Have you ventured over the mountains lately? Central NSW is a surprising and beautiful short break destination – a place to slow down, re-connect, and indulge your soul in culture, heritage, food and wine, and stunning natural scenery.
It all begins just two hours’ drive from Sydney with the townships of Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee, Cowra, Canowindra, Grenfell, Parkes and Forbes. In between are smaller villages with big hearts like Carcoar, Millthorpe, Rylstone and Hill End.
Plan your visit around one of the major food and wine festivals, heritage celebrations or art events.
There’s a museum with a real T-Rex dinosaur, a bar with the nation’s oldest running license and star-filled nights that will take your breath away.
Weekend away ideas in Central NSW:
- See Bathurst in a new light – just two hours from Sydney, Bathurst is a new hotspot and its 200 year celebrations (May to Dec 2015) shine a light on its vibrant tourism future. Taste culinary treats from laneway cafes, see a real T-Rex at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, indulge on high-tea at historic Abercrombie House, and be inspired by the celebrated Hill End Artists at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
- Forbes, an eco-luxury escape – looking to de-stress? At Girragirra Retreat enjoy the complete privacy of your own self-contained eco accommodation with passionate owners Kim and Wendy onsite for organic farm tours, sustainable house and permaculture garden tours. Go fishing for dinner on the Lachlan River, take a guided Forbes Heritage Trail and visit bush-ranger Ben Hall’s grave
- Unwind on village time in Millthorpe and Carcoar – with a picture book quality reminiscent of old England, Blayney’s eight villages have antique shops, historic pubs and art galleries. Carcoar is certified by the National Trust and nearby Millthorpe is a must for foodies with Tonic, local truffles and the Old Mill Cafe
- Mudgee’s rich wine history– with around 40 cellar doors there are so many ways to connect with this region’s wine and agricultural history, dating back to 1858. There are monthly farm walks, paddock to plate dining experiences, fun events and hip places to stay on the vineyards
- Food and wine indulgence in Orange– commercial nous drives this renowned food and wine region which is ever evolving with new places to eat, drink and stay on a romantic long-weekend. Pick fruit from the trees, taste over 100 wines in state-of-the-art enomatics at Ferment wine bar, and learn how to make appscato at Small Acres Cyder
- Parkes – discover history and culture at the Henry Parkes Centre, home to four museums including the world famous CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope ‘the Dish’
- May – Bathurst200 Heritage Week (2-9 May) features Illuminate Bathurst night festival, fashion exhibitions, guided tours of historic homes, and a colonial fair
- June – the Henry Lawson Festival (5-8) celebrates the life and times of this renowned poet in historic Gulgong and Grenfell
- July – Bathurst’s Winter Festival features illuminations on historic buildings, an ice-skating ring, food and wine stalls and cultural events during the school holidays
- September – Mudgee’s annual Mudgee Food and Wine Festival (12 Sept – 5 Oct) is the region’s most festive, fun and tasty time
- October – Sculptures in the Gardens (10 and 11) at Mudgee’s Rosby Estate features over 200 sculptural pieces to be enjoyed with walks and wine;Forbes’ Kalari Lachlan River Arts Festival (29 Oct to 1 Nov) is a celebration of creativity in the country with a lantern parade, live music and theatre; the Orange Wine Festival (16 Oct to 1 Nov) features wine shows, educational workshops, dinners and local produce events
- November – Rylstone Street Feast (7) is a long-lunch with local food and wine under an avenue of shady trees in a historic village
- December – bring your van or your tent to VanFest, an annual music festival at Forbes Showground featuring Australia’s best touring artists and DJs
Unearth your Central NSW experience at www.visitcentralnsw.com.au.