The HARS collection in Albion Park centres around a parade of airliners from the “Southern Cross II” through their three flying C-47 / DC-3 aircraft, Super Constellation, Boeing 747-438 among a number of other historic aircraft types. Trusted Travel hit the tarmac running on the first day of our trip by popping in to HARS and browsing this wonderful collection. Even this weekend was really one for the train enthusiasts, no one was going to turn down the chance to sit in the cockpit of a real F1-11. We were even treated to our own mini air show as pilots from HARS dusted off a beautiful old Caribou and took her to the skies right in front of us.
After lunch at Cafe Connie we wound our way up Macquarie Pass to the beautiful Southern Highlands. From national parks and waterfalls, through rural landscapes to historic country villages and towns, the Southern Highlands offers a diverse array of activities and scenery. Trusted Travel wasted no time getting off the beaten track to see the amazing Belmore Falls tumble from a high sandstone plateau over 100m into the deep sandstone gorge below.
Our accommodation for this trip was a highlight in itself. The Angas Carriage is a 1950s sleeper train carriage lovingly restored into unique accommodation that was just perfection for us train nuts. Along with our attached pergola, BBQ and firepit, we made ourselves at home inside and out.
Saturday was the big one! The NSW Rail Heritage Museum is home to a significant rail heritage collection, including over 100 rolling stock items, associated with the history of the railways in NSW. The return steam train ride from Thirlmere to Buxton is somewhat of a pilgrimage for every true-blue Aussie rail enthusiast.
We coupled up to engine 2705, a beautifully preserved “mogul” 2-6-0 tender locomotive. Our trusty train lovers enjoyed every minute or the ride up the hill and back. The ash rained down and one of our adventurous travellers remarked “getting covered in soot is half the fun!”
That night, back at the carriage, our travellers cooked up a yummy barbeque and sat around the open fire roasting marshmallows.
We woke early on Sunday and hit the road to explore some highlights of the Southern Highlands. We visited Berrima and its wonderfully preserved historic courthouse, Moss Vale and took in views of Kangaroo Valley from Manning Lookout.
After a hearty lunch at the beautiful Burrawang Pub, we headed to Robertson Heritage Railway Station to see the detailed O scale and H scale sets built by the guys at the model train club. A massive thank you to Neil and Russell for being so accommodating and for the private tour of the old station building Neil gave us.
Monday morning was sadly time to pack up and say goodbye to the Angas Carriage. Along with our new friends we visited another lookout overlooking Bowral before heading back down the hill to the Illawarra for a game of bowling and some fish n chips at Warilla Beach.
All in all, it was an amazing trip. Given the chance, we would choo-choose to do it all again.