Pretty, heritage-listed accommodation, and ruins which locals claim are haunted makes Joadja, Southern Highlands, number 67 on Australian Traveller’s ‘100 amazing places you haven’t been to yet‘. Nominated by: Jessika Allen, founder JETS swimwear.

From 1870 to 1911, Joadja was a thriving mining town in the Southern Highlands. These days, however, it’s a literal ghost town – home to some pretty, heritage-listed ruins (which locals swear are haunted).

But that’s not all, says Jessika Allen. “The site is now also home to a new, boutique whiskey distillery (, which runs guided tours recounting the past – with a drink at the end!” she says.

Also check out local tapas restaurant, Feast at McVitty, set among the rolling hills of a vineyard. “The gorgeous views – which stretch all the way to the Blue Mountains – make the entire dining experience peaceful and enjoyable,” she says.

Other must-dos include the nearby village of Berrima, “a teeny-tiny, Georgian-style town, with a charming sense of romance” and a stay at The Seidler House (from $1400 a night) is “pure architectural genius,” she declares.

“It’s on the cusp of a gorge and Wingecarribee River, and you’re surrounded by gums, with incredible panoramic scenery.”

We also like The Settlers Hut (from $180 a night) – a fully restored, 1840s cottage ideal for couples, snuggled among sprawling gardens.

Australian Traveller Issue 62
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