The Yass Valley is home to a collection of quaint country villages, each steeped in spectacular scenery and providing one-of-a-kind experiences.
Be inspired by our creative makers, come laugh with our locals, and discover the charm of village living with a visit to one of the below destinations.
Binalong is home to numerous well-preserved Victorian and Federation buildings and has connections still felt today to the regions historic beginnings and bushranging past. The name Binalong is believed to mean ‘towards a high place’, or to be derived from the noted Indigenous Man ‘Bennelong’, with the Traditional Owners of the land being the Ngunnawal (Ngunawal) people.
For an opportunity to immerse yourself in the village’s bushranging past, take a step back in time on the 3.2km self-guided Binalong Bushranger Walk which begins at The Old Produce Store. Here you can stock up on some local goodies as of Sunday 13 February 2022. A brochure containing a map and interesting facts about the village’s heritage architecture is available online here. Alternatively, you can pick up a hard copy at the Yass Valley Information Centre and businesses around town.
Whilst in Binalong, be inspired and captivated by the talents of third generation glassblower Peter Minson. Peter’s studio and gallery is located on Queen Street and is full of unique products such as glasses, teapots, flowers, and necklaces. Here visitors can watch glass being blown, as well as admire and purchase one of a kind pieces. Private lessons and workshops can also be arranged for those who want to experience the magic of his everyday world! For lovers of second-hand goods, antiques and collectables, Binalong Bazaar is another must see!
Enjoy a welcomed break from exploring with a cup of tea and freshly baked scone at Café on Queen, a delicious coffee from 2 Little Pigs, or a hearty country meal and a cold beverage from Dutchy’s Dining Room at Binalong Hotel. Also providing quality home style cooking is the Binalong Community Club where, on weekends, you can challenge the locals to a game of lawn bowls or golf. On a hot day it is also good to know that there is a pool in Binalong – great for the whole family.
If you are fortunate enough to be passing through on the second Sunday of the month (excluding winter seasons), don’t miss a wander through the Binalong Community Markets. For a lovely place to spend the night after a day full of exploring, the Motel Royal Tara is a family friendly motel offering country accommodation.
The past comes alive in the heritage listed village of Gundaroo, with many of its historic building still in use today. For an easy way to learn of its history and heritage, take a stroll around the village, guided by the Gundaroo Heritage Walk. This brochure pays tribute to the Traditional Owners of the land, as well as provides information about the buildings and landmarks that were built after European settlement in the mid 1800’s. One such example is the Sally Paskins’ Store, established in 1886 which today sells a range of high quality homewares designed in Gundaroo.
For lunch, enjoy a beautiful setting with scrumptious food among the historic 1870s police stables and lock up, which is now the Cork Street Cafe. Across the road, the Loose Goat Bistro at The Gundaroo Inn offers delicious hearty meals amongst a warm atmosphere filled with rustic charm. For wine lovers, discover the premium wines of Gundog Estate Cork St. Cellar Door or venture to nearby Tallagandra Hill Winery. No trip to Gundaroo is complete without treating yourself to the pleasures at Grazing. Located in the beautifully refurbished 1865 Royal Hotel, Grazing is a multi-award-winning restaurant that prides themselves on delivering innovative meals using the very best of the district’s food and wine.
For those looking to spend the night, The Nest at Gundaroo is a family-owned business providing luxury, short-stay accommodation. After a blissful night’s sleep, head out to Old Saint Luke’s Studio and Gallery, which welcomes visitors by appointment or to join a pre-booked pottery class.
Bowning is a charming village located 13km northwest of Yass along the Hume Highway. It is one of the earliest settlements in the region, and is home to a renewed and growing community. Bowning lies at the foot of Bowning Hill, which is 796 metres tall and is the landmark that named the village, coming from the Indigenous word meaning ‘big hill’.
For an authentic country experience the whole family will enjoy, be sure to stop in at the family-owned Rollonin Café. With farm animals to admire, rustic views to enjoy, a beautiful cottage garden, delicious meals, sweet treats and drinks – the Rollonin Café is an ideal stop on any road trip. The café itself is set in a ‘slab hut’ designed and built to replicate local buildings from the 1800’s. As you enter its newspaper lined interior, you will feel as though you have taken a step back in time.
The Bowning Hotel offers yet another wonderful place to enjoy a yarn or two over a couple quiet ones, with accommodation and meals available onsite. The Bowning Hotel is a historic landmark of Bowning, having been open for more than 100 years. Poets Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson are also reputed to have drunk together at the local pub, previously known as the Commercial Hotel.
For the opportunity to get up close and personal with some adorable alpacas, the nearby Clearview Alpacas Farm at Argyle Park welcomes visitors by appointment for a hands-on alpaca experience.
Please note that this blog is 1 of 3 blogs which will be spotlighting the beautiful villages of the Yass Valley. For more information on our towns and villages, please visit the Yass Valley website or contact the Yass Valley Information Centre on (02) 6226 2557 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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