The Upper Lachlan Shire is located on the traditional lands of the Gundungurra People and is perfectly positioned only two and a half hours from Sydney and less than an hour from Canberra. So close but a world away! When visiting the Shire, we took the opportunity to have a good old-fashioned driving holiday, stopping by at some of the truly amazing townships all across the area.
We started our day in Goulburn. Although located in the Goulbourn Mulwaree Council, Goulburn is the perfect first stop of the drive whether coming from Canberra or Sydney and where here to tell you there is so much more to see than just the Big Merino!
When arriving in Goulburn, start off by exploring the main street, Auburn Street. Grab yourself a coffee from one of the many cafes such as The Park Café before beginning the explore the area. The Park Café sits adjacent to Belmore Park, which was originally the town’s market. Within the park, you’ll find the gazebo, fountain and glasshouse. Across the road from this is the Courthouse, a magnificent Victorian Italianate style building opened in 1887 at a cost of £24,593.
Jump back in the car and continue along Crookwell Road. On the drive, take notice of the Wind Farms sporting huge Wind Turbines. Positioned right up against the road, driving past these feels like you’re venturing into a scifi novel, it’s phenomenal!
You’ll arrive into Crookwell on Goulburn Street. The main street is full of history and charm, take notice of the trees which line the street, they’re some of the most outstanding and perfectly manicured we’ve seen!
By now you’ll be needing another coffee. Head into Ensemble & Co. within the Arcadia Building in Crookwell and say hi to Billie and the team. An emporium of clothing, gifts, books and homewares Arcadia does it all so well. With a café at the front grab yourselves a coffee and sweet treat before spending some time browsing the merchandise, with a lot of the items being local produce. The building itself is extraordinary, having had many lives it it’s almost 100-year reign.
You’ll find Goulburn street is full of quaint boutiques and cafes. If you choose to spend the night here, check out Mister Munroe AirBnB, or if there’s a group of you, you cannot go past Hillcrest House in Binda.
The next morning, head over to Taralga. Split into two halves, lined with poplar trees, Taralga has maintained its historically significant vernacular since the gold rush on the 1800s. Start off by visiting Grand Ettie. This trendy café serves up some delicious food and coffee. With a range of local produce pick yourself up something for the road, or sit in and enjoy the fresh focaccia available.
Head down to the Taralga Historical Museum, run by Taralga Historical Society. The aim of the museum is the preservation of Taralga’s heritage for the benefit of future generations. Exploring the grounds of the Museum you’ll find several buildings filled with artefacts and information about the town’s history, including a sheering shed, Blacksmith’s Shop, Schoolhouse, Cottage, as well as the Methodist Church.
After learning the history of Taralga, head to the Inn Store, an extension of The Argyle Inn across the road. In here you’ll find an amazing selection of homewares, furnishings and giftware perfectly curated to fit out the space. Seeing the quality of the store should help create expectations of what you’ve got in store at The Argyle Inn.
When you’re ready for some lunch, head across the road to The Argyle Inn. A destination in and of itself, it’s always best to make a booking here. Being the oldest still trading hotel in Taralga, The Argyle Inn offers some of the best quality food and service within the area. Open for dinner Friday and Saturday, and lunch on Saturday. Bookings include a set menu of their finest dishes. As well as a restaurant and bar, the Inn provides accommodation options if you would like to spend a night in the historic building.
If you’re still wanting to explore the region, head over to Laggan. A small village founded for pastoral use as well as a stop off for convicts during the building of roads between the townships of Bathurst and Goulburn.
The town is a tourist attraction in and of itself with so much history to be seen throughout the buildings. While visiting be sure to check out the Willowtree Sculptural Garden. With nature the backdrop to the sculptures, walking around gardens you’re filled with a sense of magic and spirituality. The gardens are open every third Saturday of the month, coinciding with the Laggan Markets.
Since you’re on holiday, you deserve to have another meal, and you cannot go pass the Laggan Pantry on Peelwood Road. The pantry serves up the highest quality ingredients in a fine dining personal experience. Bookings here are a must. Located adjacent to the restaurant is the Laggan Brewery where you can try a selection of their beers, as well as grab yourselves a grazing platter which are made fresh each day. If you’re thinking of spending a night in Laggan, you can also stay on site at the Laggan Cottage, perfectly situated in the heart of the town and accommodates up to one couple.
The Upper Lachlan Shire has so much wonderful experiences, food, and produce. What we have found during our travels is that when they do things, they do it so well!