Drive out west from Sydney for three-four hours and you’ll reach the country town of Orange. Before visiting Orange the furthest west of Sydney I had been was Katoomba in the Blue Mountains so I was expecting a country town with lots of kangaroos and stars by night and lots of red dust by day but it wasn’t long before I realised that it was actually a lot more modern than that.
Orange still has a small country feel to it compared to Sydney but it isn’t all that different. There are parks, restaurants, cafes, pubs, stores and a university campus. The most notable differences are the number of local vineyards and orchards, the lack of traffic and a lack of humidity.
We travelled to Orange during Orange F.O.O.D month in April so we could try local produce. There was a night market the first night we were there where we had a very delicious dinner. It was also a great way to meet the local producers, growers and farmers and it helped us plan which orchards, farms and vineyards to visit while we were there.
During the night the stars are extremely bright due less light pollution. However if you are escaping the city for star-gazing you’ll want to head a little further west to Parkes. The kangaroos were absolutely everywhere at night too and it made driving a lot more difficult, unless of course we stuck to the main streets of Orange where it’s much busier.
Orange offers Sydney residents a peaceful weekend away which takes around three hours to get to and back if you’re in the western suburbs. I enjoyed my time there but I did end up spending quite a lot of money. I was lucky enough to have a friend living there so I didn’t have to find my own accommodation but the price of food and petrol there is no cheaper than Sydney.
I think Orange is a great getaway destination to visit some of the more idyllic parts of New South Wales. If you’re planning a trip to Orange, here are a few helpful tips:
- Don’t drive there at night
Avoid kangaroos by travelling to Orange during the day. Kangaroos do a lot of damage to cars in Australia and no one likes hitting animals.
- Plan ahead
Orange hosts many food and wine festivals and if you’d like to taste some of the best and local produce in Australia, you should definitely plan your visit around them. Prices for accommodation around that time will go up but you’ll have more access to local vineyards and wine tasting.
- Eat and drink local
It might cost a lot more than just popping into McDonald’s but I always recommend supporting the backbone of Australia and buying local produce. Not only does it help support the local economy, but it also tastes a lot better!
- Visit local natural attractions
Orange has a number of beautiful attractions including Mount Canobolas which offers gorgeous views of Orange at day and night.
Where do you escape to? Let me know in the comments below.