Moss Vale is the rural centre of the Southern Highlands, with its regional livestock saleyards, farmers market and agricultural show. The meandering tree-lined main street and lush gardens make it one of the most picturesque towns in the region, with Leighton Gardens, a grand park in the centre of Moss Vale's being one of the districts highlights. Moss Vale is sited on the Illawarra Highway, which connects to Wollongong and the Illawarra coast via Macquarie Pass and also shares a direct link to Sydney or Canberra being 1.5 hrs from either city via the Hume Highway.
The Moss Vale area was once occupied by the Gundangara people, though they had disappeared by the 1870s, partly due to the loss of their hunting land to European settlers. Governor Macquarie granted Throsby 1,000 acres, known as Throsby Park, at Bong Bong, on the north eastern outskirts of Moss Vale and put him in charge of building the Old Argyle Road from Sydney to Goulburn in 1819. This road was replaced in the 1830s by a more direct road via Berrima surveyed by Thomas Mitchell and most of the population of Bong Bong moved to Berrima. The heritage-listed property of Throsby Park house was built about 1834, six years after Throsby's suicide. Governor Belmore rented Throsby Park from 1870 to 1872 to what is commonly believed to escape the summer heat of Sydney. The railway and the Robertson Land Acts encouraged denser settlement by selectors in the Southern Highlands and led to the growth of Moss Vale as a town.
Today, there are a large range of schools, shops and recreational activities within Moss Vale including Moss Vale Primary School, Moss Vale High School, St Paul's Catholic Primary School & St. Pauls International College, IGA, Coles, and a brand new Woolworths on the way plus the newly built Moss Vale aquatic centre and the very popular 18 hole Moss Vale Golf Club, one of the prettiest and challenging courses in the Southern Highlands designed by Carnegie Clark in 1936.
Moss Vale has prospered in recent times despite its growth remains ones of the more affordable suburbs in the Southern Highlands though some of the region’s most exclusive estates lie just outside the village.