Meet local yoga instructor Melissa Sharp and find out what she loves about the Southern Highlands

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS?
I have lived in the Southern Highlands for over 16 years, moving firstly to Moss Vale, Bowral, Mittagong and settling in Bundanoon 12 years ago. We couldn’t resist the quaint village and friendly people!

WHAT MADE YOU MOVE/KEEPS YOU HERE?
We moved to the highlands as it was easy for my husband to travel to work in Sydney, whilst still living a rural lifestyle. And we fell in love with the place, the people and the beautiful village.

WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a Fitness and Yoga Instructor. I teach Yoga in the villages of Bundanoon and Exeter and I provide fitness training and personal training to the local community

TELL US A BIT MORE
I teach Yoga through my small business Melissa Sharp Yoga, and work with my husband to provide health and fitness classes through our joint business Sharp Fitness. Together, Phillip and I offer a range of fitness classes to suit all levels and abilities at our studio in Bundanoon. These classes include Healthy Heart Group, Circuit, Restart Program, and Bootcamp.

I host a range of Yoga classes in both Bundanoon and Exeter, as well as one-on-one Yoga tuition. I have a lovely following people from all walks of life, shapes and sizes, and of varying ability, hosting as many as 8 classes per week from the Sharp Fitness Studio, Exeter Village Hall and other mobile locations. In October, I am hosting my first ABUNDANCE RETREAT in Bundanoon – a retreat for “real” people in need of the time and space to relax, refresh, and with a bit if fun too! (There is yoga, fitness, fun, meditation, workshops, great food, and did I mention the wine?!)

Melding together fitness and yoga came naturally, incorporating the teachings of Yogafit (my yoga school of choice) and using my own experience as a fitness instructor, I have found that it is the perfect blending of traditional Yoga and health and fitness. I believe Yoga is for everybody and every body!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE AREA?
From our first visit to Bundanoon we were amazed and pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the locals. I remember all those years ago, sitting outside the local newsagent in Bundanoon with our young son, and having every single person coming and going greet us and stop for a chat. This was the thing that drew us to Bundanoon, and it hasn’t changed!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE RESTAURANT/CAFE?
Such a hard question to answer, but I will try to narrow it down to a few. I love my coffee and I have been known to visit a café “just to try it”, it’s one of my favourite things to do! But I do find that Jumping Rock Café Bundanoon do the best coffee in the Highlands. For a lovely casual lunch, the Terrace Tea Shop in Bundanoon is the best, and you just can’t go past their scones! For an evening out with friends, Bistro Officina is my pick. A great menu and delightful wine list. Another favourite for a good coffee and yummy food is 2 Park Rd in Bowral, I love the atmosphere and their cakes are delicious! We love Stones in Berrima too! *I’m a bit of a foodie….!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SPOT?
I love wandering through Berrima, and taking in the local markets throughout the highlands on a weekend

DO YOU KNOW OF ANY HIDDEN GEMS YOU ARE PREPARED TO SHARE?
I love the bushwalks and scenery of the Morton National Park in Bundanoon. I’ve yet to try all the walks, but I do love a good run out to Echo point and back.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU THINK THE HIGHLANDS IS MISSING?
Activities and events for the younger teenagers and early 20’s generation. Perhaps a live music scene adding some fun, for all ages to enjoy.

TELL US ONE THING THAT WE’D NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
If you don’t know me, you may be surprised to know that I am a huge Star Wars fan! (may the force be with you….) I have been known to weave some sort of Star Wars trivia into a yoga class now and then, and can even recite the words to the original movies, much to the annoyance of my children!

YOU CAN KEEP IN TOUCH WITH MELISSA HERE
WEBSITE: www.sharpfitness.com.au
INSTAGRAM: melissa_sharp_yoga
FACEBOOK: Melissa Sharp Yoga

See the map for details of Melissa’s favourite spots

2 PARK ROAD Bowral
This popular cafe and corner store (opposite Bowral High School) is a favourite with locals

BISTRO OFFICINA
Hidden down a small street and inside Berida Manor, this is one of the area’s hidden gems
www.bistroofficina.com.au

JUMPING ROCK CAFE Bundanoon
1/3 Church Street
Bundanoon, New South Wales

MORTON NATIONAL PARK
For more information visit the National Parks website
www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

STONE’S PATISSERIE Berrima
A popular cafe on the main street, with a second branch in Bowral
www.stonespatisserie.com.au

THE TERRACE TEA SHOP Bundanoon
Centrally located across the road from Bundanoon train station and bus stop