A renaissance is underway in Central NSW as historic buildings and laneways are being re-born as cafes, wine-bars and boutique accommodation.
Central NSW Tourism has unearthed over 18 of the best transformations – Orange’s The Black Sheep Inn is in a century-old shearing shed, Bathurst’s The Church Bar was a former school house and Cowra’s The Mill is now a restaurant and cellar door.
“Locals are embracing the unique cultural heritage of the region, restoring old buildings that were once mills, churches, shops, schools and convents, into vibrant tourism spaces.” said Lucy White, Executive Officer, Central NSW Tourism.
The region, which begins just 2.5hours from Sydney, has some of the best, well preserved buildings in NSW. Each has its own fascinating story of its former life, unique architecture and old world charm.
- Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum – Bathurst’s first purpose built public school opened in 1878 and is now home to the renowned Somerville Collection of fossils and minerals including a real T-Rex dinosaur. www.somervillecollection.com.au
- The Church Bar – a funky bar and wood-fired pizza restaurant is located in the former Old Anglican School House on Ribbon Gang Lane, once a bush-ranger hangout. Its rich history is felt through the ornate ceilings, original structure and old time charm illuminated by dim candle lights.www.churchbar.com.au
- Cobblestone Lane restaurant – this award winning restaurant is housed within the Webb & Co department store building, once one of the largest retail businesses outside of Sydney in the late 1800s.www.thecobblestonelane.com
Orange and Millthorpe
- Ferment the Orange Wine Centre – this beautiful building was once the Hibernian Society and is now a stylish bar where you can taste over 100 wines in state-of-the-art Enomatics, taste tapas and hire bikes.www.orangewinecentre.com.au
- Black Sheep Inn – one of Orange’s best transformations, a century-old shearing shed has been converted into unique, modern accommodation. The main house has five suites and the restored shearers’ quarters are a two-bedroom cottage. www.blacksheepinn.com.au
- Philip Shaw – this renowned winery has moved its cellar door into an old bluestone dairy which has been completely renovated.www.philipshaw.com.au
- Tonic – Millthorpe’s hatted restaurant was once an old corner store with the adjacent old hall now used for functions. www.tonicmillthorpe.com.au
- Millthorpe Wine Centre – the trains no longer stop but this historic Railway Station now houses the cellar doors for Edgecombe Wines and Coffee Hill Wines. www.millthorpewinecentre.com.au
- Mudgee Brewing Co – Mudgee’s only microbrewery is housed in a huge 100-year old red brick former wool store, owned by the Anglican Church. Rumour has it the local Catholic priest has blessed the brewery, especially its world famous Mudgee Mud Imperial Stout. www.mudgeebrewing.com.au
- Perry Street Hotel – formerly the Mechanics Institute this 1862 building has had a dramatic transformation to become 13 stunningly styled suites with a distinctly modern, urban influence. www.perrystreethotel.com.au
- Elton’s Eating + Drinking – formerly Elton’s Pharmacy, built in 1896, it re-opened in November 2014 and is now an iconic place to wine and dine. It boasts unique historical character unachievable by modern buildings today.www.eltons.com.au
- Roth’s Wine Bar – formerly a terrace house, then a general store and wine bar, Roth’s has one of the oldest wine bar licenses in Australia. It is now the best place to enjoy a variety of local wines and live music.www.rothwinebar.com.au
Parkes, Grenfell and Forbes
- 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. www.parkesconvent.com.au
- Grenfell Hall B&B –the former Grenfell Convent has been recently reborn into a bed and breakfast accommodation.www.go.grenfell.org.au/grenfellhall/
- Grenfell Museum – this building dating back to 1896 was formerly the Grenfell School of Arts and is now an excellent museum with bush-ranger Ben Hall, gold-mining and local history.
- Forbes Railway Station, Forbes – built in 1893 it now houses the local Visitor Information Centre where you can pick up a Centenary of Federation Heritage Trail Guide directing you to more than 20 heritage landmarks.www.forbes.nsw.gov.au
- The Mill – Cowra’s oldest building, built in 1861, is now a restaurant and cellar door. It once produced flour and lay vacant for 90 years until it was renovated using recycled materials from train carriages, cattle yards and houses. www.windowrie.com.au
- River Bank Gallery in Canowindra – the building is 100 years old and was previously a NSW Bank, it is now an art gallery and home with three dining rooms for special functions.
Central NSW includes the townships of Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee, Cowra, Canowindra, Grenfell, Parkes and Forbes. Unearth your Central NSW experience at www.visitcentralnsw.com.au