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Monday, June 17, 2024

Three must-do road trips in Queanbeyan Palerang

Right now, it seems road trips have become the new destination vacation. There’s never been a better time to explore your own backyard, whether it’s a few days away to reconnect with nature, a food and wine inspired day hopping between wineries, or a leisurely drive taking in arts and culture.

Right on Canberra’s doorstep, the Queanbeyan Palerang region offers up a selection of road trip itineraries with an array of experiences catering to a multitude of interests.

The Winery Road Trip

Queanbeyan road trip winery
With the Winery Road Trip, you’ll be visiting some of the Queanbeyan Palerang region’s top winemakers, cafes and restaurants.

Queanbeyan Palerang is renowned for the premium quality wine and fresh produce that comes from across the region. With the Winery Road Trip, you’ll be visiting some of their top winemakers, cafes and restaurants. This trip is simply a must for foodies!

Leaving from Queanbeyan, head on to Yass Road, then turn right onto Sutton Road before taking a right turn onto Norton Road for the wineries of Wamboin and Bywong. Here, you’ll find three local wineries – Norton Road Wines, Contentious Character and Lark Hill Winery – all boasting fantastic restaurants on site.

Next, you will arrive in Bungendore Village to visit the Sapling Yard cellar door (pre-bookings only). Before continuing further east, take a break in Bungendore to explore the cafes, restaurants and boutiques on offer.

Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants, such as Le Tres Bon, where you can enjoy authentic French cuisine, accompanied by wine from a local boutique vineyard, Enotria Wines.

After finishing up in Bungendore, you’ll next head towards Nerriga, north-east of Bungendore. Here, you’ll find Corang Estate (pre-bookings only), nestled on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range.

Finally, your road trip will finish in the heritage town of Braidwood. Here you’ll also be able to test the Corang Estate wines if you were unable to visit the vineyard. Choose from The Braidwood Hotel, The Royal Mail Hotel, Braidwood Servicemen’s Club, Mona Farm, Braidwood Regional Arts Gallery, and Troopers Rest in Braidwood to enjoy a glass.

The Culture & Arts Road Trip

Queanbeyan road trip Braidwood
Braidwood is a heritage-listed town steeped in history that’s well known as a hub for artists and artisans.

Creativity flows through the entire Queanbeyan Palerang region; performing arts, galleries, city streets lined with public art, and artisans selling their bespoke wares can be found throughout. On the Culture & Arts Road Trip, you’ll come face-to-face with the many talented makers who call the area home.

Starting in Queanbeyan, visit a local gallery like Rusten House Arts Centre or Queanbeyan Art Society; take a walk and see art adorning the town’s historic streets and laneways; and, if you’re in the mood for a show, see what’s on at The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre.

From there, it’s a short 20-minute drive along the Kings Highway to Bungendore. Here, you can get up close and personal with a variety of art forms like woodworking, glass art, silversmithing, and more. Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, Bungendore Fine Art, Suki & Hugh, and X Gallery are all well worth a visit.

From Bungendore, stay on the Kings Highway and head to Braidwood; a heritage-listed town steeped in history well known as a hub for artists and artisans. Visit the local galleries, showrooms, and jewellers, such as Studio Altenburg, Braidwood Regional Arts Gallery, Thompson Bespoke Jewellers, Vetro e Metallo, and William Verdon Manufacturing Jewellers. Learn the history of the township with a visit to Braidwood Museum or take the self-guided Braidwood Heritage Walk.

The final leg of the road trip takes you back to Queanbeyan through Tallaganda National Park, arriving in Captains Flat. Here you’ll find the warm and cosy Neverwhere Gallery, showcasing local artists’ and artisans’ works – from locally made jewellery, soaps, and crafts to paintings and photography. Explore Captains Flat further with the Captains Flat Heritage Walk around some of the village’s historically significant sites.

The West Explorer Road Trip

Queanbeyan road trip molonglo gorge
Molonglo Gorge, just outside Queanbeyan on the West Explorer Road Trip, offers a peaceful escape where you’ll find unspoiled bush, cascades and gorges.

Comfortably the biggest trip of the lot, the West Explorer Road Trip leads you off the beaten path and into nature, with bushwalking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, sailing, and more!

The trip starts out at Googong Foreshores, just 10km south of Queanbeyan. A spot with a heap of outdoor activities on offer, bring a fishing line, a canoe, or take a walk! Drive 16 kilometres south towards Burra and you’ll find one of the most photographed features of the Foreshores, the awe-inspiring London Bridge Arch.

After Googong Foreshores, head back to Queanbeyan, get onto the Kings Highway and take the right turn onto Captains Flat Road. In 30 minutes you’ll get to Captains Flat, where you can explore the village’s past. It was once a major mining site in the 1880s and then again from 1937-1962. Immerse yourself in the bygone era by driving up the old mine road to the town lookout offering breathtaking views. For a self-guided tour around other local attractions, such as the Lake George Mine entrance and the Miners’ Memorial, take the Captains Flat Heritage Trail walking tour.

If you’re looking for more outdoorsy experiences, head south of the village to see the Captains Flat Dam. Nearby, you’ll also find the Captains Flat Waterfall on the edge of the Captains Flat Common in the Molonglo River Gorge. Afterwards, take a drive out to Tallaganda National Park on the edge of Captains Flat to explore its fire trails and walking tracks.

Next up, you’ll be headed north towards Bungendore. While you’re there, take a moment to stroll amongst the galleries, antique shops and cafes of the village.

Then, venture toward the Federal Highway to stop off at Weereewa Lookout. Known for its expansive views of the scenic Lake George and surrounds, with all the rain this summer now is a great time to see the mysterious lake in all its glory.

Your final stop is The Molonglo Gorge, located in Kowen Forest, about a half-hour drive from Weereewa Lookout. Molonglo Gorge offers a peaceful escape where you’ll find unspoiled bush, cascades and gorges. If you’re looking to get active with a spot of bushwalking, try the Blue Tiles Walk, a moderate 3km bushwalk along the Molonglo River.

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