Everyone needs a getaway, especially in winter. It’s the perfect time for reflection, restoration and quality time with your special someone. Savour the warm comforts of the Queanbeyan-Palerang region over a long weekend or mid-week break as you spend your days exploring cosy spots in Queanbeyan, Bungendore and Braidwood.
1. Learn about the heritage
Queanbeyan was officially declared a township of 50 people in 1838. Its colourful history is explored at the Queanbeyan Museum, located in a quaint 1876 building – a former Police Sergeant’s residence. See the spectacular 30-metre mural of late 19th century Queanbeyan, get to know the history of the Ngambri people, or view an original Iron Lung used during a 1950s poliomyelitis epidemic.
Less than an hour away by car is Braidwood. Braidwood Museum displays a rich collection from early settler families, including Chinese artefacts from the surrounding goldfields in the 1850s. Find out who the notorious Clarke brothers were, how the museum’s building started out, and see the hand-knotted drapes that were placed on horses for funeral hearses.
2. Take in the art
While wandering through Queanbeyan, be sure to follow the local arts trail. At Rusten House Arts Centre (which began as Queanbeyan’s hospital in 1862), you can see a variety of artworks via an everchanging exhibition timetable. The Queanbeyan Art Society on the banks of the Queanbeyan River features exhibitions and a daily workshop program. And book in a high-quality show at The Q Performing Arts Centre – home to creative spaces and exceptional productions.
Drive just 20 minutes to reach Bungendore with its variety of arts, crafts and gifts. See rich timbers handcrafted into unique designs at Bungendore Wood Works Gallery and enjoy a cosy stop at the café. Drop by Suki & Hugh Gallery and Water Through Reeds for a contemporary exhibition, or Bungendore Fine Arts Gallery and X Gallery for a showcase of various creative media and artists.
When you reach Braidwood, try BRAG, also known as Braidwood Regional Arts Group, which displays pieces from beginners through to professionals – many of which can be purchased, and don’t forget to visit Braidwood’s local jewellers to uncover special treasures.
Pencil it in: Come back during October to meet the makers and explore further during the Queanbeyan-Palerang Arts Trail.
3. Indulge in local flavours
Looking for comfort food next to a roaring fire? Hoping to enjoy fresh flavours accompanied by good old-fashioned service? You have come to the right place to indulge and relax.
In Queanbeyan, PRONTO by Trecento is an Italian gem set around an impressive woodfired pizza oven. You can even order a grazing box for a picnic. Did somebody say, ‘frozen margarita’? Adored by locals, Cartel Taqueria is popular year-round for its riverside location, authentic Mexican menu (with plenty of gluten-free options) and relaxed vibe. Even in winter, the outside heaters will keep you toasty. Or try Lime Leaves for delicious, contemporary Thai dining.
Over in Bungendore, the Flock at The Carrington features an impressive copper bar and a dog-friendly beer garden – plus rustic, gastro-pub dining. The George Bar and Dining on Gibraltar Street has a wonderful warming fireplace and a sumptuous locally sourced menu.
Continue your culinary journey in Braidwood with classic country fare at the Braidwood Hotel, artisan produce, speciality coffee, French galettes and crepes at Provisions Deli and Creperie, or the Himalayan flavours and funky atmosphere at Smokey Horse.
Cool climate wineries are dotted throughout our region, with many offering on-site dining and wine tastings. Wander into Lark Hill Winery, Contentious Character (with its blend of Japanese and Australian cuisine), Norton Road Wines (with American BBQ inspired food), or taste the local Rieslings and Pinots at Sapling Yard Cellar Door.
Local insights: Check out a local’s guide to Queanbeyan with Josh Kosteski of PRONTO by Trecento.
4. Get inspired
We’re renowned for our truffles in these parts, so be sure to go truffle hunting while you’re visiting during truffle season (late-June to mid-August).
Drop into one of many a pop-up events and workshops at Queanbeyan Hive. You may find inspiration for your knitting, crochet, macrame or other creative skills. Many of the art galleries in the region, including the Queanbeyan Art Society also offer appealing workshops and classes.
5. Rest somewhere special
With so much to explore, there’s no need to rush. Book in a decadent couple of nights at Braidwood’s luxury guest houses at Mona Farm. Try the Shearer’s Quarters with its Japanese-inspired bath house or The Lake House with its uninterrupted views.
We’ve only scratched the surface. You’ll also be treated to quaint cafes, inviting boutiques, markets and spacious gardens throughout the charming Queanbeyan-Palerang region. What are you waiting for?
*Check all opening times prior to visiting
Written by Shae Lalor, The Write Path, for Visit Queanbeyan-Palerang.