Never heard of Queanbeyan-Palerang? It’s an adventure hub three hours south of Sydney that you should definitely be adding your list of wild, untouched places to explore.


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.

About Queanbeyan-Palerang

Right on Canberra’s doorstep, the Queanbeyan-Palerang region has a treasure-trove of adventures. There’s a handful of national parks to explore – with hiking and biking trails as well as natural wonders like the Big Hole and Corang Arch. In between adventures you can relax in the charming townships of Braidwood, Bungendore, and Queanbeyan.

The History of Queanbeyan-Palerang

For tens of thousands of years the Queanbeyan-Palerang region was Yuin, Ngarigo and Ngunawal country. Today you can trace the steps of some of these First Nations people on the Corn Trail track in the Monga National Park.



European settlement in the area was first sparked by opportunities for farming and then even more so by the discovery of gold. But it was in the early 1900s that the residents of Queanbeyan made a name for themselves by suggesting that Australia’s capital should be built just next door. And it was!

How to Get to Queanbeyan-Palerang

How to reach Queanbeyan-Palerang by car

From the centre of Canberra, Queanbeyan is just a 17 minute drive away. You can then continue along the Kings Highway for 20 minutes to reach Bungendore and another 30 minutes to reach Braidwood.

If you’re driving from Sydney, take the Hume Highway, then the Federal Highway, and turn off at Sutton Road to reach Queanbeyan.  The drive should take approximately three hours.

How to get to Queanbeyan-Palerang by train

Sydney’s XPLORER Regional Trains run three times a day to Bungendore and Queanbeyan. The journey takes approximately four hours.

You can also take trains from Canberra to Queanbeyan (9 minutes) and Bungendore (40 minutes)

How to get to Queanbeyan-Palerang by bus

To get to Queanbeyan, Bungendore or Braidwood by bus, you can travel with Murrays Coaches on the Canberra to Narooma route.

Places to Stay in Queanbeyan-Palerang

There are plenty of places to stay in Queanbeyan-Palerang, including motels, farmstays, and camping options.

If you’re planning to spend time hiking in the national parks, we recommend a stay at the Cedar Lodge Motel in Braidwood. Enjoy the modern comforts of this trendy, upgraded motor inn, while being only a short drive from some fantastic hikes.


Cedar Lodge Queanbeyan - Kimberley Low

Photo thanks to


To experience the nature and relaxed pace of Queanbeyan, check in at the Golden Age Motor Inn. It’s the most comfortable stay in town – with free muffins daily! – and it’s the perfect base to explore the town, try Queanbeyan’s range of cafe and restaurants, and visit the nearby Googong Reservoir.

Some other great options include free camping at Warri Reserve, sitting out on the deck of your own tiny house at the Braidwood Farm Stay, or reconnecting with nature at the Birkenburn Farm.


Things to do in Queanbeyan-Palerang

From casually pedalling around town, to off-grid adventures in the national parks – here’s our pick of the best things to do in Queanbeyan-Palerang.

Day and Overnight Hikes

Summit Mt Budawang in the Budawang National Park (8km return)

The Mt Budawang Trail is short but steep and has one hell of a view as a reward for reaching the top. Don’t be deceived by the length of this hike, the 4km to the Mt Budawang summit is a quad-burning ascent of the steep-sided mountain range.



However, the trail passes through diverse areas of woodland, forest and gullies and there’s a 360-degree view waiting for you. From the grassy summit you can see the iconic Castle and Didthul / Pigeon House Mountain, as well as the tree-covered Clyde River Valley, the surrounding mountains and views to the coast.

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

Explore the Big Hole and Marble Arch in Deua National Park (13km return)

This out and back trail is an absolute gem of the region. At first, the undulating track takes you through dry eucalyptus forest with a river crossing required at the Shoalhaven River. Your first stop will be to marvel at the 100 metre deep and 50 metre wide, appropriately named, Big Hole. This incredible roof-less limestone cave is thought to be 400 million years in the making.

Continue along the track before making a steep descent to the Marble Arch. Give yourself plenty of time to explore the canyon and caves in this area before setting off back to the trailhead. The Berlang Campground is the starting point for this hike, and also a great place to stay the night!

NOTE: At the time of writing, due to heavy rains, the Berlang Campground was too muddy to access and the Shoalhaven River too high to cross. Please check camping and trail updates on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife website before you travel to this area.

Conquer the Corn Trail walking track in Monga National Park (15.4km)

The Corn Trail walking and horseback riding track was originally used by First Nations people on their seasonal travels between the coast and the tablelands, then later by European settlers on pack horses carrying supplies.

The best way to walk it is downhill from Dasyurus Picnic Area to the Lower Corn Trail car park – with a car shuffle to take you back at the end of the hike. This way you can descend from mountain ridges into the rainforest in the valleys below. It’s a difficult walk, but the scenery makes it absolutely worthwhile.

Adventure Overnight to Corang Peak and Arch in Budawang National Park (26.4km return) 

This out and back trail in the Budawangs is perfect for an overnight camping trip. You set out from the Wog Wog campground and cross the Corang Plateau, with plenty of viewpoints along the way, including from the summit of Corang Peak.

Continue walking to find the spectacular sandstone rock arch known as Corang Arch.


Corang Arch


A little further along the trail you can camp overnight at either Canowie Brook Campsite or Burrumbeet Brook Campsite, before completing the return walk the next day.


Read more: A Hiking and Baked Goods Tour of Queanbeyan-Palerang


Cycling and Mountain Biking

Make sure you bring your bikes when you visit – because cycling is the best way to get around the townships of Queanbeyan, Braidwood and Bungendore. You can pedal past heritage buildings, stop at local craft shops and of course every town has cracking country bakeries and cafes to refuel.

If you want to get off the road and onto some dirt tracks, head to the Googong Foreshores where there are plenty of cycling trails to choose from. Or take to the trails in the East Kowen Forest – there’s a 20km or 7km loop to choose from with some tight switchbacks, short steep pinches and excellent descents.


If you want to bring your rods along, the Googong Foreshore is the best place to throw in a line. You can fish from the foreshore, or any electric or human-powered boat, and expect to hook (or at least get a nibble from) cod, perch or Rainbow trout.


Queanbeyan-Palerang Packing List

  • Hiking gear including First Aid Kit
  • GPS if planning to explore out of phone range
  • Bikes and Helmets
  • Fishing gear

Read: Packing List for a Day Hike

What It’s Like To Visit Queanbeyan-Palerang

A visit to Queanbeyan-Palerang is the perfect balance between adventuring into ancient landscapes and true wilderness, and enjoying the comforts of a small-town stay.

Picture yourself settling in at a modern country pub after a long day hiking – with a hearty meal and craft beer from one of the many nearby breweries to accompany your stories of the day’s adventure.

For families this is a region that will provide an escape from the city and plenty of time in nature – with the convenience of everything you need in the townships.

Perhaps the biggest secret to uncover in this region is that it has five different epic national parks to explore. You can hike, bike, camp, horse ride, and explore in the Budawang, Morton, Monga, Deua and Tallaganda National Parks.

Tips For Visiting Queanbeyan-Palerang

When exploring in Queanbeyan-Palerang, be sure to tread softly and Leave No Trace.

Check trail conditions in the national parks before setting out, as some have been affected by recent rain. A handheld GPS may be required for some trails where phone reception is very limited or non-existent.



Access to some trails in the Queanbeyan-Palerang region require you to pass through private property. Be sure to close all gates that you open and follow instructions of any written signage.

Queanbeyan-Palerang FAQs

Is Queanbeyan in the ACT?

Queanbeyan is just next door to the ACT – in fact it’s only 17 minute’s drive from the centre of Canberra. However, technically it is part of NSW, just like the other towns in the Queanbeyan-Palerang region.

How far is it from Bungedore to Queanbeyan?

Bungendore to Queanbeyan is a 20 minute drive along the Kings Highway.

What is the best cake shop in Queanbeyan?

We’re letting you in on the locals’ secret with this one – Ciao Cafe is renowned locally for its sweet treats and cakes. It’s a must-visit for a coffee and some sugar-loading in the most delicious possible way.

Can I stop at Queanbeyan-Palerang on a Sydney to Canberra road trip?

Absolutely – the Queanbeyan-Palerang region is perfect for a road trip from Sydney. It’s only three hours by car, so it’s do-able for a week with mates. Or, for families who want some nature time on a Sydney to Canberra road trip, this is the perfect region to stop and explore.