Hiking and baked goods, name a better combo, we’ll wait! When we heard that the region east of Canberra was stacked with both we had to do some… research. Allow us to inspire your feet and taste buds.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Ngambri, Ngunnawal and Yuin people who have occupied and cared for these lands, waters, and inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


If you’re looking for your next weekend road trip, look no further than Queanbeyan-Palerang just a three hour drive from Sydney and neighbouring the ACT. The region is filled with historic townships, delicious baked goods, and untapped nature walks. Get your mates together and plan your next adventure with our top 5 guide:

1. Braidwood: Dojo Bread Bakery and the Corang Arch Overnight Hike

Straight off the bat, this one isn’t for the faint hearted! This is some serious hiking and these are some seriously delicious pies. About a 50 minute drive from Queanbeyan lies the historic town of Braidwood. Adorned with spring flowers, friendly faces, and classically preserved buildings, the town has a big European influence that comes through in their pastries.



Hidden in a back lane you’ll find our first stop, Dojo Bread. Specialising in German style breads and freshly baked goods, Dojo has my gold star for this trip for best deluxe pie.

Coming in at the higher end at $10.50 each, we got the choice of mushroom ragu, beef in red wine, lamb and fenugreek, or chilli and lime chicken and in choosing the last two, we were not disappointed.



Next came our hike: we left from Braidwood on a 35 minute drive over to Wog Wog campground to start our overnight hike. I actually carried these babies (the pies) in a brown paper bag for about an hour just so we could enjoy them in style for our lunch – and it was 100% worth it.



The overnight trip to Corang Arch had phenomenal views, alien landscapes, and even though it was about 7 hours to the campground, the whole trip was perfect for getting your muscles pumping and spending the night under the stars.



Read more: Hiking Wog Wog Campground to Cooyoyo Campground and The Castle

2. Braidwood: Braidwood Bakery and the Mount Budawang Walk

If you’re more of a traditionalist in terms of Aussie pies and more approachable hikes you’ll be up for this next combo. Braidwood and the surrounding pastoral areas have long been renowned for high quality cattle farming – so hit up Braidwood Bakery for an epic $5 meat pie that’s been perfected since the bakery’s origins in 1932.

If you’re not willing to carry your pies Lord of The Rings style like I did, then call ahead and reserve two for after your hike!



The Mount Budawang trail is about a 25 minute drive from Braidwood to Budawang National Park. This hike was an 8 hour return hike (8.5km return), so my advice would be to set off at first light to return to Braidwood before the bakery closes at 4pm. Just like Corang Arch, you’ll need to be well prepared and follow all the safety recommendations on the national parks site.

Learn more: Level up your hiking by checking out our Skills & Safety page!


3. Bungendore: Gunna Doo Bakery Cafe and the Brooks Hill Walking Track

Tucked away 20 minutes from Queanbeyan is the picturesque town of Bungendore. The people here had a real charm and the streets were dotted with blossoming trees between historic farm-style cottages, many of which you can stay in. The Gunna Doo Bakery Cafe was our next stop on Le tour de Pastry as we managed to fit in one last pie! Okay, maybe we had three between the two of us!



The cafe is a 50s style diner where you can grab a classic milkshake and hot food for hungry travellers. Our selection was a classic satay chicken curry pie and a beef pie with mashed potato on top.

A quick 20 minute drive to Brooks Hill rest area will find you at the base of the Brooks Hill walking track loop. This walk is a super friendly one to finish the trip taking an average of just 52 minutes to complete!



The loop is a great hike for those who are just beginning to hike or can’t take on anything too strenuous. You get some great views of the surrounding region and hillscapes at the top, and it’s the perfect place to stretch your legs before the drive home.


4. Queanbeyan: Ciao Cafe and Cakes and the London Bridge Arch walk

Often when you think of baked goods your mind goes to pastry, but there’s one very underrated type of bakery fare: cakes. And Ciao Cafe and Cakes is stacked with them.

With 40 cakes made daily, an exclusive Black Mountain coffee blend on offer and even a breakfast and lunch menu you’ll be ready to take on whatever the day throws at you. We have a hike in mind…

The London Bridge Arch walk is a 25 minute drive from Queanbeyan and is very easily accessible.

After parking at the trailhead the walk to the arch itself was about 10-15 minutes and starts at the London Bridge homestead and wool shearers quarters.



You can carry your lunch down to the arch and dip your toes into the cool river water, then you have the option to continue the hike further to loop back around or to just relax and read a book by the river for the afternoon and turn back.



You’re guaranteed to see wildlife here as we were entertained by small cave birds, kangaroos, wombats and even a tiny tree snake… (Always be careful!)

Read more: How To Survive a Snake Bite

5. Queanbeyan: The Mill House Cafe and Googong Cascades walk

Whilst you’re in the town of Queanbeyan, be sure to visit the Mill House Cafe: a stylistic peach and white brick building with a tin roof and a cosy garden. If you’re lucky, you’ll even duck in whilst there’s some local live music playing! 

A residential house turned cafe, the Mill House has an awesome selection of breakfasts as well as amazing coffee (check out the Google reviews!).



It was hard work averting my eyes from the sticky date puddings and chocolate tarts in their display cabinet, but our pick for the Mill House Cafe was a French-style potato and spinach quiche lorraine. (Controversial, I know! It’s not technically a pie. po-tay-to po-tah-to… with spinach and pastry!

The next walk is a 15 minute drive to the Googong Foreshores. You’ve got the option to relax at the lookout at the dam wall or continue down to the Cascades lookout for an awesome opportunity to swim or throw the fishing line in the water.



If you’re feeling adventurous you can continue onto Bradleys Creek loop trail for a four hour walk or the shorter Wallaby loop track for a one hour trip. This fertile area is so full of life, smells and sounds, it’s the perfect place for a shorter day walk if your legs are feeling a little tired.