A handsome country town in a deep valley, Young offers the full urban experience, with comfy motels, B and Bs and self-catering accommodation as well as a central caravan park. Its award-winning cafes and boutiques are among grand 19th century buildings. It is in the heart of the Hilltops Region, less than two hours’ drive from Canberra. The town offers the amenities of an urban centre, award-winning coffee, scrumptious eateries near formal parks along the creek.
Visit the Information Centre, in the elegant 1885 railway station building, to ask about the town’s Heritage Walks, combining exercise with interest for history-lovers.
In 1831, Young’s first European settler, James White, built his homestead on a slope 15 kilometres north of the present town, on the advice of the local Wiradjuri people. The sheltered area where his ewes gave birth was known as the Lambing Flat. Gold was first discovered there in 1860. Thousands of miners and prospectors flocked to the field, and the town developed. Young’s museum, housed in the 1883 schoolhouse, tells the story of the 1861 riots against energetic Chinese miners. In recognition of the contribution of the Chinese community to the settlement of Young, the Chinese Tribute Garden were constructed near areas where the Chinese miners worked; this tranquil place of lakes and pretty walks is a popular picnic destination.
Young is surrounded by orchards, vineyards, olive groves and strawberry farms. Through Spring, the orchards blossom. Young hosts the annual National Cherry Festival on the first full weekend of December. Venture into the orchards to pick your own or stop by one of the many shopfronts and road-side stalls to stock up and fill the car with the sweet aroma of cherries, and cherry pies. Later, plums, peaches, apricots and other stone fruit, fresh and in pies and preserves, are available. Wine connoisseurs, and others learning, can enjoy a tasting at one of the cellar doors. Young’s Information Centre has a complete collection of regional wines to buy.