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The best small towns around Canberra for a weekend getaway

Every once in a while, people need to get out of the hustle and bustle of city life.  To get away from that monotonous bore, that drives people crazy. To get some time to explore their surroundings and see the sites some small towns offer.

This article is here to help that. You will be able to see some of the best small to medium-sized towns and areas that are only at most around two hours away. You will get to read what each of these towns and areas has to offer and hopefully, you will be motivated to go check a few of these towns out.


Yass Valley

Yass Valley is a small group of towns just outside of Canberra, ACT. With the closest town being around 20 minutes away and the furthest being around an hour away.

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Yass Valley is most well known for being one of the wine capitals of NSW with its large amount of wineries that make up a large part of the business of the area. Some well-known wineries of the area include Helm Wines, Mallaluka Wines and Barton Estate Winery and many more that you can find here.

If you aren’t a wine person. Yass Valley has many other fun places to go see including food based places like Robyn Rowe Chocolates or Win’s Creek Meadery and many animal based attractions like Babylon Farm Visit and Clearview Alpacas, which, as you’ve surely guessed, both include Alpacas.

If you are looking for food, Yass Valley offers up many options including restaurants at many of the vineyards. But if you want somewhere else away from there, you can check out the Village Cafe in Murrumbatemen or for dinner you could go to the Ewe ‘n Me Restaurant in Yass.

For accommodation, you can check out this site to find the perfect place to stay.


Cootamundra or more commonly known to residents as Coota (this is because we are too lazy to pronounce anything more than two syllables) is a small town around two hours away from Canberra itself and just so happens to be my home town.

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Coota is very much a town that combines parts of city living, that being large supermarkets, a large hospital and a few retirement centres, with the perks of a small town, like a lot of small shops, family run businesses and an absurd amount of pubs/clubs for a town made up of 7000, which is eight.

Coota is most well known for being the birthplace of Donald Bradman and the town definitely will let you know that with two iconic parts of Coota being based off him, being a museum built around the birthplace of Bradman and the captains walk which features busts of every Australian cricket captain in history including a life-sized statue of Bradman in the middle and a motor inn named after him.

Coota also has a large amount of spaces for fitness fanatics to get their fill, will many sports ovals, a swimming pool, a mountain bike trail and Pioneer Park, which is a nature reserve that features hiking and mountain bike tracks.

If you are looking for food and drink. Coota offers up a large selection of places to go including one of the eight pubs and clubs I mentioned earlier (some being The Central and The Olympic), many family run fast food places like the Paragon Cafe and Maxim’s Chinese Restaurant and Coffee shops like E’Claire’s and Coffee on Cooper.

Accommodation can be found here.


Goulburn is a regional city around an hour away from Canberra itself and is most well known for being the home of the Big Merino.

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Goulburn offers up many attractions to see for a weekend trip including, Tarago Truffles, Bungonia National Park and the Adventure Playground in Goulburn.

If you are more of a thrill seeker. Goulburn has many attractions to fill those needs including gliding at the Southern Tablelands Gliding Club, motorbike riding at the Goulburn Motorcycle Club, the driver experience at Wakefield Park Raceway, where you can drive an F1-style Formula Ford race car and tandem skydiving at Adrenalin Skydive Goulburn.

If the thought of all of those adrenaline filled attractions has made you hungry, Goulburn has many places to eat including, The Park Cafe, Goulburn Donut Shop, Cafe Lerida and The Marulan Cafe.

You can find accommodation here.

Hilltops Region

The Hilltops Region is a collection of towns and villages, which include Young, Harden, Boorowa and Jugiong and is around an hour and a half to two hours depending on the location from Canberra.

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This area is well known for its orchids especially cherry, with one of the towns in the region, Young, being known as the Cherry capital of Australia. I would recommend visiting some of these orchids as most allow visitors to pick their own produce at the farm. Some of the orchids I would recommend are Wombat Heights Orchid (where you can pick cherries, peaches and sugar plums), Fairfields Orchids, which sells cherries strawberries and figs and Valley Fresh Cherries, which sells cherries, strawberries, plums and an assortment of jams.

If orchids aren’t what you are looking for then you can check out some other food based attractions in the area, like, Poppa’s Fudge and Jam Factory, which sells 19 different types of fudge and 31 different types of jam, Harden’s House of Honey and Bluestill Distillery, which produces a large variety of spirits including James Bentley Whisky, Black Widow Bourbon, Double Up Vodka, Red Kelpie Rum, Trafalgar Gin, Chiapas Tequila, Young Drop Grappa, Ouzo, Cherry Port.

The area also offers up many non food based attractions including, The Rustic Maze and Country Garden, The Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Garden or Wyangala Dam.

If you ever get hungry while you are here, the area has many bakeries and coffee shops ( including, The Pantry on Pudman, Wilders Bakery Young and Jackson’s Bakery in Harden) to fill your stomach.

You can find accommodation in the area here.


Jindabyne is a town in the south east of NSW, that is around two hours away from the Nation’s Capital and is in the heart of the Mount Kosciusko area. It is also only half an hour away from Perisher and Thredbo if you want to do a bit of skiing or snowboarding.

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Jindabyne has many activities that allow you to explore the beautiful area it is apart of including, Guided Kosciusko Sunset Electric Bike Tours, Family Nature Walk and Heli Fun, which takes you on a helicopter tour of Mount Kosciusko or the Snowy Mountains.

The town also offers up many up close and personal animal attractions including The Garden Trout Hatchery, where you can view and sometimes partake in the feeding of the larger fish, Steve Williams Trout Fishing Adventures and Thredbo Valley Horse Riding.

If you want a more calm time, you can visit Snowy Mountains Cookies, which sells a wide variety of cookies, snack and savoury snaps (which are a savoury based biscuit). If you want something to drink with those cookies then you should check out Kosciusko Brewery which offers tours of how their pale ale is made.

Jindabyne also has many places to sit down and grab some lunch or dinner, that will easily fill your stomach. Some of those places include Cuisine Restaurant and Bar and Beach Burrito Company, which has a wide variety of Mexican food on offer.

You can find a list of places you can stay in the area here.

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