Last updated

New South Wales
Bowral Tulip Festival.jpg
Tulip Time at Corbett Gardens
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 34°28′45″S150°25′5″E / 34.47917°S 150.41806°E / -34.47917; 150.41806 Coordinates: 34°28′45″S150°25′5″E / 34.47917°S 150.41806°E / -34.47917; 150.41806
Population12,949 (2016 census) [1]
Postcode(s) 2576
Elevation690 m (2,264 ft)
LGA(s) Wingecarribee Shire
Region Southern Highlands
County Camden
Parish Mittagong
State electorate(s) Wollondilly
Federal Division(s) Whitlam
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
18.7 °C
66 °F
7.8 °C
46 °F
905.5 mm
35.6 in
Localities around Bowral:
Berrima Bowral East Bowral

Bowral ( /ˈbrəl/ ) [2] is the largest town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, about ninety minutes south of Sydney. It is the main business and entertainment precinct of the Wingecarribee Shire and Highlands. At the 2016 census, the population of the Bowral area was 12,949. [1]

Southern Highlands (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Southern Highlands, also locally referred to as the Highlands, is a geographical region and district in New South Wales, Australia and is 110 km south-west of Sydney. The entire region is under the local government area of the Wingecarribee Shire. The region is also considered a wine region.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In December 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Sydney Metropolis in Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.


In the past, Bowral served as a rural summer retreat for the gentry of Sydney, resulting in the establishment of a number of estates and manor houses in the district. Today, it is considered a "dormitory suburb" for commuter Sydneysiders, though it is 136km away from the city centre. [3] Bowral is often associated with the cricketer Sir Donald Bradman.

Gentry people of high social class, in particular of the land-owning social class

Gentry are "well-born, genteel and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past. In the United Kingdom, the term gentry refers to the landed gentry, the majority of the land-owning social class who were typically armigerous, but did not have titles of nobility. Gentry, in its widest connotation, refers to people of good social position connected to landed estates, upper levels of the clergy, and "gentle" families of long descent who never obtained the official right to bear a coat of arms. The historical term gentry by itself, so Peter Coss argues, is a construct that historians have applied loosely to rather different societies. Any particular model may not fit a specific society, yet a single definition nevertheless remains desirable. Linguistically, the word gentry arose to identify the social stratum created by the very small number, by the standards of Continental Europe, of the Peerage of England, and of the parts of Britain, where nobility and titles are inherited by a single person, rather than the family, as usual in Europe.

Cricket Team sport played with bats and balls

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground. When ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches. They communicate with two off-field scorers who record the match's statistical information.

Bowral is close to several other historic towns, being 5 kilometres (3 mi) from Mittagong, 9 kilometres (6 mi) from both Moss Vale and Berrima. The suburb of East Bowral and the village of Burradoo are nearby.

Moss Vale, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Moss Vale is a town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in the Wingecarribee Shire. At the 2016 census, it has a population of 8,579 and is sited on the Illawarra Highway, which connects to Wollongong and the Illawarra coast via Macquarie Pass.

Berrima, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Berrima is a historic village in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in Wingecarribee Shire. The village, once a major town, is located on the Old Hume Highway between Canberra and Sydney. It was previously known officially as the Town of Berrima. It is close to the three major towns of the Southern Highlands; Mittagong, Bowral and Moss Vale.

East Bowral is a gazetted locality and state suburb approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) east of the town of Bowral of the Southern Highlands, New South Wales, Australia.


Bowral's history extends back for approximately 200 years. During the pre-colonial era, the land was home to an Aboriginal tribe known as Tharawal. The first European arrival was ex-convict John Wilson, who was commissioned by Governor Hunter to explore south of the new colony of Sydney. Other people to traverse the area include John Warby and botanist George Caley (an associate of Joseph Banks), the Hume brothers and later famous pioneer explorers John Oxley and Charles Throsby. Governor Lachlan Macquarie of the New South Wales colony had appointed 2,400 acres (9.7 km2) to John Oxley in a land grant, which was later incorporated as Bowral.

Tharawal indigenous group of Australia

The Dharawal people are an indigenous people of Australia, are those Australian Aboriginals that are united by a common language, strong ties of kinship and survived as skilled hunter–fisher–gatherers in family groups or clans scattered along the coastal area of what is now known as the Sydney basin, in New South Wales.

George Caley was an English botanist and explorer, active in Australia for the majority of his career.

Joseph Banks English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences

Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, was an English naturalist, botanist, and patron of the natural sciences.

The town grew rapidly between the 1860s and the 1890s, mainly due to the building of the railway line from Sydney to Melbourne. In 1863, a permanent stone building was built for the church. However, the building would be replaced by the first Anglican church of St Simon and St Jude. The church and chapel had been designed by Edmund Blacket and was built on the glebe in 1874. The church was expanded in 1887 to cater for a growing number of worshippers. Today, only Blackett's belltower remains. [4] One of the earliest houses built as a mountain retreat was Craigieburn which was contructed in 1885

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 2,080 km2 (800 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of 5 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

Edmund Thomas Blacket was an Australian architect, best known for his designs for the University of Sydney, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney and St. Saviour's Cathedral, Goulburn.

Craigieburn, Bowral

Craigieburn, Bowral is a house of historical significance as it was built in about 1885. It was originally the mountain retreat for a wealthy Sydney merchant and was owned by him for over twenty years. It was then the home of several other prominent people until about 1918 when it was converted into a hotel. Today it still provides hotel accommodation and is a venue for special events particularly weddings and conferences.

Gardens and European plants flourished from 1887, when citizens of Bowral started planting deciduous trees to make the area look more British. This legacy still lives on throughout Bowral. Notably, the oaks at the start of Bong Bong St are a characteristic that makes Bowral distinct from other rural towns, giving it strong autumn colour. The town became somewhat affluent, as many wealthy Sydney-siders purchased property or land in the town and built grand Victorian weatherboard homes.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Oak genus of plants

An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are approximately 600 extant species of oaks. The common name "oak" also appears in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus, as well as in those of unrelated species such as Grevillea robusta and the Casuarinaceae (she-oaks). The genus Quercus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, and includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with approximately 90 occurring in the United States, while Mexico has 160 species of which 109 are endemic. The second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains approximately 100 species.

Victorian architecture series of architectural revival styles

Victorian architecture is a series of architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Victorian refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed "Victorian" architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria's reign. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles. The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. Within this naming and classification scheme, it followed Georgian architecture and later Regency architecture, and was succeeded by Edwardian architecture.

Heritage listings

Bowral has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Bowral and the former spelling Bowrall. [8] may have been derived from an Aboriginal word meaning "high and large". [9]


At the 2016 census, the Bowral area, including Burradoo, had a population of 12,949. [1] A more local area had a population of 10,335. [10]

74.7% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 7.0% and New Zealand 1.6% and 88.4% of people spoke only English at home. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.9% of Bowral's population. The most common responses for religion in Bowral were Anglican 26.2%, No Religion 24.2% and Catholic 22.7%. [1]

In the 21st century, Bowral has become a haven for retirees and empty nesters, commonly from Sydney: 13.3% of Bowral's population is aged 55–64 years (compared with the national average of 11.8%) and 35.5% is aged over 64 years (compared with the national average of 15.8%). [1] Consequently, the town has a number of retirement villages, [11] some located only minutes' walk from the central business district and hospitals. Also, as measured during the 2016 census, 38.7% of the town's population are under the age of 45, whereas for the nation the figure is 59.4%. [1]


Bowral Railway Station Bowral 1.jpg
Bowral Railway Station

Bowral is about 5 kilometres (3 mi) from the Hume Highway, which goes north to Sydney and south to Canberra, the Snowy Mountains and Melbourne. In the past, Bowral served as an overnight stop-over for travellers.

Bowral railway station is served by the Southern Highlands Line with services between Sydney and Moss Vale or Goulburn. Long distance services operate to Canberra and Melbourne.

It has public bus routes to Nowra, Albion Park and Wollongong. A private operator provides a service six days a week from Bowral to Greater Sydney (Campbelltown, Liverpool and Parramatta) and to the Shoalhaven and south coast of New South Wales.


Bowral has an oceanic climate (Cfb), enjoying warm summers and quite cool to cold winters. Frost is common during winter although temperatures rarely fall below −5 degrees Celsius. Snow falls occasionally, and falls in excess of 15 cm have been recorded. Historic maxima and minima have ranged from 40.0 °C (104.0 °F) on 30 January 2003 to −11.2 °C (11.8 °F) on 11 July 1971.

Climate data for Bowral
Record high °C (°F)40.0
Average high °C (°F)25.5
Average low °C (°F)13.4
Record low °C (°F)2.1
Average precipitation mm (inches)81.9
Average precipitation days13.513.413.411.111.211.310.09.410.211.813.612.5141.4
Average relative humidity (%)57646161656864565456605660
Source: [12]

Tourist attractions

The Bradman Oval, pavilion and museum at Bowral, NSW Bradman Oval.jpg
The Bradman Oval, pavilion and museum at Bowral, NSW

Bowral is noted for its boutiques, antique stores, gourmet restaurants and cafés.

The Bradman Oval, Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame are dedicated to the achievements of cricketer Sir Donald Bradman and to the game of cricket. [13]

Bowral is the setting for Tulip Time at the Corbett Gardens, [14] a springtime celebration with a profusion of tulips and other flowers planted in the town centre. [15] A comprehensive private not-for-profit botanic garden includes a mix of exotic, native, and endemic species including a shale woodland, the endangered ecological community endemic to the site. [16]

The town has a Vietnam War Memorial and Cherry Tree Walk, constructed along the Mittagong Rivulet that flows through the town. Along a walking/cycle track beside the stream are planted 526 cherry trees, each dedicated to a soldier who died in the service of his country. [17]

Bowral and surrounding region was proclaimed a Booktown in 2000 [18] having numerous bookshops and associations with many literary figures including P. L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins novels, [19] Arthur Upfield, and many others. [20]

Panoramic view of Bowral from the Bowral Lookout on Mount Gibraltar. Moss Vale and the ranges near Bundanoon can be seen in the background. Bowral panorama.jpg
Panoramic view of Bowral from the Bowral Lookout on Mount Gibraltar. Moss Vale and the ranges near Bundanoon can be seen in the background.

The Bong Bong Picnic Races, commenced in 1886, attracted crowds of up to 35,000 but were suspended in 1985 and resumed in 1992 as a members-only event. The event attracts around 5,000 people and is held annually in November, [21] as well as other events during the year.

Bowral is also home to a few vineyards and cellar doors and is close to Mittagong, the winery centre of the Southern Highlands. There are 60 vineyards in the Southern Highlands, which is a recognised cool-climate wine district. Wineries around Bowral are listed in the Southern Highlands Wineries Index. [22]

Bowral is overshadowed by Mount Gibraltar, which rises to 863 metres (2,831 ft) above sea level and has lookouts over Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale and the ranges near Bundanoon.


The town is served by the Bowral and District Hospital, which also serves the Southern Highlands region. [23] Founded in 1889, it is the only hospital operated outside the Sydney metropolitan area by the South Western Sydney Local Health District.


Schools in Bowral:


Churches in Bowral:

Notable residents

Related Research Articles

Wingecarribee River river in New South Wales, Australia

The Wingecarribee River, a perennial river that is part of the Hawkesbury–Nepean catchment, is located in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales, Australia.

Capital Country Region in New South Wales, Australia

Capital Country was the name of one of the sixteen tourism regions of New South Wales, Australia. This geographical division is made for improving commerce, specifically tourism, in the state.

Mittagong Town in New South Wales, Australia

Mittagong is a town located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in Wingecarribee Shire. The town acts as the gateway to the Southern Highlands when coming from Sydney. Mittagong is situated at an elevation of 635 metres (2,083 ft). The town is close to Bowral, Berrima, Moss Vale and the Northern Villages such as Yerrinbool and Colo Vale. Moreover, Mittagong is home to many wineries of the Southern Highlands which has been a recent growing wine and cellar door region.

Southern Highlands Line rail service in New South Wales, Australia

The Southern Highlands Line is an Intercity rail service operated by NSW TrainLink that services the Macarthur, Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands regions of New South Wales. First operating in 1869, the service runs from Campbelltown across the Main Southern railway line through to Goulburn, with peak hour services extending the route to Central. The railway service operates alongside a bus route from Picton to Bowral, operating on the route of the Picton – Mittagong loop railway line, and a regional coach service from Bundanoon to Wollongong on the South Coast Line, operating on the corridor of the Unanderra - Moss Vale railway line.

High Range, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

High Range is a locality located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia near Bowral and Mittagong. The village is centred just off the Wombeyan Caves Road 55 kilometres (34 mi) east of the Wombeyan Caves. High Range has a church, a rural fire station, a bus stop and a cricket pitch.

Group 6 Rugby League

Group 6 is a senior Rugby league competition in New South Wales, Australia, run under the auspices of the Country Rugby League. The geographical area covered by Group 6 takes in much of the Southern Highlands and southern Macarthur regions of New South Wales, extending from Marulan, New South Wales in the south, to Mount Annan/ the M5 in the north and Warragamba in the west.

Mittagong railway station

Mittagong railway station is a heritage-listed railway station on the Main South line in New South Wales, Australia. It serves the town of Mittagong in the Southern Highlands. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Bowral railway station

Bowral railway station is located on the Main South line in New South Wales, Australia. It serves the town of Bowral opening on 1 March 1867.

Burradoo railway station

Burradoo railway station is located on the Main South line in New South Wales, Australia. It serves the town of Burradoo, opening in 1870.

Oxley College (Burradoo)

The Oxley College is an independent non-denominational Christian co-educational primary and secondary day school, located in Burradoo, on the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia.

Wingecarribee Shire Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

Wingecarribee Shire is the local government area of the Southern Highlands in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The Wingecarribee Shire is around 110 kilometres (70 mi) southwest of the Sydney central business district and is part of regional Capital Country and to some extent can be considered part of the Southern Tablelands.

Burradoo, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Burradoo is a suburb of Bowral, in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in Wingecarribee Shire. At the 2016 census, Burradoo had a population of 2,645 people.

The Parish of Mittagong is a parish of the County of Camden in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales. It includes the town of Bowral and the southern parts of Mittagong.

Bowral is a town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. It has a history spanning nearly 200 years.

Bowral High School

Bowral High School is a government-funded co-educational comprehensive secondary day school, located in Bowral, a town in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales, Australia.

Bradman Oval cricket field in Bowral, New South Wales, Australia

Bradman Oval is a heritage-listed cricket ground in Glebe Street, Bowral in the southern highlands area of New South Wales, Australia. It was named after cricketer Don Bradman, who lived locally and played at the ground in the 1920s. His ashes are scattered on and near the Oval. It is also known as Glebe Park. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 23 June 2000.

<i>Southern Highland News</i> Australian newspaper

The Southern Highland News is a newspaper published in Bowral, New South Wales, Australia since 1958. It has incorporated a number of other newspapers including The Southern Mail, The Robertson Mail, The Moss Vale Mail, The Mittagong Mail and The Mittagong Star.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Bowral (SA2)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 July 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  2. Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN   1-876429-14-3
  3. Wilson, Robert (1990). Discover Australia. Books for Pleasure. ISBN   978-1863021142.
  4. current Church of St. Simon and St. Jude
  5. "Kurkulla". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H00503. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  6. "Bradman Oval and Collection of Cricket Memorabilia". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H01399. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  7. "Mount Gibraltar Trachyte Quarries Complex". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H01917. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  8. okTravel – Bowral Profile
  9. "Bowral". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales . Retrieved 20 June 2009. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  10. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Bowral (state suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 July 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  11. Retirement villages in Bowral Archived 8 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine at directory
  12. "Climate statistics for Bowral (Parry Drive)". Bureau of Meteorology . Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  13. "Home | Bradman Foundation". Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  14. Tulip Time at
  15. Gardens Archived 26 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine at
  16. Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Archived 9 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 5 September 2013
  17. Cherry Tree Walk Vietnam War Memorial at Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia website
  18. Australasia's First Book Town launched in NSW Southern Highlands March 2000. Media release at Booktown Australia
  19. Mary Poppins birthplace
  20. BOOKtrail Launched in NSW Southern Highlands Media release at Booktown Australia
  21. Bong Bong Picnic Race Club
  22. Southern Highlands Wineries Index at
  23. Bowral Hospital
  24. "Videos |". Retrieved 22 January 2016.