In the mists of the New South Wales Southern Highlands lies the village of Bundanoon, home to the traditional Scottish Highland Games. For the past 41 years, Bundanoon has gained the envious reputation throughout Australia for hosting “Bundanoon is Brigadoon”, the gathering held “Always in April” with a following of 12000 visitors come along and enjoy and participate in the day.
Brigadoon begins at first light with the haunting sound of Bagpipes drifting across the village in anticipation of a day of traditional Scottish celebrations.
While locals and guest’s alike lie safe and snug in their beds they awake to the sound of the bagpipes echoing hauntingly, while the village of Bundanoon is magically transformed into the mystical “Brigadoon”.
This annual event began on 21 October 1978, its principle aim to raise funds for local charities and bring tourists to Bundanoon in particular and the Southern Highlands in general thereby benefiting local businesses, guesthouses and hotels. Continuing to this day, “Bundanoon is Brigadoon” has become one of the most successful events staged in the area. From its humble beginnings of a handful of pipe bands and spectators, and is recognised worldwide and has grown to into one of the finest Highland Gatherings in Australia.
Bundanoon is a comfortable 2 hour drive from Sydney and Canberra and the South Coast, which makes it the ideal location for travellers who just want to pop in for the day or for others who wish to stay and enjoy “Brigadoon” and the hospitality and culture of the Southern Highlands. With such an influx of people coming into the area, local businesses and the hospitality trade in particular have thrived to the point where there is hardly a room available anywhere and in most cases all accommodation is booked a year in advance.
“Bundanoon is Brigadoon” is a non-profit making, registered charity event that readily distributes the funds from the day to local charities and volunteer groups that assist the organisers in the administration of the gathering. The committee of the Bundanoon Highland Gathering ensures that it recognises the commitment of those local charities and groups who give countless hours of labour to the gathering by disbursing monies raised on the day on a proportional basis to each organisation.
All roads lead to Bundanoon or so it would seem as the village waits in anticipation as cars, coaches, bikes bring the thriving throng of spectators prepared for a day of highland festivities.
The Street Parade starts at 9.00am and features 25 Pipe Bands from all over the state and inter state accompanied by a large variety of decorated floats and marching Clan Societies.
The Opening Ceremony begins at 10.00am. The Gathering is officially opened by the Chieftain of the Day. Spectators are then treated to a spectacular Massed Pipes and Drums display. The sheer pageantry of the display has to be seen to be appreciated; the magic of the occasion leaves one breathless. The swirling of a myriad of coloured tartans and music stirs the heart and makes you proud to wear the Kilt of your ancestors.
At the Oval there are over 100 specialist stalls, selling everything Scottish, from pies & shortbread to Clan memorabilia & souvenirs, with copious amounts of food promoting every nationality, even the Scots favourite “Haggis”.
All are made most welcome at the gathering and encouraged to participate in the “Traditional” and not so “traditional” games. This as “The Ideal Family Friendly Day Outing” and you don’t even have to be Scottish to enjoy the day.
It is with great pleasure that the Bundanoon Highland Gathering Committee announce for the ongoing entertainment of the public they have continued with the heavy weight event to be performed by selected members of the Tartan Warriors: “Australian Highland Heavy Weight Events Championship”.
This heavy event has 5 separate individual challenges, Shot Putt, Weight for Distance, Weight for Height, Heavy Caber, and Hammer Throw. This event is proudly sponsored by Highland Titles.
The committee recognises and encourages mass participation by spectators and especially the children. Spectators can try their luck at, Kilted Races”, “Egg Throwing” and Water Toss. There is also a Bonnie Bairns highland dress competition for all the proud parents.
Throughout the day one can enjoy Highland and Scottish Country dance demonstrations, and for those who like to try something new you are cordially invited to join in. There are 30 Scottish Clans and Societies tents that have their own area where many make their way to enquire about their Scottish heritage and ancestry.
During the day at irregular intervals the Pipe Bands entertain the crowds with their own individual styles of music and display marching. This being a non-competitive gathering the bands can relax and really enjoy themselves without the added pressure of being held under the spotlight of judges.
One of the main events of the day is the display of strength by The Tartan Warriors. These men compete in a competition to lift the “Bundanoon Stones of Manhood”; Sponsored by Bundanoon Sandstone, there are 5 stones of incredible weight ranging from 100 to 165 kilograms. This really is a wonderful contest of speed, agility and strength.
As the day of festivities comes to an end and the closing ceremony approaches, the crowd are once again treated to the spectacle of the Massed Pipes and Drums display which is followed by the lone piper and a closing address by the Chieftain.
Those diehard fanatics who wish to continue on in the Scottish mood can join in the “Official” Brigadoon Ceilidh (Scottish Knees-up) held at the Bundanoon Soldiers Memorial Hall. Bookings are essential and can be made on (02) 2443 6033. or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information contact the Publicity Officer on Phone/Answer (02) 4883 7471
Email at: email@example.com
This is Australia” with a wee bit of Scottish Flavour.
Family (2A + 2C) $50
Age Concession (card holders only) $18pp
Publicity Officer – phone 02 4883 7471 and email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stalls Information – phone 0427 330 904 and email email@example.com
Accommodation and Ticketing – 1300 657 559 or 02 4871 2888