A day trip to Goulburn, NSW

Whether it’s for a day visit or a weekend away, Goulburn City in the Southern Tablelands has so much to offer. It’s around a 2.5 hour drive from Sydney and just over an hour from Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory. Goulburn is one of our favourite pit stops every time we head to the Southern Highlands. There are heaps of things to do and see.

As a major settlement of southern New South Wales, Goulburn has many historic buildings. It’s also home to the NSW Police Academy and The Goulburn Correctional Centre, Australia’s super maximum security prison.

If you are planning to visit Goulburn, here are some must-visit sites!

The big things of Australia are large structures, some of which are novelty in architecture and some are sculptures. Goulburn has its own claim to fame big structure. The Big Merino or Rambo as nicknamed by locals is a humungous 15.2 metre (50 ft) tall concrete giant Ram celebrating Australia’s fine wool industry. Located along the Hume Highway, it’s a very popular photo stop. Next to it is a souvenir shop that sells sheepskin products, wools, toys, and souvenirs to name a few as well as a large service station for your road trip supplies.

The awe inspiring Memorial War Tower is located on Rocky Hill, visible as you enter Goulburn. The viewing platform provides spectacular views over the city and beyond. Opened in 1925 as a lasting tribute to the men and women of Goulburn who served during World War 1.

Restaurants, cafes, shopping centre, specialised shops, accommodation and banks dotted along the main central business district all are accessible by foot. Noticeably around the CBD is a mixture of heritage and newer buildings.

One building that has stood the test of time is the Old Town Hall built in 1887. This building has now been transformed into the Performing Art Centre with state of the art facilities and a cafe. List of performances and exhibitions are listed on their website.

If you fancy a garden appreciation walk, head down to Belmore Park. It’s a fully maintained and well planted out garden with easy, flat walking paths with benches to rest, amenities and a tourist information centre. A stunning period fountain is located in the middle of the park surrounded by native and introduced trees. It’s a good area to soak up the sun, have a picnic break or just enjoy the beautiful garden especially during spring time.

A self-guided heritage building tour is recommended, with good overall accessibility with plenty of parking areas.

The Goulburn Post Office built in 1880 -1881 is another imposing heritage building. It’s a three-storey, symmetrical Victorian Italianate construction featuring a dominant four and a half-storey clock tower.

Inspiring both inside and out with a beautiful ornate design and stained glass windows is St. Saviours Cathedral, one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in Australia. Heritage listed, St. Saviour’s is an Anglican Cathedral which is an excellent representation of the Victorian Gothic style. The Cathedral has been a place of worship and ministry since the 1830s and continues to serve Goulburn.

When to visit ? I’d say it’s an all year-round destination. Summers can be hot and the winters very cold so bare this in mind! Things to do in Goulburn are near endless be it sightseeing, shopping or dining. It’s definitely a place to tick off on everyone’s bucket list tour through Australia. Starting out as a municipality in 1859 it then became the first inland Australian City in 1863, making Goulburn an important part of the growth and expansion of greater New South Wales.

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