Now’s the perfect time of year to get serious about locking in a quick break or two and we’re here to tell you the diverse region of Central NSW should be firmly on your wish list.
Encompassing the towns of Orange, Bathurst, Mudgee, Parkes, Forbes and more, there’s truly something for every travel taste and budget. From natural beauty to tantalising food and wine experiences, and unique events to gorgeous accommodation, the hardest part will be deciding where to go to first!
Our list of 10 great reasons to visit might just help you narrow it down:
- Follow the gold trail – Central NSW is rich in gold history dating all the way back to the 1800s. Bathurst Goldfields offers public tours where you can learn about the various methods of mining for gold, and even try your luck panning for the precious metal. The recently opened Gulgong Gold Experience lets you walk through a replica underground goldmine tunnel or if having a guide is more your thing, do a Blind Freddy bushranger tour to hear the Central NSW’s fascinating early history.
- Get your food and wine festival on – For lovers of all things gourmet, it’s hard to beat the buzz of a food event and Central NSW does them extremely well. Our picks are:
– The Mudgee Food + Drink Trail (25 -26 March) – a gastronomical weekend adventure that is abundant with fresh produce and at the forefront of paddock to plate dining.
– Orange F.O.O.D Week (31 March to 9 April) – now in its 26th year, this 10-day annual event will have a focus on sustainability for 2017, to coincide with the United Nations Year of Sustainable Tourism with six signature festival events and over 80 related events hosted at local restaurants, cafes, cellar doors and more.
- Visit the world’s second largest open canyon – After the Grand Canyon in the US, Capertree Valley is second best in size! With sandstone cliffs and beautiful mountain landscapes, Capertee is surrounded by the World Heritage listed wilderness of the Blue Mountains National Park. If you’re feeling fit, walk to the summit of Pantoney’s Crown for a spectacular 360-degree panorama of the dramatic valley and a great photo opportunity.
- Go star gazing – There’s something pretty special about checking out the stars when you’re away from the Big Smoke and it’s hard to bear Parkes as your vantage point. The Parkes Observatory, affectionately known as ‘The Dish’, is one of the largest radio telescopes in the Southern Hemisphere and was the location for the Australian film of the same name in 2000.
- Hit up the pub scene – What’s a country getaway without a visit to a traditional pub? Check out our favorite country establishments, the Lord Anson in Orange, The George Hotel in Bathurst, the Vanderberg Hotel in Forbes and the Oriental Hotel in Mudgee.
- Bring out your inner rev-head – Take a spin on the world-famous Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit. You know you want that photo for your collection 😉
- Indulge your posh side – Enjoy a grand experience at Abercrombie House in Bathurst, a historic house built in the 1870’s by early pioneers, now open for tours of the home’s 52 rooms with six internal staircases. Enjoy one of the special high-tea or jazz music events, or get spooked on one of the ghost tours. If castles are more your thing, Iandra Castle (pictured) is a privately owned and operated National Heritage listed castle, just outside of Grenfell. Tour the stately property on one of the open days – the next one is on 16 April.
- Enjoy a Japanese experience – Lithgow’s Blue Mountains Sparadise is a traditional Japanese Bath and Tea House with indoor and outdoor spas, Zen garden, reflexology path and Japanese Shiatsu massage that will have you floating on air by the time you’re done. If you’re after a historical experience, the Cowra Japanese Gardens and Cultural Centre is a must-visit for any Central NSW visit classified by the National Trust, to be preserved for its fascinating war-time history that forever links the people of Japan with Cowra.
- Watch balloons take flight – Known as the ‘Balloon Capital of Australia’, Canowindra International Balloon Challenge (18-25 April) sees the towns’ skies come alive for this school holiday event with competitive events and a fiesta of flight spectacle.
- Choose somewhere great to base yourself – There’s so many accommodation options (and we have you sorted wherever you pick!). For somewhere unique, it’s hard to beat the Perry Street Hotel in Mudgee – this 1862 building has had a dramatic transformation to become 13 stunningly styled suites with a distinctly modern influence. We also love The Old Parkes Convent – built in 1910 it has been restored to its former glory and now operates as a beautiful bed and breakfast with lovely enclosed verandas and old-world charm.
Inspired? Plan and book your Central NSW getaway here.