Surrounded by farmland and national park, Appin is a quaint town full of historical intrigue. One of the first villages to be settled in NSW in 1811, you’ll find beautifully restored colonial buildings, including churches and one of Australia's first public schools. Appin is also home to the heritage-listed ruins of Windmill Hill, an important Aboriginal memorial and a historically significant dam.
Things to do
Appin’s rugged natural beauty makes it ideal for mountain biking. Riders looking for a challenge should head for the 10B cycling trail in Dharawal National Park, a 15km one-way track on an unsealed road that takes you through open forest, a gorge and woodlands along a sandstone ridge. It begins at the Appin Road entrance and finishes at Wedderburn, the park's northern entrance.
The beautiful Cataract Dam was Australia’s largest engineering project at the time of construction – 1902 to 1907. For spectacular views of the river and water catchment, you can walk across the dam wall, which is 56m high and topped with a castle-like sandstone building. There's a picturesque picnic area with a playground nearby and a drive over Broughton Pass offers lovely views of the Cataract River.
Cataract Dam, Appin - Credit: Photogreff/Wollondilly Shire Council
The Appin Massacre Memorial, located on Cataract Road, honours the Aboriginal Dharawal people killed in the area by British troops on 17 April 1816. There’s also a monument just north of Appin that recognises the 1824 expedition to Port Phillip conducted by explorers William Hovell and Hamilton Hume, a former Appin resident.
The Appin Way Driving Tour takes in historic buildings and scenic routes through Appin and surrounds. Pick up a free brochure the Wollondilly Shire Council, Wollondilly Library or the NSW Rail Museum.
Appin Streetscape - Credit: Photogreff/Wollondilly Shire Council
Eat & drink
Enjoy the town’s welcoming country hospitality and stop for a traditional pub meal at the Appin Hotel. This lovely country pub with a wide verandah and enchanting beer garden also hosts live music and special event nights. Alternatively, you can pick up delicious meat pies, cream buns and other baked goods from the Appin Bakery.
Appin is an hour’s drive southwest of the city centre. If you're already in the area, it is just an 18min drive south of Campbelltown and half an hour from the beaches of Wollongong, NSW’s third-largest city, up through the escarpment.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the Traditional Owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.