A quick guide to Rylstone, NSW
Are you looking for a country getaway? Rylstone NSW is a historic country town on the inland side of the Blue Mountains, about 100kms from Lithgow.
Within easy driving distance of Mudgee, Rylstone is an alternative to well-worn tourist trails. The region was settled due to its high limestone content, a geological asset that led to the formation of the Kandos cement works.
That has since closed, but new industries have emerged. Farming, beekeeping, tourism, winemaking, an aerodrome for weekend warriors and a thriving art scene are just some of the local attractions.
So what is there to do there? The good news is: not much! Rylstone NSW is a quiet hamlet with only a few attractions. What is there, is top notch, and will keep you occupied between naps and cheese platters.
I visited Rylstone with a group of girl friends. Here’s what we did.
STAY: Wollemi Retreat
Hidden away up a dirt road, Wollemi Retreat is exactly that: a true retreat. With rain water tanks, a fire place, a sky full of stars and a soundtrack of birds, it’s a place where you can fully exhale. Come prepared with food and wine but don’t bring books, magazines, DVDs or games as the house supplies them. There is WiFi but no phone reception so be prepared to drop out for a few days.
EAT: 29 Nine 99 Yum Cha and Tea House
This surprising little restaurant would not be out of place in Byron Bay, and yet here it is on the main street of Rylstone turning out quality Shanghai dumplings. There’s a wine list or you can BYO. Be sure to book a table as this little place gets very busy.
SHOP: Convent and Chapel Wool Shop
If you, like me, are a craft nerd, you will love this shop. Full to the rafters with hand-knitted and crocheted berets, beanies, cardigans, shawls and scarves, as well as every conceivable type of yarn and needle, this shop is a creative joy.
DRINK: De Beaurepaire Wines
Translating to ‘Beautiful Retreat’, De Beaurepaire was started by a visionary couple who wanted to make French-style wines in Australia. The limestone-rich terroir and massive diurnal variation of the region led the De Beaurepaires to Rylstone, where they have thrived ever since. Their dessert wine won Best Wine in Australia in 2017, chosen from a field of 10,000 wines.
WALK: Ferntree Gully
If you’re not wanting to interrupt your therapeutic lazing around too much, the Ferntree Gully walk is ideal. This gentle walk features sections that are on a boardwalk. The toughest part is the 100 steps leading back up to the carpark from the foot of the valley. There are toilets and good directional signage but be sure to wear shoes with grip as there are some parts that are quite uneven.
Have you been to Rylstone NSW? What did you like about it? Do you have any tips that you would like to share?
Looking for more things to do this weekend in NSW? Check out my list of foodie experience in South West Sydney.