Great Outings: No.2 - Southern Highlands Antique Shopping
Updated: Dec 19, 2021
When you stay at Oldbury Cottage there are plenty of great shops in the village to explore, but a great way to spend a lazy few hours around Berrima is to combine some antique and curio shopping with a lovely scenic country drive. Here's one of our favourite routes.
Starting in Mittagong at the fabulous Mittagong Antiques Centre, you the pop down the road to Dirty Jane's in Bowral, before heading down to Grandpa's Shed at Fitzroy Falls, then back across to Exeter (where you can have lunch at the great little Exeter General Store). After that, you'll probably feel like heading back to Oldbury Cottage to put your feet up.
Here are some of the shopping highlights along the way...
All up, this route includes a little over one hour of driving - broken up into nice short cruises through some of the Southern Highland's finest scenic routes. If you have a convertible, these are the scenes you imagined yourself driving through.
1. Oldbury Cottage to Mittagong Antiques Centre (14 mins)
You'll find yourself immersed in a bygone era at the Mittagong Antiques Centre. With over 45 dealers exhibiting their wares sourced from all around the globe, you will need to allow yourself time to explore the wondrous array of antiquities, collectables and fine arts, including arts by local artisans.
While you're in Mittagong, you might also visit Hunters & Collectors Antiques as well. This shop has some amazing and rare curiosities, generally of a high standard, primarily dealing in antiques; but it also has some of the most unusual collectables plus there are vintage clothes, classic labels and accessories such as vintage sunglasses, bags, belts, gloves etc. The proprietor claims there are no reproductions in the shop.
2. Mittagong to Dirty Jane's Bowral (9 minutes)
Dirty Jane's in Bowral is probably the Southern Highlands' most entertaining antique centre. Quirky, captivating and packed with curios, Dirty Janes offers a group of connected small warehouses filled with shops from loads of different vendors. It's the place you'll almost certainly find something fun to remember your Highlands weekend by. There's also a great little garden centre incorporating a top-flight café amongst the greenery. Alternatively, the Press Shop Bowral, just outside Dirty Jane's is a popular, busy, contemporary café
3. Bowral to Grandpa's Shed at Fitzroy Falls (21 minutes)
Next, heading south east out of Bowral via Kangaloon Road, you'll head past the famous Bong Bong Races and then down to Fitzroy Falls where you'll find Grandpa's Shed. This old shed is where you'll find old wooden boxes, pieces of furniture, old tools and a myriad of flotsam and jetsam. After exploring the shed, you might like to take a look at the adjacent Fitzroy Falls Gallery or see the Fitzroy Falls Lookout via the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre. There are other activities around Fitzroy Falls that you can explore here.
4. Fitzroy Falls to Exeter General Store (20 Mins)
After you've left Fitzroy Falls, set course for Exeter via Nowra Road and Mount Broughton Road. This lovely stretch of road takes you past fine rural properties and through corridors of huge, tall old eucalyptus trees. Quintessentially the scenic country drive part as well as a bit of a 'driver's road'.
Along the way, you can stop at Mount Ashby Estate, which offers where you can enjoy great wines, homemade soup, crusty bread and a Charcuterie Plate at the vineyard & cellar door. The French farmhouse tables inside the restored original dairy create a unique experience, and you can enjoy great views of the vineyard, while grazing dairy cattle meander dreamily. Fundamentally French provincial and early Australian, there's also European furniture and it's definitely is worth stopping, if even only for a gander.
At the quaint little village of Exeter you'll find the charming Exeter General Store, where decent coffee and light lunches are served. Across the road is the Halcyon Cottage, where very high quality homewares and gifts are found, plus there's also has a great little flower shop attached (you can see their products at the end of the above video). The wonderful old Village Pump Antiques, which was once a real adventure has faded a bit but it's still worth a look.
5. Exeter to Oldbury Cottage Berrima (14 mins)
From Exeter, it's just a short cruise back to Oldbury Cottage via Sutton Forest, which has the wacky Everything Store and a superb country green grocer on the corner that sells the best vegetables, sourdough bread and baklava.
Don't drive by. Stop.
Buy some provisions to take back to Oldbury Cottage. We promise... you won't regret it!
From here though, you have a choice.
If it's the nice country drive you'd rather - is the top down? - take the Golden Vale Road route back to Berrima, which skips Moss Vale. Superb scenery, lovely farmland, historic properties, straight runs... and very little traffic.
Still up for a bit more shopping? Then there are plenty of really great homewares shops in Moss Vale, which adds just 4 minutes to the journey, but could rather see your credit card punished.
Suffice to say, if you've not bought anything so far today, then there are some dangerously excellent options that we'd highly recommend.
Stop near the railway bridge and visit Susie Anderson, Nest and Burrow, Rabbit Trap Timber and Made By Others. You'll end your day on a high, not only because of the coffee and food at Highlands Merchant is excellent, or because if you forgot to eat you've now inhaled a hamburger at Bernie's Diner (where the burgers are absolutely 'The Bomb'), but because there is so much creativity across these three stores that you'll be blown away.
We'll tell you more about Moss Vale's shops and restaurants in future posts.
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