The Highlands best kept secret - 'The Gib'
Let’s take a (real estate) ramble around ‘The Gib’
Mt Gibraltar, as Di Jones Southern Highlands agents Kate McCullagh and Liz Tregear explain, is sometimes overlooked by potential homebuyers unfamiliar with the Southern Highlands. Without its own postcode for real estate website searches, it’s not easily distinguished from Bowral and Mittagong, yet it offers a particular lifestyle which is one of the Highlands best kept secrets. As we travel up Oxley Drive our Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and international clients’ first question about the location is generally “Where are we going?” and “is it part of Mittagong or Bowral?”
Kate and Liz explain that it is both. Some properties have Bowral postcodes and some have Mittagong postcodes. And this is not necessarily because a particular property is closer to Bowral or Mittagong, and even more unusually, one side of the same street can be Bowral and the other Mittagong.
First then, some local knowledge
At 863 metres above sea level, Mt Gibraltar is the pinnacle of the Southern Highlands and the highest point between the Illawarra Coast and the Great Dividing Range. Perched above both Bowral and Mittagong, yet surprisingly five minutes or so from both town centres ‘The Gib’ as it is locally known, has been an attraction for tourists, locals and country-home seekers for 140 years. People come to experience its natural beauty, walking trails, vibrant autumn-coloured gardens and spectacular views over a wide expanse of the Blue Mountains from the sunny northern side, and Sydney’s skyline from the east. The western slopes is where Mount Gibraltar Trachyte, which was used to build many of Sydney’s historic public buildings, was mined.
The Gib is primarily a prestige residential area with a large nature reserve at its highest point on the western edge. The Mount Gibraltar Reserve was purchased with outstanding foresight by Alderman Joshua Stokes in 1919, and is today maintained by the Landcare Bush Regeneration Program. Wildlife abounds in this special protected reserve from the small finches that flitter amongst the ferns and bracken, to parrots, cockatoos, owls and may colonies of kookaburras, wallabies and kangaroos. Lookouts at the top of The Gib take in amazing scenery and spectacular sunsets, bringing all sorts of visitors and bushwalkers.
What’s in a name? or a postcode?
From the 1830s to the early 1880s the Whinstone Park dairy operated near Morts Lane, Mittagong. Then, in 1881, a change was on its way when an advertisement in The Sydney Morning Herald declared the drawcard of a ‘healthy climate’ for the auction of ‘The Famous Gibraltar Estate’, the admiration of everyone, situated between the two thriving townships on the Southern Railway Line’ (Mittagong and Bowral) with an area of 1400 acres subdivided into farms, country blocks, business and villa sites.
The strong desire to establish a country home in a milder climate, a relatively short train or car trip from busy Sydney, took hold. In 1927 “Whinstone Park” a 48 acre property originally part of “The Gibraltar Estate” was sold.
Fast-forward ninety years. Today The Gib is a haven, a prestigious, private and quiet location that is minutes to Bowral and Mittagong. The appeal is immediately obvious in the fresh mountain air, the famous ‘Gib microclimate’ (warmer than Bowral in the winter, and cooler in the summer), the walking trails and wildlife, magnificent gardens of mature exotic and native species, (courtesy of great basalt soils) and the opportunity to ‘own a room with a view’, and in some cases, ‘a vista without end’.
Real estate history
It is not generally known that the highest real estate sales on The Gib have been for those properties with a Mittagong postcode, as these properties are on the eastern and northern sides which offer spectacular views and the solar passive benefits of a sunny aspect. Wherever you are on Mount Gibraltar you will have the best of both worlds, wonderful natural surroundings, so peaceful and quiet, yet a few minutes to Bowral and Mittagong’s shopping, cafes and restaurants. It truly is a best kept secret and that’s just the way the residents up on Mount Gibralter want to keep it!
The White House - Oxley Drive/Duke St, Mittagong (2009)
Greyladyes - Oxley Drive, Mittagong (2016)
Tintagel - Prince Street, Mittagong (2010)
The Stone House - Oxley Drive, Mittagong (2009)
Talieson - Duke Street, Mittagong (2008)
Cambria - Oxley Drive, Mittagong (2015)
Di Jones Real Estate are currently marketing three superb properties on the Gib;
189 Oxley Drive, Mittagong - http://www.dijones.com.au/buy/property/mittagong/189-oxley-drive-mittagong-2575-nsw
8 Harnett Lane, Bowral - http://www.dijones.com.au/buy/property/bowral/8-harnett-lane-bowral-2576-nsw
9 Earl Street, Bowral - http://www.dijones.com.au/buy/property/bowral/9-earl-street-bowral-2576-nsw