Bundanoon is on the southern edge of settlement of the Highlands, on the edge of the deep valleys and escarpments of the Great Dividing Range.
Although the town itself dates only from the subdivision of local properties following the coming of the railways (1860s), its history is older than that.
First mentioned by explorer Charles Throsby (1818), it was well known by the original aboriginal inhabitants, from whose word for "place of deep gullies" its name is derived.
The countryside so impressed him he petitioned the Governor to have it declared a reserve (1824), perhaps the first in Australia, and precursor to today's Morton National Park.
There was an earlier settlement to the east of the present town at "Jumping Rock" (1830s), and at the time of the coming of the railway, two private villages in its path: "Jordan's Crossing", and "South Lambton".
This latter was a mining village, just south of the present town, on a spur line to Erith Coal Mine, which operated from the 1860s to 90s.
Other early industries were timber milling, sandstone quarrying (still in operation today), and farming.
Holy Trinity Anglican Church (1905)
At the beginning of the C20th the village of Bundanoon was well established. Many of its older buildings date from this time.
More importantly, the beauty of its scenery had been discovered by people from the city, who travelled by train for day trips and holidays to admire the views.
The earliest tourist tracks were cut into the parklands in the late 1890s, and a large number of guest houses to cater for the travellers were built.
In the 1920s there were up to 50 such establishments, and Bundanoon rivalled the Blue Mountains as a favoured tourist destination, a position it enjoyed for over 50 years.
In the 1950s and early 60s steam trains full of daytrippers ran each spring once again, this time to see the unique pink Boronia and other native flowers which grew prolifically in the 'Gullies' (now Morton National Park). The town's Boronia Festival was the first floral festival in the Highlands. Unfortunately a series of disastrous bushfires in the mid 60s wiped out the boronia and to this day it has never recovered.
By the 1960s, and the increase in private car ownership, visitors began to bypass Bundanoon, travelling further inland and for the next 20 years the village went into something of a decline, many of the tourist destinations closing down.
In the 1980s, however, the unspoilt beauty of Bundanoon was once more rediscovered.
Today it is the 4th largest (residential) area in the Highlands, and attracts vast numbers of tourists again (up to 20,000 in one day for Brigadoon alone).
There is a well established artists' colony among its residents, and many of the old guest houses have been restored and opened for today's visitors.
Behind its sleepy old-world charm, Bundanoon is a vibrant community. Visitors can still enjoy the grand beauty of the National Park, and relax and enjoy the mountain air.
There are plenty of things to see and do for adults and kids alike. The main street is very busy during Market Day (first Sunday of every month), and on weekends and holidays.
There are often steam train excursions from Sydney throughout the year, and the town is a favourite destination for car and other clubs for weekend stays.
Brigadoon, the Bundanoon Highland Gathering (held every April) is one of the biggest of its kind in the world, and not to be missed.
Always in April - Bundanoon is Brigadoon
one of the world's largest highland gatherings