When we’re down on the farm in the Southern Highlands, we always like to do a bit of exploring. One town we hadn’t visited was Robertson. Known as the ‘Green Heart of the Highlands’, I’ve been wanting to visit Robertson ever since finding out that it was the location for the film, Babe.
From Mittagong, it took about 20-minutes to drive to Robertson. Robertson is a village with a population of just over 1,200 so if you’re not paying attention you’ll drive right through it and miss all the village has to offer. Despite this being a very little country town, we found more than enough to keep us interested for the day we were there.
We started at the Old Robertson Cheese Factory which is a building where a cheese factory was started by the local dairy farming community in 1936. Today the building has all of its rustic charm yet has been converted into a series of shops and businesses while still retaining its original charm.
Our first stop was the cafe where we had a coffee and sat at a table where you could look across the railway line to the rolling green hills of Robertson which look just like the backdrop for the movie.
From the cafe we walked into the cheese shop where besides cheese, gelato is made on the premises using organic milk. Having had a large breakfast I couldn’t manage a tub of gelato but fear not, Carl doesn’t like to pass up an opportunity and he enjoyed a very rich and dark tub of choc-hazelnut. I would have liked to have tried the lavender. There was lavender in full bloom all around the building and someone told me planting lavender around your home/business is good for keeping away the blowflies.
From the cheese shop we went into the antiques and old wares store that had a lot of things of interest and they all seemed very reasonably priced. I bought some blue and white china to use, among other things, as props on my blog.
After the Old Cheese Factory we went back down the main road to the Light Horse Gallery. The Gallery is housed in a cute weatherboard building dating back to the 1880’s. The name for the gallery comes from the fact the building was originally used as a drill hall for the Light Horse Brigade. The gallery has some wonderful works of art on display including some works by Albert Namatjira‘s son, Oscar. The owner even has her very friendly dog with her who loves a pat.
The owner of the gallery told us where Babe was filmed so we crossed over the railway line and headed down into Babe-country. Robertson is every bit as beautiful as it is in the movie with it’s stunning hills and green pastures. It’s not the typical farmland you see in New South Wales and actually, with the hills and how green it is, reminded me more of New Zealand.
After exploring Babe-country we visited Belmore Falls. There are lots of waterfalls in Robertson but we only visited the Belmore Falls. These are a short drive from the centre of the village and about 10kms are along a narrow dirt road. When you arrive at the car park there’s just a short walk down to the Falls that have an incredible view of Kangaroo Valley. The falls are significant with the water cascading into several green pools as it moves down into the valley. There is a remnant of a rainforest in the valley where there are over 60 species of eucalypt trees (it pays to listen in on other people’s group tours!)
Robertson is a beautiful village that’s steeped in Australian history and carries much of the charm of a bygone era. It’s definitely worth visiting not only for its stunning scenery but also for its shops, cafes and businesses that are full of appeal and items of interest.
I’ve heard that one of the best times to be in Robertson is when the town hosts its annual fair. The 132nd Robertson Show will be on March 6th and 7th and I’ve been told it is one of the most authentic country shows you can find. There’s everything from potato races, hay stacking, a Robo red-neck relay challenge, wheelbarrow races and a pie-eating competition. I would love to take my little guy to an authentic country fair and so hope to make it to Robertson for next year’s event.
Robertson, NSW: On the Illawarra Highway, NSW
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