Bright green paddocks, dense rainforest and the still, snaking Kangaroo River, for which the village is named after – Kangaroo Valley on the NSW South Coast truly is a delight for weekenders and holidaymakers alike, with most of them coming from Sydney or Melbourne, both a cruisey, two-hour drive away. Spend your days here learning its history on a self-guided walking tour, working up a sweat on one of its many nature trails or, in summer, cooling off in its waterfalls Fitzroy Falls or Belmore Falls or one of its many streams or rivers. At night, sit outside and admire its starry skies, or curl up indoors by a fire with a glass of red from the region. However you spend your time here, you’ll no doubt leave feeling rested and reinvigorated – and maybe even with a pie (or two) to take home.
The best way to get to Kangaroo Valley is to drive from Sydney or Canberra, both roughly two hours’ away. Coming from Sydney? For scenic coastal views, not to mention the option for a pit stop in the charming country town of Berry, tack on an extra 20 minutes’ drive time and opt to take the Grand Pacific Drive/M1 instead of the more direct route via Hume Highway/M31.
There’s something to be enjoyed in Kangaroo Valley in every season. In the winter, its moderately chilly temperatures are ideal for bushwalking, visiting nearby wineries and night-time log fires. In summer, swim, kayak or canoe in its river or streams. The weather in spring and autumn is temperate, allowing for picturesque scenes of colourful bush flowers springing to life and burnt orange and red leaves littering the ground.
Encompassing an area of countryside and rainforest, Kangaroo Valley takes advantage of its setting with nearly a dozen beautiful hikes and walks, most of them in Morton National Park. Kangaroo River Walking Track (3.5 kilometres) allows for plenty of opportunities to swim, fish or birdwatch, while Three Views Walking Track (9.5 kilometres return) features three cliff-edge viewing points. Belmore Falls Walking Track (1.8 kilometres return) also offers no shortage of lookouts, as well as access to its waterfall. As do West Rim Walking Track (3.5 kilometres return) and East Rim Walking Track (6.7 kilometres return), both of which start at the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre.
Two of the best ways to experience Kangaroo Valley’s beauty is by canoe or kayak. Kangaroo Valley Kayaks at Holiday Haven next to Hampden Bridge, Kangaroo Valley Safaris and Kangaroo Valley Adventure Company all offer day canoeing or kayaking trips or overnight adventures.
To learn more about Kangaroo Valley’s history, spend a morning or afternoon on a Historic Village Walk, being sure to download its online map beforehand. Wander past heritage-listed sights including a post office, court house and war memorial. Of note is the fairytale-worthy Hampden Bridge, which opened in 1898 and is one of the few suspension bridges in the country. Stop at Pioneer Village Museum to see what life here was like for the early settlers.
While Kangaroo Valley does have several hotels and retreats, including the country club-styled Robertson Hotel, historic the Friendly Inn Hotel and luxurious Crystal Creek Meadows, it’s most known for its holiday homes, bed and breakfasts and farm stays.
Barranca is home to four luxury villas (Ferndale, Willow, Jacaranda and Banksia). The Heavens Mountain Escape is a secluded stay ideal for two couples or a family of four. Rosewood Farm and Cottage Kangaroo Valley offers a two-bedroom, off-grid experience on a 120-acre working farm. And The Tin Shed at Beauridge Farm is a self-contained cottage in the middle of a working beef cattle farm.
Kangaroo Valley has many caravan parks, most of them along or near its main Moss Vale Road. Kangaroo Valley Tourist Park (1300 559 977) sits alongside the Hampden Bridge. Kangaroo Valley Glenmack Park has farm animals, miniature gold and an outdoor pool. And Holiday Haven Kangaroo Valley will let you embrace countryside adventure with convenient kayak and canoe rentals, bike hire and horseback riding trips.
While all of the caravan parks mentioned above are also equipped for camping, others sites to consider include Lake Yarrunga campgrounds, Osborne Park Kangaroo Valley Showground and Bendeela Recreation Area Camping, just outside of Kangaroo Valley.
Spend the night at Barranca in Kangaroo Valley and learn a lesson in off-grid opulence. Why did it take me so long to head to Kan...
Fan of pies or not, Kangaroo Valley Pie Shop is still worth a visit. Choose from savoury pies like steak and mushroom, creamy chicken or hot chili con carne, or opt for sweet with a warm and doughy apple pie. To further satisfy any other sweet tooth cravings, head to Kangaroo Valley Fudge House and Ice Creamery to pick up a fudge slice or brittle bag or Kangaroo Valley Bakehouse, which has pastries, as well as pies and freshly-made bread.
For something more substantial, swing by The Friendly Inn Hotel, one of the oldest pubs in the region, or The General Café where you’ll find seasonal and Instagram-ready fare. Jing Jo Café and Restaurant is where to go for authentic Thai, also made with local ingredients, as well as with herbs and veggies from the kitchen’s garden. Maddison’s In The Valley is open every day of the week for breakfast and lunch. Check Hampden Deli | Dining & School’s website in advance for special dining events, or simply drop by for supplies for an at-home cheeseboard.
With rich volcanic soil ideal for viticulture (grape-growing), Kangaroo Valley also produces some delicious drops. For a taste of them, visit the only winery in Kangaroo Valley proper, Yarrawa Estate Vineyard, which sees the growing of citrus, apples, macadamias, pecans and walnuts, too. Further afield, in Berry, a 30-minute drive away, is the sprawling Silos Estate, where you can book in for a tasting experience, complete with a grazing platter.
Kangaroo Valley Trike Tours organises tours on a four-wheel trike. While these can be completely customised based on what you’re wanting to see, the company’s set tours include 90 minutes-long Floor of the Valley Tour, which will see you visiting Bendeela Recreation area, Upper River and two other areas of the valley; 30 minutes-long Mini Floor of the Valley Tour, which sees you riding through the village and crossing Hampden Bridge; and finally, 90-minute long Winery Tour with an additional 45 minutes allocated for wine tasting and winery exploring.
Book a half-day, full-day or multi-day kayak or canoe adventure with Kangaroo Valley Safaris. Guided kayak and canoe journeys, mountain bike rides and bushwalk tours can be booked through Kangaroo Valley Adventure Company. Its tours include pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation, as well as your choice of two activities.
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