The New South Wales Rail Transport Museum is Australia’s largest and oldest railway museum with over 125 railway exhibits. It is the home to many steam and diesel locomotives, the most popular of which is the famous 3801. Steam train rides are available on Sundays during the winter months, to avoid the risk of bushfire in this rural area. As well as being an important environment ecosystem, Thirlmere Lakes (managed by the NSW Parks & Wildlife Service) is a popular picnic spot for locals and day trippers from Sydney, who take advantage of the free electric barbecues. Covering an area of 627 hectares (1,550 acres), there are several sand beaches, with the lakes (with a maximum depth of 6m) being popular for kayaking and canoeing. Thirlmere Lakes was also a popular location for locals to swim.
Thirlmere Garden Chinese Restaurant at Westbourne Ave offers the best Chinese cuisine in the town. Most of the locals visit nearby suburbs for dinning and take away. Jack & Royal Thai Restaurant, Tahmoor at Remembrance Drive is one of the best options for Thai food lovers. The Lucky Chinese Restaurant offers best Chinese cuisine near Thirlmere. Other restaurants near Thirlmere include Scotties Pizza, KFC Tahmoor, Subway® Restaurant, Indys Indian Restaurant, Dannos Takeaway and Golden Palace Restaurant.
Thirlmere Creative Traders Markets are held on the third Sunday of each month, outside the Rail Transport Museum. Creative Traders Markets showcase the creative talents of the Wollondilly Shire and provide an opportunity for locals and visitors to purchase local fresh produce direct from the farmer and handmade local products. Produce on offer includes fruit and vegetable, honey, homemade jams and chutneys, lavender, olive products, breads and more. Artworks include jewellery, quilting, glass art, paintings, woodwork and more.