Are you recently engaged and looking for a photographer in the Southern Highlands to capture your wedding?
I am a wedding photographer who loves to shoot weddings all over the Southern Highlands of NSW. I have been photographing around the Southern Highlands for over ten years, so I have a majority of the wedding venues out there. And let me tell you – there are some incredible wedding venues in the Southern Highlands.
So on this page, I’d love to share with you some of my favourite wedding venues, and perhaps you can let me know your most treasured wedding venue.
The Enchanting Wonders of the Southern Highlands
The Southern Highlands is a region 110km southwest of Sydney known for its beautiful landscapes, rolling green hills, quaint little towns, old mansions & homesteads and amazing food & wine. It is also close to Sydney, making it the perfect location for that destination wedding that most of us could only dream of. It is also known for its amazing wedding venues. The Southern Highlands hosts over 1500 weddings per year – making it the ideal location choice to set the big day in.
The thing that really sets the Southern Highlands apart from other Australian destinations is its fairytale-like beauty. It is really like a step back in time and into a cooler and greener climate with historic, romantic homes and estates. Having your wedding in the Southern Highlands is really right out of a fairytale.
From a wedding photographer’s perspective, Southern Highlands wedding venues have all the ingredients you need to capture beautiful photos. Rows of vineyards, rolling hills, long grass, beautiful trees, historic homes and a rustic environment. You are also able to base your whole wedding day at most properties. That means you don’t need to spend time travelling from one location to another. You can do everything at the one wedding venue. And it means you will spend more time with your family and friends.
Here are 15 stunning Southern Highlands wedding venues that I absolutely love!
1. Centennial Vineyards
Centennial Vineyards would have to be one of my absolute favourite locations in historic Bowral. And one of the best Southern Highlands wedding venues around.
It is a beautiful large property with lots of land and beautiful locations. The ceremony is conveniently done just outside in the garden area next to the reception room.
Centennial Vineyards also has one of the most epic vineyards to photograph. If you walk up the hill, you get a beautiful view of all the vines and the landscape around.
They have a large, high-ceiling reception room accommodating up to 180 guests.
Address: 252 Centennial Rd, Bowral
2. Somerley House
Somerley House is a large Victorian house located on a beautiful country garden property located in the Southern Highlands suburb of Sutton Forest.
Somerley House used to be known as ‘Summerless’, and it continues to be one of the most elegant and enchanting garden wedding venues around. It has a long history in the region and has been the setting for hundreds of private and exclusive garden parties, banquets, wedding ceremonies and dances since c.1875.
There is plenty of local accommodation in the Southern Highlands area, but Somerley House also has “The Guest House”, which is a charming three-bedroom cottage on-site which is perfect for wedding preparations.
Address: 7207 Illawarra Hwy, Sutton Forest
3. Briars Country Lodge and Historic Inn
Briars Country Lodge and Historic Inn have a long history in the Southern Highlands, dating back to c.1827 when it first began as a Coaching Inn.
Today, Briars Country Lodge is a 4-star facility located on 15 acres, with 32 accommodation rooms that all look onto a gorgeous lake, beautiful gardens, and a gazebo.
Wedding ceremonies are held in the garden, and the reception room can accommodate up to 130 guests. The beauty of this venue is that it is beautiful, and depending on how many guests you have, they could all potentially stay on-site and then stumble back to their rooms at the end of the night.
Address: 653 Moss Vale Rd, Burradoo
4. Wildwood Kangaroo Valley
Wildwood is 100 acres of pristine subtropical rainforest set against a sweeping sandstone escarpment, surrounded by national parks. Welcoming celebrations of love in all their forms to our beautiful piece of bush paradise. With unique ceremony locations, stunning photograph opportunities, and a range of options for the reception, you can choose the theme, style and food service that best reflects your personality and values. Run away to the woods to get married!
From a long country lunch to a sumptuous evening feast, your guests will enjoy the best of our abundant region’s producers. With farm fresh ingredients, artisan makers and delicious menu choices, our preferred catering partners will ensure a unique gourmet experience for everyone.
Wildwood House is a special place of zen for couples and their friends. The house is styled in keeping with our green principles, so you can be assured that your stay will be low-impact and eco-friendly yet still luxurious. It features four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two sitting rooms, a full kitchen, an outdoor deck and even a pizza oven!
Address: 407D Bendeela Rd, Kangaroo Valley NSW 2577
5. Montrose Berry Farm
Montrose Berry Farm has been hosting country weddings since 1988
This spectacular estate with beautiful gardens and rolling pastures provides you with a perfect place to spend your wedding day. What could be more fitting than celebrating your wedding with friends and family in such a beautiful garden setting? They can accommodate up to 140 guests within their blank canvas, rustic barn setting.
Even if you don’t book your wedding here, you should go here to try their Berry Pies!!
Address: Ormond St, Sutton Forest
6. Peppers Manor House
Peppers Manor House is a classic country retreat in the Southern Highlands, located in a romantic estate with rolling green hills and is a perfect setting for any wedding.
There is ample accommodation available on-site for you and your guests. You can choose from a variety of locations on the property for your wedding ceremony. Peppers Manor House can cater weddings from intimate weddings of two to a larger, grander wedding of up to 180 guests.
Address: Kater Rd, Sutton Forest
7. Growwild Wildflower Farm
Growwild Wildflower Farm is a marquee wedding venue set on 25 acres of property on a gorgeous Australian wildflower farm. It is a pretty perfect setting for any wedding.
A permanent timber floored marquee is set up at Growwild Wildflower Farm, and when you book a wedding there, you get three full days… to set up, have your wedding and then pack down. Which is more than what a lot of other places will give you.
Address: 916 Old Hume Hwy, Alpine
8. Peppers Craigieburn
Peppers Craigieburn is a truly beautiful luxury country resort situated on a breathtaking property with its own 9-hole golf course, just minutes away from the historic Southern Highlands village of Bowral.
There are 72 guest rooms, so there is plenty of on-site accommodation available for you and your wedding guests. Ceremonies are held outside in their lovely garden lawn areas, and you can choose your exact location. There are also plenty of locations for photos after the ceremony. Some old rustic buildings, forest areas and there are areas around the golf course that also look lovely.
There are two wedding reception rooms to choose from. And you can have a wedding for just the two of you or a wedding of up to 180 guests. I love that you can have your wedding here, and then everyone can walk back to their rooms at the end of the night. No need to organise buses or other guests’ transportation – they’ve got it sorted for you.
Address: Centennial Rd, Bowral
9. Milton Park
Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa is a grand mansion and five-star hotel offering luxurious accommodations and amazing cuisine on top of a gorgeous wedding venue.
There are 42 various luxurious accommodation rooms available for you and your wedding guests. Wedding ceremonies take place outside in the gardens, and there are a few reception rooms to choose from, which is based primarily on your guest count. And Milton Park can host weddings from an intimate 20 to a grand 200 guests. This makes it the perfect venue for Bowral wedding photography.
Milton Park is the perfect wedding venue if you are looking for a luxurious, elegant and classy affair with beautifully manicured gardens and a country touch.
Address: 200 Horderns Rd, Bowral
10. Bendooley Estate
Bendooley Estate is one of the best Southern Highlands wedding venues around, and they are extremely popular and do a lot of weddings. They are located near the historic township of Berrima, on a beautiful 200-acre property, and it is also where the iconic Berkelouw Book Barn is located.
There is some on-site accommodation available, with three cottages available. Which would be perfect for you, your Bridal Party and maybe some family. The ceremony can take place at the Lakeside Pavilion, The Gardens or The Stables. You can have your reception at either the Book Barn or at their country-style barn, The Stables.
The wonderful thing about Bendooley Estate is that you can spend the whole day and even the whole weekend at the one location. There is no need to travel around. So you can spend more time with each other and your loved ones.
Address: 3020 Old Hume Hwy, Berrima
11. Mali Brae Farm
Mali Brae Farm is a historical and boutique vintage-style Southern Highlands wedding venue located on 90 acres of the countryside that was formerly a dairy farm. And is a beautiful location for your wedding day.
Mali Brae Farm has lush rolling green hills, a dam surrounded by five acres of gardens and a boat shed. So there are many, many beautiful and different locations on the property to take photos.
Your wedding ceremony can take place at six different locations around the property. You can even say your vows at the ruins of an old classic chapel. The wedding reception is a fully-renovated former hay barn that can accommodate up to 100 guests for a sit-down meal.
Address: 562 Nowra Rd, Moss Vale
12. Hopewood House
Hopewood House is a private grand estate situated in Bowral, a 90-minute drive from Sydney by car. Hopewood House weddings are expertly woven into the residence’s tremendous past, the new provincial addition to the Pavilion building surrounding outdoor sanctuaries and eleven hectares of truly enchanting gardens.
It is also the wedding venue where Emma & Lachy from the Wiggles got married!
Hopewood House has on-site accommodations with four cottages available. Which is perfect for both of you and your bridal parties. For your wedding ceremony, there are several locations to choose from. Your wedding reception will take place in The Hopewood Pavillion, which can cater to up to 150 guests.
Address: 201 Centennial Rd, Bowral
13. Wombat Hollow
Wombat Hollow is a 20-acre property, in a tranquil bush setting that is full of rustic charm and country goodness.
Wedding ceremonies are held out in the gardens in lush green surroundings. There are very good wet weather backup alternatives as well. For the wedding reception, you have a few choices depending on the number of people at your wedding. There are two marquee venues and two smaller rustic shed venues.
There is no on-site accommodation available, but there are many lots of hotels, resorts, B&Bs, and private rentals available nearby.
Address: 300 Kirkland Road, East Kangaloon
14. Sylvan Glen Country Estate
Sylvan Glen Country Estate is located on 60 acres of private land in the Southern Highlands, offering you and your wedding total privacy for the whole weekend.
There is amazing on-site accommodation with The Guesthouse. A heritage guesthouse built in c. 1870 – it features 15 ensuite rooms that can accommodate up to 42 people.
Wedding ceremonies are held outdoors in the garden, and there is a marquee available as a wet weather backup. With 60 acres of land, there are plenty of locations for beautiful wedding photos. The reception can accommodate up to 140 guests. This wedding venue has everything you need to have an awesome wedding weekend.
Address: 570 Kareela Rd, Penrose
15. Gibraltar Hotel, Bowral
Gibraltar Hotel Bowral is an elegant mixture of contemporary and country charm with resort-style comfort and facilities in the Southern Highlands.
The Gibraltar Hotel Bowral has on-site accommodation with plenty of luxury guest suites available for your wedding guests. You can say your vows in the Gallery, with huge floor-to-ceiling windows or have a beautiful lakeside wedding ceremony.
There are one hundred acres of land at the Gibraltar Hotel Bowral, so there are plenty of locations for Bowral. There are three reception rooms to choose from that can accommodate up to 260 guests.
Address: 7 Boronia St, Bowral
The Southern Highlands is famous for its historic houses, food & wine and its amazing wedding venues. The Southern Highlands region has over 1,500 weddings per year and is an extremely popular wedding destination. And rightly so.
Onsite Accommodation at Your Venue
The beauty of the Southern Highlands is that there are many unique accommodation options. Nearly every other property nearby is a Airbnb or Stays rental. They are so much better than some generic hotel rooms. But what I love even better for weddings is when there is accommodation available at the actual wedding venue.
In the Southern Highlands, you don’t need to spend your whole wedding day travelling from one location to another. You can find wedding venues where there is accommodation onsite. It will make it so much easier for you on the wedding day, and it means that you will spend less time travelling and more time hanging out with the people you really care about.
Bowral Wedding Photographers Location Options
A good wedding venue also has some good photo locations on their property. You should be able to find a venue where there is no need to venture offsite to get nice photos. It’s a little bit of land with some nice locations for photos.
In a perfect world… or a perfect venue… there would be some trees, a field of long grass, rows of vines, a rundown shed, a big hill with a single tree, a maze garden, a wall of ivy, a huge outdoor concrete staircase, a rustic wooden fence, with a view of the sunset, on a dirt road, with a lake a pier and a rowboat, a single kangaroo an alpaca and about 1000-acres of land. But I’ll settle any of the above!
Here is my main tip for the wedding reception room. Choose a wedding venue and a reception room that is a bit unique. I personally dislike rooms that look like generic function rooms that could be in any hotel in any city of the world. You are choosing to get married in the Southern Highlands, so choose a venue and room that shows this off. It can be elegant and historic, bohemian and rustic or modern and classic. Whatever your tastes are.
The staff, management, or sales people
Go with your gut instinct here. But only choose to work with a venue (and other wedding vendors) if they are warm and friendly and give you good professional service.
Don’t choose a venue if they are not particularly friendly or helpful to you, just because you like the venue or the price is right. Because on the wedding day itself, they are not going to make the experience pleasant.
The best time to have a wedding in the Southern Highlands
Autumn & Spring Weddings – Peak times for weddings in the Southern Highlands are always Spring and Autumn. Key dates during these periods will be booked out very quickly. And you will find that popular venues will quickly book out a year to two years in advance.
You will also find that dates around school holidays and long weekends will book out quickly.
The beauty of the Southern Highlands is that it is a cooler climate zone. Which means you can have a wedding in the Southern Highlands all year round.
Summer weddings – During the summer months, when most of New South Wales is way too hot for a wedding, the Southern Highlands averages around 25°C. Which makes summer a perfect option for weddings.
Winter weddings – Winter is definitely an off-peak season for weddings in the Southern Highlands, but I think that it is a season you should strongly consider. Photographically speaking, the sun is lower in the sky. Which is amazing for photos. It means that it is like sunset all day. You seriously get the most amazing light in winter. You are more likely to get mist and fog, which makes photos even more romantic.
From a temperature point of view, it’s not that cold during the day. Guys will be wearing a suit, so they will be fine, and girls will just need to wear a jacket, coat or something similar and appropriate for winter. Once the sun sets, it will get cold, yes. The sun will set earlier, around 5 p.m. And once the sun sets, you can go into your warm wedding venue with a roaring fireplace. They build venues and accommodations in the Southern Highlands to be insulated and warm during winter.
Photographers love winter weddings. It is great for photos. And because winter is considered off-peak for weddings, you can book your dream wedding venue more easily. And you may be able to get it at a slightly cheaper price… maybe?
How to get to the Southern Highlands
The Southern Highlands is just 1½ to 2 hours from Sydney, depending on where you are coming from in Sydney. And it is about 2 hours from Canberra.
Coming from Sydney – Take the M7 or M5 motorways south to Mittagong. Take the Mittagong exit 11.
Coming from Canberra – Go via the Federal and Hume Highways, then use one of the Southern Highlands exits. Moss Vale, Berrima or Mittagong.
Embracing Every Love Story in the Majestic Southern Highlands
The natural beauty and inherent romance of the Southern Highlands country wedding venues cannot be overstated.
This south coast idyllic setting, where love stories are seamlessly interwoven with the timeless allure of rolling hills, vintage homesteads, and an ever-present touch of elegance, provides you with the perfect backdrop for your treasured wedding moments.
Whether beneath the tender glow of a sublime sunset or amidst the gentle embrace of the lush, verdant landscape, every moment here becomes a treasured memory.
I’ve dedicated a decade to capturing love stories, ensuring every smile, tender glance, and joyful tear is brought to life with authenticity and artistry. Your love, your story, deserves to be celebrated in a location as enchanting and timeless as the tales it has witnessed.
From the deeply personal, intimate exchanges to the boundlessly joyous celebrations, let’s add your story into the rich tapestry of love tales that the Southern Highlands holds.
With Warmth and Excitement, Chris.
If you would like a professional Southern Highlands wedding photographer to accompany your special day, get in touch.