Part of the Wollondilly Shire on the outskirts of Sydney, Picton charms visitors with its mix of heritage and local history. Explore fine colonial buildings and the importance of its railway heritage, marvel at the annual festival of lights, and take in the natural beauty of the area and its botanic gardens which showcase native flora and fauna.
Things to do in Picton
Your time in Picton can be as relaxed or busy as you like. Pick up a free map from the NSW Rail Museum for a self-guided historic walk or take a scenic drive to discover the area’s notable heritage architecture and beautifully restored colonial homesteads like Belgenny Farm, established by John and Elizabeth Macarthur in 1805.
Heritage attractions include St Mark’s Anglican Church, designed by the famous colonial architect Edmund Blacket – you can take an audio tour via your phone using the QR codes at the site. The picturesque sandstone Picton Railway Viaduct over Stonequarry Creek was finished in 1867 and as a testament to its sound construction, you can still travel by train from Sydney to Picton.
In the heart of Picton you'll find Argyle Street, a quaint strip of cafes and local shops offering a range of charming gifts, treasures, ethically sourced goods, and an array of exotic colourful homewares and clothing.
Adventure seekers should bring their own bike to explore the tranquil countryside. Start at Picton Botanical Gardens, which has a 9km track surrounded by a selection of native Australian plants. For more outdoor fun, drive or cycle to Thirlmere and visit Thirlmere Lakes National Park where you can go bushwalking and enjoy a picnic amongst the trees.
Family fun activities include go-karting, for ages seven and up, at The Ultimate Karting Experience, the popular Sydney Skydivers, and the annual Illuminate Wollondilly – Festival of Art and Light, a creative arts festival similar to Vivid Sydney that sees local buildings lit up as artworks are projected onto their facade.
Eating and drinking in Picton
The rich, country soil around Picton supports various agricultural enterprises, which means local restaurants are able to use delicious seasonal produce. Country hospitality, not to mention a cold beer, is on offer at the Picton Hotel and the George IV Inn, which traces its history back to 1839. The heritage-listed Jarvisfield House, built in the 1860s by grazier John Macquarie Antill, is now the clubhouse of the Antill Park Country Golf Club, which also has a fantastic Thai restaurant.
Getting to and staying in Picton
Picton is a rural delight, around an hour's drive southwest of Sydney’s city centre and 45min northwest of Wollongong. Or you can travel by train from Sydney. Places to stay include the George IV Inn, colonial homestead Pepper Tree Ridge, Mowbray Park Farmstay and the luxurious Kalinya Estate.