The great Pie Time extravaganza in the Southern Pielands

What's better than a "dogs eye with dead horse"? That's a pie with sauce for those don't get that good old Aussie slang!

Well during the whole month of June in the NSW Southern Highlands there is plenty of contenders, still the pies will be the centre of attention.

During that time thousands of pie lovers from across the country will descend on the delightful villages and townships that make up this beautiful part of the world.

The Southern Highlands has long been home to more homemade pie outlets than anywhere else in the whole of Australia, so it's only fitting that its not only home to their famous Pie Trail but also the Pie Time Festival itself.

For me I don't really need an excuse to frequent this country spun splendour with its rolling hills and inviting hamlets and delightfully kindly locals, so when Pie Time comes about I am all over it like a cheap suit!

Yes, the pie is the hero during this time, but it's about experiencing much more than that.

There are events galore during the festival and I do believe there is something that will sweet-talk everybody.

Like Pastimes and Pies at the Fairground Follies. Step back in time to when the carnival was king and immerse yourselves in the historical enchantment of some of the most amazing fairground musical machines around.

This is not only a celebration of the senses, you will feast on a hot fruit pie as a bonus. Seeing the 100-year-old carousel in action is worth the visit alone. You will be mesmerized, young, older and in between!

A visit to Farm Club Australia should also be on your list of Pie Time must-dos.

This family owned and operated agritourism destination will make you feel like one of the gang when you visit. Take part in their farm tour on board one of their authentic army jeeps around the 1300-acre working farm which is a treat in itself.

You will then top it off with a picnic themed meal with their Dine with A Pie offer which includes a Snake Creek F1 wagyu beef pie paired with a glass of their own Cattle Company wines. Make sure you book for this one as it only runs Wednesdays through Sundays.

Most of the area's delightfully inviting local pubs will have a Pie and Pino deal on offer and a couple of my favourite establishments with excellent inputs to the event include the Bundanoon Hotel, Barrawang Village Pub and the newly refurbished Robertson Public House, which also has some brand-new accommodation cottages that would make the perfect base for a couple of days of Pie Time.

While you are in "Robbo", just across from the pub is an award-winning gem called Moonacre's kitchen and they have not one but two delights to choose from during Pie Time. They also make a killer coffee too!

I must mention the Berida Hotel. This gem was originally built as a home in 1925 and what a beauty it would have been too. Now after some homespun TLC she is displaying the warmth and sentiment that will see you become ensconced in its eclectic wonder. It is also home to the superb Bistro Sociale where it's all about European flavours with a twist of French thrown into the mix. Yes, there will be pies!

It is burrowed in a backstreet of Bowral and also be a terrific base for a few days. Very reasonably priced as well.

If you are a lover of a long lazy high tea, then a pie tea will take it to a new level for you and I have just the spot to coddle you. Milton Park country house hotel is an utterly alluring property for many reasons. The history of the property and the dashingly handsome Hordern "boys" is just part of what makes this turn of the 20th century estate appealing. The gardens are possibly the country's best and have inspired artists and writers since the early 1800s and you should spend some time wandering in the wonderment. Then there is the structures themselves, which carry a grand sophistication that is hard to find in this day and age. Sorry I digress slightly.

The point being is that they have a delicious Pie Tea on offer during June which permits you the perfect excuse to head in and explore this appealing piece of Australian antiquity.

What about a sky-high pie? Pop in for some natural beauty and mix it with a little adventure and adrenaline at Illawarra Fly here you can treat yourself to a divine Stones Patisserie desert pie and take to the skies on their amazing treetop zipline tour. It is so much fun. Although I suggest the Zipline before the pie, just in case!

As I said the pie is the star of the program, but it's also the Southern Highlands themselves that are showcased during this time, and it really is an exquisite slice of NSW pie.

You must visit the Pie Time website because I have only scratched the surface when it comes to all on offer.

Better still when you arrive pop into the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre. The team there are so lovely and ready to assist, there is also a record of the history of the pie, which I found not only interesting but also surprising, including the homage to one of Aussies best pie providers ever, "Scotts".

Had to get that one in!

  • Scott McRae is The Travelling Guy. Visit www.thetravellingguy.com for more stories and travel videos. Follow @scottythetravellingguy on Instagram and Facebook