Orange is a picturesque town just 3.5 hours drive from Sydney, known for its delicious produce, unique homeware stores and countryside charm. Surrounded by fruit farms, vineyards and rolling hills, Orange is a vibrant town with a slower pace than the big cities surrounding it but full of many exciting things to see and do. Orange has a thriving cultural scene, and it happens to be the birthplace of well-known Australian poet, Banjo Patterson. The region is dotted with historic buildings and museums, with tours and trails to suit a variety of interests.
What to see and do:
Food Of Orange District (F.O.O.D) Festival
Held for ten days in April each year, this festival celebrates the produce of the region through a number of events, the most popular of which is Forage. Forage is a progressive degustation experienced over about 4 km’s of picturesque vineyards and 8 stops. Along the way you can pick grapes, enjoy live music and be sustained by amazing local produce. A truly unique experience!
Take in the beauty of the vineyards, and the award winning wines of the region on a wine tour. Some of the popular vineyards in Orange include Heifer Station Wines, Phillip Shore Wines, Ross Hill Wines, De Salis Wines, Mortimer’s Wines and Nashdale Lane, but there are so many more amazing cellar doors to explore. Of course many of these spots will also offer some perfectly paired cheese and other snacks.
Cider Making Workshop
Get involved in an interactive workshop where you can create your very own cider from the apple orchard on site. Small Acres Cyder offers cider making workshops over food week in April.
Coffee and Dining
The number one drawcard of Orange and it’s surrounding regions are the spoils of the prosperous farmlands nearby. In the heart of Orange you’ll find many opportunities to taste them yourself, from artisanal cafes, to fine dining. Charred Kitchen and Bar is always a favourite, offering casual dining and food designed to be shared. While dishes are inspired by cuisine from across the globe, the ingredients are locally sourced and creatively fused to create a travel worthy dining experience. Cafe culture is a point of pride in the Orange township, so you can work your way around the many roasters and cafe’s. Bill’s beans and Bying St Cafe and Groundstone Cafe are all highly recommended!
History and Culture
There’s an informative and quirky destination for every interest, whether it’s the Golden Era Piano Museum or the Age of Fishes Museum, or you can learn about Australia’s bush bandits on Blind Freddy’s Bushranger Tours. Take a Stroll along the Orange Heritage Trail to see the cities finest buildings. This 1.5 hr walk provides an opportunity to take in the scenery of the town and appreciate it’s history, from the traditional land owners, colonial settlers, gold miners and commercial traders.
How to get there:
Travel to Orange by road, rail or air. A flight to Orange from Sydney takes just 45 minutes, landing in Orange regional airport just 15 minutes from the town centre. The majority of flights will be found with REX airlines and it is recommended that you book well in advance, To drive to Orange takes about 3.5 hrs from Sydney, taking a scenic drive through the blue mountains where you can stop for a bite in Leura along the way. The train to Orange is called the Dubbo XPT and departs the Country platform from Central Station in Sydney.
Best time to go:
See the region spring to life with boozy picnics, interactive workshops and many more events during Orange Wine Month, held in October when you’ll also see the vibrant orange hues of Autumn. In spring, nature thrives and the cherry blossoms bloom, and you can attend the iconic F.O.O.D festival held during April. Orange can be lovely at any time of year, from cosying up by the fireside in winter, to exploring the outdoors during the warmer months.