Bowral is the wonderland of the Southern Highlands. A historically hard working town, recent decades has seen Bowral learn to relax, and so has become the tourism hot-spot of the forever sleepy Southern Highlands. To first time visitors, some still expecting a big city getaway, Bowral reveals itself as nourishing and fertile, and via the cascading medleys of boutique stores, restaurants, and accommodation - all supported by a burgeoning entertainment fuelled social gathering industry (cafes, pubs, clubs), Bowral promises everything, and then some. Borrowing some tricks from the MastersOfTourism, Bowral nestles within the rolling hill-scapes of lifeless volcanos, warm and fruity, and ALL year round hosts a multitude of experiences and memories - at the many art galleries, parks, and frequent weekend markets.

With the Southern Highlands having very distinct seasons, many tourists find the best time to visit Bowral would be during either autumn or spring. During autumn, the trees explode with bright reds and oranges, and the air has a crispness that can only be experienced at Bowral's higher altitude. Spring on the other hand finds the area blooming with vibrant springtime annuals such as the popular tulip, and many of the local gardens become open to the Public.

During spring, Bowral's annual Tulip Time event becomes one of the Highland's biggest annual attractions, bringing in many thousands of visitors each year. Held durinf the September and October months, Tulip Time has become one of Australia's leading floral festivals.

How about some statistics

According to the 2006 Australian Census, there were 6,971 people that considered Bowral home. Approximately 45.79% of people in Bowral are male, and 44.87% of them are married. The average age was 48.

42% of eligible workers in Bowral considered themselves employable. Of those that were capable of labour, 54% worked full-time. The official unemployment rate for Bowral in 2006 was 4.54%. The average wage was $498 per week.

There were roughly 3,494 housing properties, and 85% of them were occupied. Of those occupied properties, 38% were owned by the people that typically lived in them. 19% of Bowral was on their way to owning a home. In Bowral, only 4% of properties are units or apartments. The average rent in Bowral was about $220 per week.

A Brief History of Bowral

In the late 1850's, John Oxley had purchased 5000 acres of land from Governor Brisbane. Although a deed was never issued before his death, this land is what we now know as Bowral. In 1859, the land was subdivided by Oxley's son, and a private village was set up to attract Sydney visitors, as well as to give comfort and a place to stay for the many railway workers constructing the railway line from Sydney. Originally named Wingecarribee by the Oxley Family, it was later renamed to Burradoo before eventually being named Bowral. The name Bowral was derived from Bowrel, which was the Aboriginal name given to the area. Bowrel is thought to have meant "large" or "high", referring to Mt Gibraltar.

Once the railway line had been completed, Bowral soon became a summer holiday retreat for many wealthy Sydney residents. These Sydneysiders had come to the area to not only get away from Sydney, but due the Southern Highlands' cooler climate, escape the often scorching and humid Sydney summers. They have since left a legacy of magnificent mansions and spacious gardens containing, due to the English climate of the area, many European deciduous and evergreen trees, exotic plants and flowering annuals.

For a more detailed history on Bowral, select any of the history articles to the top left of the page.

Photos of Bowral

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Map of Bowral

Accommodation in Bowral

Underground B & B

Lot 1647 Potch Gully Road , Bowral

Underground B & B is a five bedroom, four bathroom underground home, with its own private entrance. It boasts in a lovely undercover parking, barbecue area and spa. Continental breakfast is supplied. The kitchen and dining area is spacious and well appointed, with modern, spotless appliances that make for a truly comfortable self-catering stay. Our lounge areas are quiet and roomy with comfortable furniture with plenty of room to spread out. There is a home theatre, television and Internet access. The master bedroom boasts an ensuite while the other two share the main bathroom. Only one and a half kilometres from the centre of town. A short flight of stairs from the carport takes you into your accommodation. The first thing you will notice is the mild 22-23 degree temperature underground. Without the lights on, the rooms are dark and very quiet, so you'll have the most satisfying sleep ever, any time of the day!

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Farthingwoods Retreat


Hi I used to be on this site, any reason why I have been taken off. Regards from Lynne Gullifa 7 Jasmine st bowal o410026893

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Menabillie Manor

3 Merilbah Road, Bowral, Bowral

Bed and breakfast accommodation on Bowral

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Menabillie Manor

3 Merilbah Road, Bowral, Bowral

Bed and breakfast accommodation on Bowral

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Restaurants in Bowral

Biota Dining

Kangaloon Road, Bowral

Biota Dining is a licensed restaurant located in Bowral. Biota offers a unique menu employing home grown produce - demonstrating modern cooking techniques in a state of the art kitchen setting.

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Jack Style

Cnr Boolwey st & Station st, Bowral

Jack Style Thai Restaurant features award winning traditional Thai cuisine. Open 7 days for lunch & dinner. Fully licensed & BYO. Take away and home delivery service available.

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White Canoe

Corbett Plaza, Bowral

Modern Australian Cuisine.

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378 Bong Bong St, Bowral

A Taste of Africa, from Cape Town to Cairo.

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Cafes in Bowral

Cappas Cafe

99 Bowral Street (Foyer of the Southern Highlands Private Hospital), Bowral

Cappas Cafe at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital in Bowral features an extensive coffee and hot/cold food menu.

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The Hospital Shop

4 Mona Road, Bowral

The Hospital Shop in Bowral specialises in premium coffee, and as well as freshly made muffins, pies, and sandwiches.

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Palate Pleasure

Shop 2, 350 Bong Bong St, Bowral

Palate Pleasure in Bowral is a modern cafe offering fabulous coffee, fresh modern Australian meals, delicious cakes baked on our own premises and have a deli section of gourmet style Take-Home meals.

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Janek's Cafe

Corbett Plaza, Bowral

Janek's Cafe is located right in the hub of Bowral, offering casual style eating. Famous for their freshly baked cakes, muffins, and fruit bread.

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Shopping in Bowral

Little Bird Bloom


Our flower designs focus on featuring Australian native blooms with more mainstream flowers. We focus on featuring blooms which are in season at the time.

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June-Rose Bridal Makeup and Hair


There is no description for June-Rose Bridal Makeup and Hair

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Emma McGill Makeup Artist

44 mittagong street welby (mobile service, no salon), Bowral

Emma studied Makeup Artistry in one of Australias' leading makeup colleges and has gained experience in many different areas over the years. Based in the stunning Southern Highlands, NSW, Emma specialises in Bridal Makeup and has extended her studies to offer Hair Styling and Spray Tanning, as well. Emma services all areas including the Southern Highlands (Bowral), the South Coast, Canberra, Sydney and all areas in between. Emma prides herself on a beautiful, natural approach to makeup and uses a layered method of makeup application which increases its longevity. Emma says 'makeup application is a way of enhancing ones own natural beauty, not create it'.

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Flowers And Functions


Sheridan Flowers and Functions - Specialising in unique floral design, creative decorative styling, and wedding and event planning services. Servicing the Southern Highlands and South Coast of NSW.

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