/News 01.05.24

The Southern Highlands Enters Its Regency Era

When thinking about Netflix’s hugely successful series ‘Bridgerton’, your first thought is unlikely to be of the Australian countryside. But it turns out the regency romance could have just as easily been filmed in NSW’s Southern Highlands as the UK. 

Recently, Netflix invited Australian fans to carriage to the rolling hills and manicured gardens of the historical town of Bowral (only a 90-minute drive from Sydney) where select locations around the charming country town were gussied up in their Bridgerton best for a glamourous week-long celebration of the coming third season of the iconic series.

With its stately homes, perfectly preserved shop fronts, and picturesque gardens, Bowral and the wider Southern Highlands, situated on Gundungurra Country, provides the ideal backdrop to recreate the romance of London’s high society during the regency era.

Retford Park

image courtesy Netflix

A jewel of heritage significance constructed in 1887 by the Hordern family, Retford Park exudes romance with its ‘Portuguese pink’ façade enveloped by one of Australia’s most breathtaking all-season gardens. Here, manicured topiaries, serene water features, and vast parklands shaded by towering trees paint an idyllic picture of elegance and grace.

Milton Park Country House

Image courtesy Destination NSW

With its European villa influences and eclectic blend of French and Federation detailing, Milton Park Country House stands as a testament to timeless sophistication. Its renowned garden, crafted by the esteemed English School of Landscape, remains a masterpiece of botanical artistry, a verdant sanctuary unrivaled outside of Europe.

Corbett Gardens

Image courtesy Destination NSW

Located in the centre of Bowral Adorned with a splendid rotunda and an exuberant array of tulips, spring bulbs, shrubs, and trees, Corbett Gardens stands as a testament to the town’s natural beauty. Each year, it takes center stage during the Tulip Time floral festival, dazzling visitors with a symphony of colors from over 75,000 tulips and 15,000 annuals.

The Acre

Image courtesy of Netflix

Home to the iconic curved blue door of the Press Shop, instantly transports visitors to a bygone era. Passing through the wrought iron gates of Green Lane, guests are greeted by meticulously sculpted topiaries and verdant greenery, creating an enchanting outdoor arcade. Inside Dirty Jane’s, vintage enthusiasts and collectors alike are ensconced in a treasure trove of unique finds.

Golden Vale Homestead, Sutton Forest

Image courtesy of National Trust of Australia NSW

A grand sandstone estate set amidst English-style gardens sprawled across 200 acres of lush parkland, Golden Vale Homestead offers a glimpse into the opulence of the regency era. Its extensive collection of furniture and art, along with nineteenth-century outbuildings such as stables and a woolshed, speak to a time of refinement and luxury.

Harper’s Mansion, Berrima

Image courtesy of National Trust of Australia NSW

A charming Georgian country house dating back to 1834, Harper’s Mansion boasts meticulously manicured gardens and one of the largest hedge mazes in Australia. Perched majestically atop a hill overlooking historic Berrima, it invites visitors to wander through two acres of cool-climate gardens teeming with perennials, heritage roses, and camellias.

Berrima Courthouse, Berrima

Image courtesy of Lust in Her World

A testament to the region’s storied past, the Berrima Courthouse stands as a beacon of justice and drama. Built in 1834 of hand-hewn sandstone in Regency style, it served as the setting for trials ranging from cattle theft to infamous bushrangers and murderers, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of history.

Though perhaps not your initial consideration, all these locales effortlessly transport one to regency-era England. Their proximity to Sydney’s other heritage sites underscores the versatility of New South Wales, showcasing not only its ability to double as any place but any time.

Bridgerton Season Three premieres 16 May only on Netflix.

Looking for locations to film in NSW? Reach out to the Screen NSW team, who can provide assistance with information on locations, technical and creative talent, studio space, post-production, and visual effects facilities, as well as all aspects of filming.