit.

And if you’re lucky enough to be stopping by during some of Braidwood’s notoriously epic annual events, be prepared for a cracking time. The Braidwood Show, Race Day and Rodeo draw visitors from all across the state, and are a great opportunity for the local farming and rural industries to gain some attention.

Attractions

Braidwood Museum

The building in which Braidwood Museum is housed is worth a visit alone, considering it began life as the first significant hotel in the township, back in the 1840s. It has since held concerts and dances, been converted into a block of flats, and now, after being purchased by the Historical Society in 1970, is the museum. Inside,artefacts and photos tell the story of Braidwood, which feature the gold rush that first hit in the mid-1800s, a troublesome bushrangers that terrorised the region, and the few times Hollywood rolled into town. It’s a fascinating insight into a town that has such a rich and remarkable history.

The Big Hole in Deua National Park

Visiting Deua National Park means visiting The Big Hole, the main attraction of the park. This steep, 96 metre deep limestone pit was created when sedimentary rocks caused all the surrounding caves to collapse. A relatively easy 3.6km round trip will get you to the Big Hole, and take you through some of the most picturesque parts of the park – including Shoalhaven River. Keep an eye out for swallows that fly around in the mouth of the 50 metre wide crater, and it’s not unusual to see lyrebirds strutting around the at the bottom of the Big Hole.

Penance Grove Boardwalk in Monga National Park

Ancient and inspiring, Monga National Park gives visitors a glimpse into what Australia’s landscape would be like if it was still part of the southern super continent of Gondwana. Ferns, mosses and plumwoods – all of which were once widespread on the Gondwana continent - are still in abundance here, creating a very other-worldly environment. The Penance Grove boardwalk that snakes through these rainforest-like conditions provide the perfect platform for viewing this section of the national park, and it is well worth it to see the grove dappled in sunlight, surrounded by plant species that date back millions of years.

Getting to Braidwood

By car

Braidwood is located in the Southern Tablelands of NSW, only an hour’s drive from Canberra.

For a direct route to Braidwood from Canberra, travel 88km east along the King’s Highway. If you are coming from Sydney, travel south-east approximately 285km via the Hume Highway to Goulburn, then take the State Route 79 straight to Braidwood.

By bus

Murray’s Coaches offer a daily service, one way direction, between Canberra and Bateman’s Bay stopping through at Braidwood along the way.

When to visit Braidwood

With a relatively mild climate, there really doesn't appear to be a bad time to visit Braidwood. Considering its proximity to the Snowy Mountains, don't be surprised by cold snaps with potential frost in winter, and it wouldn't be unusual to see bouts of extreme heat during summer either.

What you should base your visit to Braidwood around, is its packed events calendar! The summer months see popular events such as the New Years Day Family Picnic, Australia Day celebrations and the Braidwood Cup kick off, while Autumn hosts the Braidwood Show, Rodeo and Two Fires Festival. Meanwhile, November is an action-packed month with the Braidwood Festival and nearby Majors Creek Festival also held. So check your diary and plan a trip to Braidwood accordingly!

Where to stay in Braidwood

For accommodation options in and around Braidwood, click here.