ORANGE: THE AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER GUIDE
A city of more than 40,000 residents, Orange is steeped in history, having been on the Cobb & Co route from the goldfields in the mid-1800s, the birthplace of poets Banjo Paterson and Kenneth Slessor, and a key centre in the growth of the rural industry in the central west of NSW.
Primary industries include fruit growing, vineyards, mining, health services and education, but it’s the growth of the wine industry that has had a major impact on the region, establishing Orange as a gourmands’ Mecca. Nearby stands Mount Canobolas with its 1395m summit allowing commanding views of the district. The region is temperate, suitable for growing cool-climate wines, and is one of the few cities in Australia to receive reasonably frequent snowfalls in winter.
In town there are some decent country pubs but De Russie’s is probably the most upmarket hotel style solution. But for a weekend away make sure you try something a little more agrarian and take up one of the many farm cottages in the area at places like Mount Conobalas.
If your like food then the timing of your visit is going to be important, try and bet there for mid April for the F.O.O.D Week event. There are other events throughout the year, a wine week in October is also a highlight.
The cellar doors are many and the quality is mostly superb cool climate wines. The restaurants throughout the region are also superb with many leading the regional charge in being awarded the coveted SMH Good Food Guide “hats”. Lolli Redinin, Sisters Rock., Bistro Ceello, Racine Restaurant at La Colline Winery, Mayfield Winery Restaurant and Tonic in Millthorpe are just a few. For a lazy wine tasting and afternoon meal the Union Bank is the pick in Orange.
When to Travel
The best times to travel is around those significant food events as the providores and producers throw open their doors and you get access to some of the best food producers in Australia. Plus the food is bountiful, loads of events and the town at its best. Try and avoid the heights of summer or winter – its either very hot or very cold.
Three-and-a-half hours west of Sydney, at the base of an extinct volcano, sits the food basket of NSW: Orange. Rich, fertile soils feed the thriving agriculture and viticulture scene, while Sydney tree-changers and local artists feed the burgeoning café culture. Dig in. Everyone knows you should… Forage during F.O.O.D. Week Every April, the local region celebrates its abundance of produce with this renowned week-long festival filled with lunches, night markets, forages and our favourite, the 100-Mile Dinner – made up of dishes created from local produce within 100 miles of Orange. Dine at hatted Lolli Redini Regarded as a local dining institution, Lolli’s has...
If your idea of a great getaway involves food, wine and a romantic rural setting, Tatyana Leonov recommends you set your GPS for one of the most fertile food zones in NSW. Where is it? Orange is located in the Central Tablelands region of NSW, 260km west of Sydney. Surrounded by farmland and with agriculture the main business, this is a fine place for a food lover to spend a weekend. How to get here? It’s an easy four-hour drive west of Sydney. Regional Express flies into Orange from Sydney four times a day Monday to Friday, and has two...
It’s lean, clean and not made by a machine. Hand-reared Mandagery Creek Farmed Venison is shedding the meat’s 1980s reputation, coming back into fashion on the menus at Sydney hotspots like Marque, Guillaume at Bennelong and Quay. Venison's gamey goodness reads like a diet dream; low in calories and cholesterol, with less than half the fat content of beef and chicken, venison is like the goji berry of the meat world. From the family farm in Orange, Tim Hansen works hard to maintain the quality of his hand reared charges. The pasture-fed produce comes straight from the farm and other...
Experience No.068 in Australian Traveller Magazine's 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences. Just what the doctor ordered – that’s how the food tastes at Tonic. Tony Worland came to the NSW town of Millthorpe just south of Orange with a first-class education, so no wonder the food is fantastic. Mentored by Gordon Ramsey, Michael Manners and Matt Moran, Worland sweated it out in London and Sydney restaurants before going bush and never looked back. “My favourite country restaurant.” – Matt Moran Though nearby Orange gets more attention, Worland’s hard work has expanded the region’s foodie reputation to include his small town....
Experience No.031 in Australian Traveller's 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences. Every year for ten glorious April days, the fields of Orange are filled with foodies. Last year more than 15,000 people descended on the region, coming from far and wide, armed with picnic baskets and plexiglass tasting cups as local farmers, wineries, providores, restaurants and chefs flung open the gates to some of the country’s best bounty. The Amazing F.O.O.D should be fun – race across the countryside towards a final secret destination for lunch. Farm gate tours, cooking demonstrations, long lunches and concerts stand shoulder to shoulder in a...
More than just a wine region, it’s the depth of produce that’s giving Orange the green light as a foodie haven to rival Mudgee. Tom Barclay travels just three hours west of Sydney to bring you AT’s selection for the perfect foodie/romantic weekend. Apples on the Mount A winery, orchard, restaurant and now even cottages. The scenery at Borrodell on the Mt makes the trip up a steep hill worthwhile. One of the highest vineyards in Australia with magnificent vistas across the countryside. Aside from wines, there’s also a range of ciders to try. However, the piece de resistance is...
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