The NSW Southern Highlands region is a short drive from Sydney and we toured this beautiful area in the 2018 Toyota 86.

Only around 100 kilometres from Australia’s biggest city, the Southern Highlands really is a world away from the daily grind of city life.

The Car

toyota 86 interiorToyota Australia handed us the keys to the latest version of it’s Toyota 86 sports car to take on the road-test and to review for our sister site, Car Review Central.

The car, an entry-level 86 GT, was fitted with the recently arrived new ‘Performance Kit’ and this adds things like sportier suspension, beefed-up brakes and the head-turning 17″ ten spoke alloy wheels that you can see in the images.

Our 86 also had the standard six-speed manual transmission, though a six-speed automatic transmission is also on offer for buyers who like the ‘set and forget’ option.

Priced from $31,440, Toyota’s 86 remains one of the best-value cars on the market – offering plenty of smiles for not a lot of dollars.

The Drive

The Southern Highlands are located to the south-west of Sydney and that means your best option is to head for the M5 Motorway.

This motorway, one of Sydney’s busiest, is a toll road so make sure you have your e-tag.

hume highway southern highlands nswAccess to the M5 is easy via the Eastern Distributor/Southern Cross Drive if coming from the Sydney CBD, alternatively, residents to the north and west of the city are best-served by entering the M5 off the M7 Motorway.

The M5 is, not surprisingly, about the same as every other motorway that you will find, fortunately, most of the roadway is now a minimum of three lanes and that means a speedy trip to Sydney’s outskirts.

Just after Liverpool you will find the road changes into the Hume Highway and as you say farewell to nearby Campbelltown the scenery starts to become more pleasant, and not surprisingly, more green.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the drive along the Hume, which is the main route to Melbourne, are the sizable bridges that span the Nepean and Wingecarribee Rivers.

The rivers flow through canyons well below the roadway with interesting rock formations catching your eye as you speed past at 110km/h.

As you approach the Southern Highlands you will have a choice of touring the region, and the main town centers, essentially from north to south, or, as we did, continuing on the Hume Hwy and beginning in the south.

We said goodbye to the busy highway at Medway Road and headed in the direction of New Berrima.