Here’s a weekend getaway that’s not overrun by tourists, yet still contains exciting activities, picturesque landscapes and hearty eateries. Welcome to Picton.

If you head 60 kilometres south-west of Sydney you’ll find a country town that enjoys being small. It’s the kind of getaway where tranquillity is just as abundant as revitalisation – perfect for couples, families, friends, or the lone wolf.

EAT


Frank and Blanco

While Picton and its surrounding towns have their fair share of fast food, we highly recommend getting a taste of local cuisines. Our first pick is Frank and Blanco, a Mexican restaurant in the heart of Picton’s CBD. Perhaps you’re desiring a hearty brunch after a generous sleep in? Then try their red velvet buttermilk pancakes featuring oozy chocolate ganache and Persian fairy floss, or maybe their huevos rancheros tacos served with refried beans, chorizo and crispy fried egg topped with crema. Their food menu caters to all size stomachs, from a little bit to a lot, and if you wish to tipple check out their signature cocktails – perhaps the Pablo Escobar with tequila, chilli tincture, lime and pineapple. Arriba!


Frank and Blanco – 135-139 Argyle St, Picton


Vabys Restaurant

With an extensive menu and convenient location, its a popular spot to have a nibble. Imagine fine dining without the pressure of finding a cocktail outfit. Their menu features modern Australian along with cuisines from around the world – especially European. Stuff yourself with a lamb shank, braised in red wine and rosemary jus, served with mash potato and vegetables. Take a trip to the Mediterranean with some Fettuccine Ragu, a traditional bolognese with fresh herbs. Wash it down with a bottle of wine or a fine brew, then top your feast off with a dessert like creme brulee or a chocolate volcano cake, matched with a serving of cognac or tawny port. You’ll surely leave satisfied.


Vaby’s Restaurant – 2 Station St, Picton


DRINK


George IV Inn

It’s one of Australia’s oldest pubs, dating back to 1835, and it nearly lost its crown. In 2016, the pub was devastated by flooding, where it was sequentially sold off to a new owner. After months of speculation, the George IV Inn was revitalised and now continues to be the central heartbeat of Picton town. Revel in its history as you sip on local bevvies. Take a break from a chilly evening as you indulge in a warm juicy steak with thick cut, generously seasoned chips. Or get a taste of music and singing by attending their ever-growing lineup of local talent. Also, if you’re saving pennies, check out their list of daily specials.


George IV Inn – 180 Argyle Street Picton


DO


Picton Karting Track

Picton Karting Track. Image: Supplied

On your marks… get set… go! Pump yourself up with adrenaline by tackling this winding go-kart course. Get your heart pumping while swerving around hairpin turns and then put your foot down for the home straight. Get the whole office on board and make it a corporate event, or take the ultimate GP challenge with a group of your best friends and family. You can also simply “arrive and drive” with strangers. Booking is always recommended to ensure your day goes without disruption.


Picton Karting Track – 200 Picton Rd, Maldon


Picton Botanic Gardens

Take a relaxing stroll through a spectacular selection of flora and perhaps the occasional fauna. Spend a Saturday afternoon cradling onto your loved one’s shoulder as your senses are treated to the greatest show on earth: Mother Nature. It’s even great for families with energetic children, featuring playgrounds and picnic areas, and push-button barbeques. Stop at the local supermarket and get some snags, onions, sauce and bread for a perfect lunch.


Picton Botanic Gardens – 13 Regreme Rd, Picton


NSW Railway Museum

Steam train at NSW Railway Museum. Image: Supplied

Whether you’re a kid, a rail enthusiast or just a little curious, the NSW Railway Museum is worth the trip. Take a stroll through history on steel wheels and glistening tracks. Enter the carriages and locomotives of the past: feel like a prisoner in a rolling gaol cell; immerse yourself in the travelling world of a Governor General; hop aboard the oldest steam engine in Australia. Also, head there on a Sunday and take a trip to Buxton aboard a historic steam train. Be sure to double check, though, as it’s not all Sundays.


www.nswrailmuseum.com.au – 10 Barbour Road, Thirlmere


Mermaid Pools

It’s south-west Sydney’s best-kept secret. Getting to Mermaid Pools is quite easy, whether driving or taking public transport. For drivers, park your car in the carpark alongside Rockford Road, on the southside of the bridge crossing the Bargo River. For walkers, head south from Tahmoor Station. Then, walk under the bridge from the car park and travel along the river, passing various pools to wade in. But the pièce de résistance is at the end: A large natural pool. Important note: The only way in this pool is by jumping from a cliff ledge and the only way out is via a rope. Enter at your own risk. 

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