Not sure what are thing best things to do in Kangaroo Valley? Let us help you make the most of your day trip from Sydney or weekend getaway, at one of the best places to visit in NSW. You’ll soon fall in love with the area, just like we did!
We love this beautiful part of the world because there’s just something about the countryside here which reminds us so much of England – in a lovely way. If you’re missing home, then head over to Kangaroo Valley and the rest of the Southern Highlands to help you feel more at home.
Expect amazing waterfalls, swimming holes, adventurous activities and so much more in this post. You’ll want to come back time and time again!
Table of Contents
Where Is Kangaroo Valley?
Kangaroo Valley is located in the Southern Highlands, which is a 2 hour drive south of Sydney. If you’re coming by bus, it will take over 4 hours with a combination of trains and busses. We recommend driving via Bowral on the way there, and then up through Berry and the coast on the way home.
To be honest, we 100% recommend hiring a car if you don’t have one because you’ll be able to see much more.
Kangaroo Valley Waterfalls
There are so many Kangaroo Valley waterfalls to check out, we’re sharing the major one’s in this post. You can read our full guide for the 13 Best Kangaroo Valley Waterfalls here.
We filmed our entire trip to Kangaroo Valley and other beautiful towns in Southern Highlands to give you some inspiration!
1. Fitzroy Falls
There’s a reason why Fitzroy Falls is the home to the most popular waterfalls in Southern Highlands. With a visitor centre and cafe and loads of walking tracks to discover, you could spend ages visiting the different lookouts to see this spectacular Sydney waterfall.
Check out The West Rim Walking Track, Wildflower Walking Track, and The East Rim Walking Track to walk see loads of amazing lookouts of the waterfall.
We don’t advise trying to walk to the bottom of Fitzroy Falls as it’s really dangerous and the track is unmaintained by National Parks. You’d need to be an experienced rock climber with your own equipment to even attempt it.
The visitor centre and cafe open from 9am although you can go to the lookouts at any time. Parking costs $4 for 24 hours.
2. Belmore Falls
Belmore Falls is probably the second most popular waterfall to visit in Southern Highlands. We think it’s easily one of the best waterfalls in NSW! This tiered waterfall is really popular with swimmers, but be warned… it’s actually illegal to hike to the base of the falls for a swim. If you’re caught, expect big fines. You can find out more about this in our ultimate guide for the Best Kangaroo Valley Waterfalls.
3. Gerringong Falls
Gerringong Falls has become really popular in recent years, due to blowing up on social media. It’s a long walk to the falls at 8.4km and is better done by bikes to the top. Don’t try and walk to the bottom of Gerringong Falls, it’s really dangerous – trust me we tried years ago! So, we wrote about why you should try it to warn others from getting into tricky situations.
There are some beautiful swimming holes you need to visit. Rather than trying to hike on dangerous paths to the bottom of the waterfalls, enjoy a beautiful swim in some easy to get to Kangaroo Valley swimming holes.
4. Swim Under The Hampden Bridge
Cool off under the famous heritage listed Hampden Bridge in Kangaroo Valley. There’s a sandbank on the side of the river where you can chill out whilst watching everyone use the swing to jump into the 70 metre pool!
5. Flat Rock Waterhole
We absolutely loved finding Flat Rock Waterhole! This stunning swimming hole is one of those places you find with pure excitement – it feels like a proper hidden gem in the heart of the valley. The drive there up through the Upper Kangaroo Valley alone is worth it, as it’s simply gorgeous. When you get to the swimming hole, you’ll find a natural spa, so you can sit amongst the shallow rapids. Even if there are a few people here, there’s plenty of space to feel like you have it all to yourself.
It’s easily one of our favourite finds in the area! If you’re looking for accommodation, we drove past this amazing house you can book – perfect for groups or families and right on the river!
Tip – it gets quite bumpy on the way to this swimming spot, so make sure you have a high clearance car.
Kangaroo Valley Drives
Take in the beautiful views and enjoy a lovely scenic drive around Kangaroo Valley. Here are some of the standouts for us!
6. Drive Up To Upper Kangaroo Valley
As we mentioned above, the drive out to Flatrock Waterhole is absolutely gorgeous. It’s on the Upper Kangaroo Valley road, and worth a mention as something you should do, regardless of going to the swimming hole. A popular mountain biking trail is to the Upper Kangaroo Valley Hall where you’ll follow the river all the way to it. At the hall, you’ll find this bridge opposite which is simply beautiful.
7. Drive Down From Fitzroy Falls To Kangaroo Valley
If you’re ever looking for beautiful drives in Sydney, you must take the Moss Vale Road from Fitzroy Falls down to Kangaroo Valley. We couldn’t believe how incredible this drive really is. As it wind down into Kangaroo Valley, we were greeted by the clouds. We were so excited, we pulled over and flew the drone up to capture it in all its glory. It was a remarkable sight we witnessed around 8am in the morning after staying the night in Bowral.
8. Drive from Fitzroy Falls To Belmore Falls
The drive from Fitzroy Falls to Belmore Falls is absolutely gorgeous. So much of this drive reminded me of the English countryside, I couldn’t help but wonder if the hills I was looking at were where the movie ‘Babe’ was filmed. That’s right, everyone’s favourite pig movie was filmed in Robertson, just outside of Kangaroo Valley.
There’s a cracking lookout you must check out! Whilst there are plenty of Southern Highlands lookouts to discover, we’re sharing the one Kangaroo Valley lookout you must make the effort to visit.
Continue down the Moss Vale Road on the way to Nowra and you’ll find the Cambewarra Mountain Lookout. Home to some of the best lookouts in NSW, you’ll be able to see all the way out to the ocean. Chill out at the tea rooms and indulge in a Devonshire tea to finish off your trip to Kangaroo Valley.
Kangaroo Valley is all about adventure. With plenty of things to do in Kangaroo Valley, you won’t be bored. We’re going to share some of the most popular Kangaroo Valley activities you need to put on your list to visit.
10. Kayak Kangaroo Valley
You can’t visit without experiencing a famous Kangaroo Valley kayaking trip down the Kangaroo River! There’s a couple of companies you can choose from including Kangaroo Valley Safaris and Kangaroo Valley Kayaks. Both offer a pick-up service at the end of the kayak trip so you don’t have to paddle back.
Although we ran out of time to experience the Kangaroo Valley kayaking adventure, we did see a lot of families embracing the gentle rapid and calm water as thy floated down the river. We would 100% book a trip on our next visit and will write about it soon.
11. Go Mountain Biking With Kangaroo Valley Adventures
Kangaroo Valley Adventure Company is the leading adventure company in Kangaroo Valley, specialising in mountain biking! Mountain biking is a really popular activity you can make the most of the diverse trails around. Either take on a downhill trail ride or go for more of a family stroll as they offer up options for everyone.
Why not try something new and step out of your comfort zone and learn how to rock climb with Kangaroo Valley Adventure Company? They’re not the leading adventure company for nothing! Catered for beginners and intermediate climbers, you’ll learn how to rock climb in the heart of the Kangaroo Valley. We couldn’t think of a better place to learn this new skill!
Book a horse riding lesson or if you’re an experienced rider, opt for a morning or afternoon trail ride in the beautiful setting of the valley with Kangaroo Valley Horses. This beautiful 2 hour experience will take you across creeks and open farm land and onto scenic bush trails. We can’t think of anything better than doing this when looking for Sydney getaways. Forget the concrete and enjoy getting right back to nature.
Taken from the Japanese art form, forest bathing is a fantastic opportunity to take time out of life, and recharge whilst connecting with nature. A 2 hour introductory session with Experience Nature will teach you to reflect, heal and listen in nature in the Kangaroo Valley. This is one of the best wellness activities you should put on your list to experience. Once you’re taught various methods, you’ll never walk in the bush the same way again.
Just passed the community hall is the Yarrawa Estate vineyard. Hit off three of our top things to do in Kangaroo Valley including the drive to Upper Kangaroo Valley, Flatrock Swimming Hole and Yarrawa Estate. This gorgeous vineyard packs a punch for serving up award winning wines as well as home produce.
The most famous Kangaroo Valley winery is Silos Estate. Although it’s just outside of town (on the way to Berry), make sure you stop by on the way home. The cellar door is known for serving up delicious wines in a beautiful setting. There’s a restaurant on site in a 100 year old barn you should check out too. The head chef, Nick Gardner is known for working at Sydney favourite’s Tetsuya’s, Quay and The French Laundry! Plus! they also have the biggest alpaca outlet on the South Coast and it’s also dog friendly too.
The Three Views Walk is one of the most popular Kangaroo Valley walks to take the whole family on. The good news is you can decide how many of the three lookouts you want to take on. This Kangaroo Valley hike can take up to a day, or just 1 hour return to the first lookout. Each lookout shows you stunning views over the Shoalhaven Gorge towards the Ettrema Wilderness.
Although Drawing Room Rocks walk is closer to Berry, it’s worth giving this popular day trip from Sydney a mention. The 4.5km return walk should take around 2h30m to hike to these spectacular views overlooking the South Coast. If you were wondering why it’s called Drawing Room Rocks, the natural rock formation is similar to a table and chairs!
More Things To Do In Kangaroo Valley
19. Pioneer Village Museum
Go back in time at the Pioneer Village Museum, a village dedicated to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which is full of artefacts from that era. The museum has loads of history and visual displays, making it a great opportunity for families to learn more about Australian history.
Hidden behind the main street is the gorgeous Village Green Nursery. It’s open to everyone to have a wonder around and admire the effort and love gone into creating this epic boutique garden centre.
21. Grandpas Shed Vintage Shop
Grandpa’s Shed is a bit of an institution! Located just down the road from Fitzroy Falls, it’s an antique shop selling loads of random bits and bobs. Unfortunately we passed by too early in the morning to check it out inside. We would definitely visit it next time we’re in the area.
22. Kangaroo Valley Farmers Market
The Kangaroo Valley Farmers Market takes place on the second Sunday of every month next door to The Friendly Inn Hotel on the main street. This is the place to come if you want to buy delicious local produce such as eggs, jams, pastries, cakes, local honey and so much more. Make sure you time your Sydney day trip with the markets!
With a name like Valley Vintage, you might be expecting a vintage shop. Instead, it’s actually a really clothes shop for men and women. We popped inside and to be honest, I could have shopped up a storm. The menswear is really good!
The General Cafe in Kangaroo Valley must be one of the most popular places to eat in the area. When we visited, there were non stop lines out the door to get in. This is a beautiful cafe we would eat at in a heartbeat. We only ordered a coffee and croissant, but the almond croissant was literally the best croissant we’ve both ever eaten! It’s a must try from us!
Next door is a the The General Store which is a lovely local shop you should pop into if you need to get any snacks or drinks.
Sweet As serves up local chocolate and gelato. This long running sweet shop has been serving locals and tourists for over 20 years, making is a must visit when you’re in town. It’s located next door to The General Store & Cafe.
The Friendly Inn is one of the oldest pub in the South Coast, and a favourite with locals and tourists. The back of the pub is the delight with an almost British style pub garden, overlooking the beautiful countryside!
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab breakfast or lunch, head over to the Hampden Deli. You’ll find exceptional produce, home baked bread and so many more goodies, you’ll be stocking up for the drive home!
You can’t go past the famous English, Scottish & Australian Bank building in Kangaroo Valley! Home to the Kangaroo Valley Fudge House & Ice Creamery, pick up some local homemade fudge and ice cream, as well as a Devonshire tea with homemade warm scones.
Did you know Kangaroo Valley is home to a couple of amazing dining experiences? Here are a few we can’t wait to share with you!
29. Long Table Lunches
Flavours Of The Valley run Long Table Lunches, a secret foodies experience in their 100 acre property. They host different themes for each lunch party on one long table. Recent themes have included Wizardry And Magic, From The Earth and Enter The Ring. The six course degustation menu is well priced at $155pp with BYO. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people and have a completely different dining experience in Kangaroo Valley!
Find out more about Long Table Lunches here.
30. Highland Harvest Feasts
Highland Harvest Feasts run one lunch or dinner a season, highlighting the beautiful local produce with a twist on Pagon, Saxon, Nordic and Celtic banquets. From dining in the middle of a vinyards or taking part in the annual Hallow’s Eve dinner, Highland Harvest Feasts make a unique dining event you should try at least once in your life!
Every October you’ll find the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival taking place over three days! Celebrating folk music, dancing, poetry, art and craft in Australia’s most stunning valley, you’ll be able to hang out with the locals in Southern Highlands in this jammed packed arts festival.
A month before the Folk Festival is the Kangaroo Valley Craft Beer & BBQ Festival. Held at The Friendly Inn, there will be two BBQ competitions where teams will compete for an amazing $10K+ cash prize! There will also be a kids BBQ chef competition as well for any young budding chefs out there. A craft beer expo will run alongside the BBQ competitions with live music and even a sausage eating competition thrown in too!
If you’re looking for more things to do or places to visit nearby, drive over to Robertson which is just a 30 minute drive away. With loads of things to do see and do here, some of our favourites include visiting Belmore Falls & Carrington Falls as well as getting lunch at The Robertson Public House.
If you’re looking to eat your way around Southern Highlands, check out Bowral, located a 40 minute drive from Kangaroo Valley. As the main town in Southern Highlands and plenty of fantastic cafes and restaurants to choose from, you certainly wont be short on finding things to do in Bowral. Make sure you check out our complete guide to the area below.
Make sure you make the effort to check out Berrima, another beautiful Southern Highlands town like Kangaroo Valley. We really love The General Surveyor Inn and Harpers Manision Maze. Berrima is a 50 minute drive from Kangaroo Valley
There’s loads of things to do in Jamberoo! Visit the fun Jamberoo Action Park, Minnamurra Rainforest, The Illawarra Sky Tree Top Walk, Drive down the incredible Macquarie Pass, swim at Jump Rock, and check out the amazing views at Jamberro Lookout! Jamberoo is a 50 minute drive from Kangaroo Valley.
Although we’ve not spent that much time in Berry yet, we did do a stop over on the way home to try the famous cinnamon doughnuts at the doughnut van. We too were suspicious about whether they would be any good! To our surprise, we got what the fuss is about. More importantly, Berry is a stunning town we can’t wait to go and explore more of soon! It’s just a 25 minute drive from Kangaroo Valley to Berry!
38. Jervis Bay
We decided to drive down to Jervis Bay during our Southern Highlands visit because we hadn’t been in a while. Having gone to Whitsundays just a few months before, we couldn’t believe how amazing the Jervis Bay beaches are. Both places in Australia are incredibly special, with water so blue, you’d be forgiven to think you had been transported to the beaches in Yucatan in Mexico! Jervis Bay takes just over an hour to get to from Kangaroo Valley.
Just over an hour north and you’ll come to the city of Wollongong. While most people might stop off in Kiama to see the world’s largest blowhole, there’s much more to see there than you think! Check out our guide to visit some of the best temples in Australia, and so much more!
Looking for a Kangaroo Valley campground? Check out Bendeela Campground, just a stones throw from the Hampden Bridge. This is a fantastic campsite on the Kangaroo River, perfect for families and anyone who loves camping!
I feel like staying in a tiny home in Kangaroo Valley is a given. If you’ve not experienced a tiny home yet, this is the perfect retreat away from it all. Perfect for couples, but it can also hold up to four people with a sofa bed downstairs, we would stay here in a heart beat!
42. Rainforest River Retreat For Groups Or Families
When we drove up to Flatrock Waterhole, we drove past the Rainforest River Retreat. It looked amazing, and we just knew we wanted to include it in this article. It’s set right on the Kangaroo River in the middle of the Upper Kangaroo Valley. With nothing else around, it would make the perfect getaway from Sydney. Bring the whole family or a big group of friends and spend the weekend swimming in the river and enjoying the nature of this beautiful part of NSW, with Yarrawa Estate nearby for wine tasting.