Author: Jacqueline Langford

Stay at the dog friendly Dryridge Estate, Blue Mountains

Located in the Megalong Valley and just a 20-minute drive from Katoomba or only two hours from Sydney, the Dryridge Estate is easy to find, with ample signage available after turning off from Megalong Road. Before arriving at the winery, there is a 2km stretch of unsealed road (a little bumpy at times), and one you’ll need to drive slowly along before reaching the estate. And once you arrive, oh my… you will absolutely love your stay.. The secret is out about staying at the beautiful Sunrise Lodge, in the heart of the Dryridge Estate, surrounded by the breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains National Park. We booked our accommodation four months in advance, and one which I’d say was well worth the wait. As you settle in to your cabin, what a phenomenal sight – insert those love heart eyes emoji. It is absolutely spectacular when staying in the Sunrise Lodge accommodation. Imagine a private cabin located on the high side of a hill, with views over the vineyards and a magnificent mountain backdrop …

The Megalong Valley Tearooms, Blue Mountains

First established in the 1950s, The Megalong Valley Tearooms reminds me of a country homestead, surrounded by lush green fields and the incredible backdrop of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains. Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon cakes and desserts, it is the only remaining tearoom in the valley (which once had up to six operating in the area at one time). And to date, still serves fresh scones with homemade jam and cream to locals, travellers, hikers and the like – similar to a devonshire tea experience, but with your choice of beverage that is. If you’re in the area, The Megalong Valley Tearooms is about a 15-minute drive from Blackheath, or a 25- to 30-minute drive from Katoomba and Leura. It’s a little out of the way from other local attractions, yet it’s a beautiful rest spot to have a cuppa and take in the views. Open seven days a week, you can visit Saturdays and Sundays from 8.30am to 3.30pm, and all other days from 9.30am to 3.30pm. We were passing through to …

Pie in the Sky Roadhouse, Bilpin: Try their Delicious Apple Pie

Owned and managed by Josh Pilkington and Shelly Meng, Pie in the Sky Roadhouse is somewhere I love driving to, just to pick up their warm, fresh apple pies. Crispy, flaky… oh so delicious… Josh & Shelly, I (and many others) love your apple pies, so please don’t ever change the recipe. On first impressions, it may not look like a modern, fancy pie shop, but with an average Google rating of 4.5-stars (out of 5), by more than 760+ reviews, I know I’m not the only one that loves this place. Less than a 45-minute drive from Sydney’s north west, I enjoy making the trip. That said, the times I’ve been here to visit, I’ve gone fairly early in the morning to beat the queues. Otherwise, from the main road, you can see there is generally a queue out the door throughout the day… and when this happens, parking can be a bit of a challenge too. Handmade daily on-site using French style butter puff pastry, Pie in the Sky Roadhouse have a variety …

The Best Views from Wollondilly Tops Farm, Canyonleigh

Less than a 2-hour drive from Sydney’s CBD, or a 45-minute drive from Bowral, you will find the expansive Wollondilly Tops property in Canyonleigh. Searching for our next dog friendly road trip from Sydney, I found this accommodation in the Southern Highlands area – instantly captured by the cliff top valley views. Wollondilly Tops is situated about 300m above the Wollondilly River Valley, and from our cabin, I could not see any neighbours in sight. I can tell you now, having experienced this stay first hand, the photos are real and the views are absolutely stunning and magical. The accommodation listing introduced the property with words along the lines of “sensational views at Wollondilly Tops”… it is that, and more. We were fortunate to have clear skies all weekend; epic sunrises from the cabin deck, spectacular sunsets sweeping across the valley, and night skies shining bright, perfect for stargazing too. Despite being off-grid, your cabin is small yet cosy and relaxing; expect a comfy bed, a modern ensuite with great water pressure in the shower, …

Vale of Avoca Lookout in Grose Vale

Looking for a new place to explore around Sydney – not too far to drive to, but rewarding to visit too? One of the spectacular lookouts that I love to escape to, is the Vale of Avoca Lookout in Grose Vale, located in the Hawkesbury region and the Blue Mountains National Park. If you’re driving from Sydney towards Richmond, Kurrajong or Bilpin areas, this is a secluded turn off point en-route, that I’d highly recommend for you to stop by and see. Personally, I wouldn’t drive all this way just to visit this lookout however, it is a great attraction if you’re near, and it’s free to visit too. Vale of Avoca is situated about 300m above the Grose River Gorge, looking out over the beautiful Blue Mountains region and the lower Grose Valley. The best times to visit is on a cool, sunny day – the less windy the better – and you should bring some water, a hat and wear a sturdy pair of walking shoes or boots. I’d also suggest not to …