A guide of what to do in Mittagong in the Southern Highlands of NSW.
Mittagong is a fast growing and bustling town with a lovely mix of country style hospitality, funky stores and fresh, new cafes. Nature lovers are spoilt for choice with Mount Gibraltar a short drive away, Lake Alexandra Reserve an easy walk from the town centre and mountain biking trails up the road at Welby. Head to Mittagong to find all the stores you'll need for a home reno - from a hardware store, flooring, lighting, tiles, seating and beds.... it's all there.
Nestled in between Mount Gibraltar and Mount Alexandra, Mittagong and it’s surrounding areas is a playground for nature lovers! Mount Alexandra Reserve is home to loads of awesome bushwalks. One of our favourites is the Katoomba Lookout Loop Track and check out the 40 Foot Falls and 60 Foot Falls tracks, where you can cool off with a swim in the warmer months. The easy path around Lake Alexandra is perfect for a low-stress wander (and puppy-spotting!) and if you prefer to do it on two wheels, pull on your padded pants and head up the road to Welby Mountain Bike Trails.
There’s three main shopping precincts in Mitta. For a traditional high street retail experience of nipping in and out of gorgeous and quirky shops head to the town centre at the fork in the road – where the Old Hume Highway meets Main Street. There’s a big range of fab shops offering everything from fashion to homewares to jewellery to antiques and everything in between. Look out for two of our faves, Superb Design & Interiors and Heavenly Scents & Gifts.
There is also Highlands Marketplace and the Highlands Hub for chain stores, supermarkets and a food court. The industrial area around Cavendish Street is also a haven for home reno addicts and furniture fanatics. You’ll find flooring companies, Highland Fires & BBQs, indoor and outdoor furniture specialists and more around here. Gubbins Pulbrook Mitre 10 up on Main Street is also becoming a central hub for DIY’ers and renovators.
WINING + DINING
Mittagong is the multicultural dining centre of the Highlands. Every cuisine you can imagine is represented here. From Paste (headed up by the amazing Michelin-star chef, Bee Satongun) for Thai fusion deliciousness through to Nasz Stolik for loading up on traditional Polish fare. There are plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants to keep all foodies happy. We love The Boston for brunch, the amazing Four Seasons Bistro for super-tasty vegan and vegetarian food (you won’t be able to resist their raw treats cabinet!). Mittagong RSL has a humungous menu – perfect for fusspots in the family! Eden Brewery has their awesome, local brews on tap with guest food trucks parked out the front. And Artemis Wines whip up delicious pizzas on Sundays, or you can order a cheese plate when you head to their cellar door for some wine-tasting (and they make gin, people!). See? Something for everyone in Mitta!
MOVERS AND MAKERS
There are some super talented locals in Mittagong. Meet the amazing Anthony Springford of Black Parrot Art & Framing and furniture upholsterer, Jonti Roland Shepherd and be sure to drop into their fab stores.
It’s market central on the third and fifth Saturdays on every month. A favourite with local green thumbs, Mittagong Markets has a huge range of plants, garden art and outdoor sculptures available. Also great for gift shopping, there is plenty of delicious home baked treats to tantalise tastebuds too. Held in the Uniting Church grounds on the corner of Alice and Albert Streets, there’s plenty of open space for browsing and social distancing!
STEP BACK IN TIME
For those that love a bit of history and don’t mind a walk, head to the Box Vale Walking Track and follow the old tramway cuttings through to the old tunnel. There’s plenty of signage with info on the history of the Box Vale Tramway along the way. Another quirky historical place of interest is what is now known as the Mushroom Tunnel. A disused railway tunnel built in 1866 is now home to thousands of exotic mushrooms! Book in for a tour with Li-Sun Exotic Mushrooms. Super interesting.
You can also find relics of Australia’s first ironworks at the entrance to Aldi in Mittagong, discovered when the foundations for the supermarket were built over ten years ago. And the abandoned Mittagong Maltings (just north of town), built in 1899, has just been bought by some property developers so hopefully this grand old dame of Southern Highlands historic buildings will be given a new lease of life some time soon.
We love searching for treasure and vintage finds at antique stores on rainy days, and there are three fabulous antique stores for you in and close by to Mittagong to spend hours hunting for something spesh while it's wet and miserable outside.
The Sturt Gallery & Studios is another way to wile away a rainy afternoon. Home to the world class Sturt School for Wood, there is always a fabulous exhibition to get inspired by. Stop by the contemporary retail space and café while you’re there.
FOR THE KIDS
There’s loads of young families living in Mittagong. It has such a family-friendly and buzzy vibe and lots for the kids to do! Neeny’s Playhouse will help the little ones burn off all their crazy energy, while the newly renovated Highlands Entertainment Centre will keep older kids busy with a bit of tenpin action! The playground at Lake Alexandra Reserve is a family favourite, as is Winifred West Park on Regent Street – plenty of green space for kids to run about and to lay out a picnic blanket.
In the warmer months, Mittagong Swimming Centre is a beautiful space for the family to cool off. Surrounded by trees, there’s plenty of shade and a fun kids pool undercover to keep them splashing about for hours.
LIVE AND LOCAL
The two local pubs - the Lion Rampant and the Mittagong Hotel - regularly put on live music (you might even spot an ex-Wiggle at one of the gigs!) and Eden Brewery celebrate everything that is awesome about the weekend with live music most Friday and Saturday nights.
Another awesome thing to do is head to the Mittagong Playhouse to catch a fab play or musical. The Playhouse is currently undergoing some remedial building work, but watch this space for when it reopens.
WHEN FRIENDS COME TO STAY
If you’re hosting visiting friends and fam bam, one of the first places you should go is straight up the Gib! Mount Gibraltar will give you THE best views across Bowral and Mittagong and surrounding areas thanks to it being the highest point between Sydney and Canberra! There are plenty of walking trails, scenic lookouts to update your Insta feed with and a picnic ground right in the centre.
Less than a 30-minute drive west of Mitta, is the historic town of Joadja. Once a thriving shale oil mining and refining site, you can only access it on certain days of the year for public tours or you can organise a private appointment for groups - get in touch first as things are moving around a little due to COVID. Head on out via Wombeyan Caves Road and be sure to pop into Joadja Distillery for some crackin’ local spirits while you're there. Come back via Greenhills Road and swing by the oldest vineyard and winery in the Southern Highlands, Joadja Estate. If you’re out Sunday driving, drop into The Loch – a beautiful family-friendly working farm in between Joadja and Berrima, they serve up a delicious Sunday lunch and sell fresh produce, flowers, antiques and more. Such a fab place to visit.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BIZ
We are incredibly lucky to have so many amazing local businesses in Mittagong and our Business Directory is the place to find them! From mechanics to medical centres, landscapers to legal services, beauty salons to builders…..The Fold’s Business Directory has got you covered.
OTHER TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
Check out our guide to the other towns and villages in the Southern Highlands.