Bowral is the largest town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, about ninety minutes southwest of Sydney. It is the main business and entertainment precinct of the Highlands.
In the past, Bowral served as a rural summer retreat for the gentry of Sydney, resulting in the establishment of a number of estates and manor houses in the district. Today, it is considered a "dormitory suburb" for commuters from Sydney though it is 136 km away from the city centre. Bowral is often associated with the cricketer Sir Donald Bradman. Bowral is close to several other historic towns, being 5 kilometres (3 mi) from Mittagong, 9 kilometres (6 mi) from both Moss Vale and Berrima and the village of Burradoo is nearby.
Bowral's history extends back for approximately 200 years. Gardens and European plants flourished from 1887, when citizens of Bowral started planting deciduous trees to make the area look more British. This legacy still lives on throughout Bowral. Notably, the oaks at the start of Bong Bong Street are a characteristic that makes Bowral distinct from other rural towns, giving it strong autumn colour. The town became somewhat affluent, as many wealthy Sydney-siders purchased property or land in the town and built grand Victorian weatherboard homes.
Bowral has an oceanic climate, enjoying warm summers and quite cool to cold winters. Frost is common during winter although temperatures rarely fall below -5 degrees Celsius. Snow falls occasionally and falls in excess of 15cm have been recorded.
Bowral is noted for its boutiques, antique stores, gourmet restaurants and cafes. The Bradman Oval, Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame are dedicated to the achievements of cricketer Sir Donald Bradman and to the game of cricket.
Bowral is the setting for Tulip Time at Corbett Gardens, a springtime celebration with a profusion of tulips and other flowers planted in the town centre.
Bowral is also home to a few vineyards and cellar doors and is close to Mittagong, the winery centre of the Southern Highlands. There are 60 vineyards in the Southern Highlands, which is a recognised cool-climate wine district. Wineries around Bowral are listed in the Southern Highlands Wineries Index.
The town is served by the Bowral and District Hospital which also serves the Southern Highlands region. Founded in 1889, it is the only hospital operated outside the Sydney metropolitan area by the South Western Sydney Local Health District.
Bowral also has access to a private hospital operated by Ramsey Health Care, which includes short and long stay facilities.