Towns & Villages: Braemar


Brief History
The area now known as Braemar lies on a level plateau to the north of the Highlands, and is a welcome respite for the traveller climbing up Catherine Hill (or the more circuitous route via Bargo in earlier times.)

On the left, about a kilometre after leaving the modern freeway, can be seen an elegant two-storey Georgian house (now a restaurant).

This was built by one of the earliest settlers, Bartholemew Rush.

His inn, the Prince Albert Hotel (1811), originally stood on this site, the current building erected later.

The inn was a welcome sight to the weary traveller who had to negotiate the notorious 'Bargo Brush' - thick bushland between Bargo and Mittagong infested in the mid C18th by notorious bushrangers.

Rush himself had to keep his money hidden under a thick hearthstone before the fireplace to foil robbery attempts. A farmer, contractor, and entrepreneur, he amassed a small fortune by his efforts.

Opposite The Poplars (as it is now known) is Braemar House (now Lodge), also built by him as a residence, later a boarding school, now a guesthouse.

Braemar is named after this residence, and incorporates today two other hamlets - Willow Vale (on the right as you proceed towards Mittagong), and Balaclava (on the left just before the bridge into town.)

There was originally a station (first known as Rush's Siding) behind Braemar House, on the main southern line.

This originally was a single steep track between Picton and Mittagong (now known as 'The Loop'), and was replaced by the current permanent way via Yerrinbool and Aylmerton in 1919 (to be seen on your left as you approach Mitaggong).

Most of the surrounding area was farmland, the history of which is still being researched.

The cool mountain air made it ideal for horticulture - Rush himself was known for the apples he grew and exported to Sydney, and there was a large famous nursery (Ferguson's - now gone) near Balaclava for many years.

Some interesting old buildings from the late C19th remain, including a homestead (now antique shop), dairy (now shop), and old farm manager's cottage (now renovated) in grounds of nursery.

To the left and right, and set back from the road today, are two large industrial areas (engineering and manufacturing).

Further towards Mittagong are residential subdivisions.

Braemar is still well known as a favoured resting place for travellers.

There are a number of boutiques and businesses of interest to the tourist, and Braemar attracts visitors from elsewhere in the Highlands who enjoy a few hours exploring this interesting area

For further details see our Past and Present pages.

Old cottage - Braemar
Farm Manager's cottage (c.1890s), now renovated

Braemar House
Braemar House (c.1820s)

Braemar QuickGuide

Accommodation - LIST ALL
The Poplars Motel
All Aboard Braemar Model Railways

The Poplars
Prince Albert Hotel - originally c.1811, now The Poplars
What to See and Do
For Visitors.
Braemar has an antique and craft shops; nurseries - one with with Open Garden; garden supplies and furniture; real estate agents; service station and wholesale food outlet.

There is a motel, guest house, and two cafes. Golf driving range in Braemar, and first-class golf course, Bowling Club, and RSL Club in Mittagong,

The Poplars, Braemar Lodge, homestead (now antique shop), and old cottage and dairy in the grounds of the nursery (now renovated) are good examples of early architecture.

No visit is complete without seeing the model railway exhibits and huge range of model trains and accessories at All Aboard, which also has a cafe and picnic area.

Coach parking facilities at several venues.

For Kids.
Cute crafts available in shops; learn golf or improve your swing at the golf range.

A visit to the Model Railway exhibition at All Aboard is a must for kids and enthusiasts. Here there are a number of layouts on display, including an excellent landscaped garden railway. Stop for a picnic lunch and take home something to add to your collection from the shop!

Garden Railway
Garden railway at All Aboard

Last updated 11/9/14