Southern Tablelands Country
Goulburn city is the major centre in the Southern Tablelands region of NSW approximately 620 metres above sea ievel. The region borders the southern highlands to the north and alpine country to the south. The landscape is rural, gently undulating with fine examples of national parks, rugged gorges, rivers and pond systems. Goulburn’s high altitude gives it four distinct seasons with corresponding migrations of birds from further west and coastal areas throughout the year (see Flora & Fauna)
Brief history and background
The original inhabitants of the Goulburn region were the Gundangara, whose traditional lands included the present day Goulburn Tablelands and Southern Highlands. The Aboriginal population dwindled considerably by 1848 due to the impacts of colonial settlement and in particular the influenza epidemic of 1846/47.
When you drive into Goulburn, one of the first things you notice is the amazing “built heritage”. There a many fine examples of Georgian, Victorian and beautiful Federation style homes and buildings. Our main street steps one back into the past with tall and intricate facades with a wide and opulent feel.
European settlement began in the 1820’s, and in 1836 Queen Victoria declared the Anglican diocese of Goulburn, establishing Goulburn as the oldest official inland city in Australia. In 1874 the Edmund Blacket designed Cathedral was built. The region hosts fine examples of heritage buildings and streetscapes, reminders of a rich colonial history.
The railway with its beautiful viaduct entering the city was constructed in 1869, with the viaduct being replaced with the present one in 1915. Belmore Park situated in the centre of town was a great forethought of our early planners. One of our early architects, E C Manfred was responsible for many of our fine buildings.
Goulburn has also embraced positive and sustainable moves into the 21st century with hundreds of homes taking to roof-top solar. The Goulburn Mulwaree Council has led the way by adopting solar energy on most of the council buildings. Solar lighting along Mary’s Mount road was an Australian first, and recently the electric highway was embraced, with the construction of charging stations for Tesla and other electric cars.
The city has all the trappings of major shopping centres, health services, and facilities, which a family would need.
The surrounds of Goulburn, with natural bushland, good soils, and a great water supply, have been instrumental in developing a prosperous farming community around the city.
There are many sporting facilities, and the arts are well patronised, with the Lieder Theatre, Australia’s oldest and longest running theatre, playing to packed audiences.
The Visitor’s Information Centre, situated just across the road from Belmore Park, has all the information to make your visit and even a complete life style change a great reality.
Goulburn is the civic centre of the Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area. Goulburn has adopted the brand Goulburn Australia to express its progressive vision, its Australian character, and its potential contribution to building a sustainable nation. (Below: Belmore Park in the city centre)
Goulburn’s location makes it one of the most accessible regional cities in NSW: it is two hours’ drive from the Sydney CBD, one hour from Canberra Civic, and two hours to the coast. It is close to the Southern Highlands and borders the spectacular Shoalhaven River and Bungonia gorges.
The southern rail line provides Goulburn with City Rail (to and from Sydney) and Train Link (formerly Country Link) services (between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne) on a daily timetable. There are between five and six daily services each way to Sydney by rail. (Below: the Xplorer train service, running between Sydney and Canberra via Goulburn)
To complement the city, there are attractive villages in the region, such as Marulan, Tallong, Bungonia, Lake Bathurst, Windellema, Towrang and Tarago. In addition, Crookwell, Gunning and Taralga are nearby. The recently sealed Tablelands Way provides scenic access to the Blue Mountains, Oberon and Bathurst, while the Nerriga and Braidwood Roads connect the region to the NSW South Coast. (Below: Braidwood scene)
With the approval and completion of construction of the Highlands Source Project, water security for Goulburn is assured.