I always love a road trip out of Sydney as it’s a great way to relax and have a change of scenery. This time around I went on a girls’ getaway with my friends Nadia Fairfax and Yan Yan Chan. We were lucky enough to be invited by Destination NSW and the city of Orange to experience everything this lovely regional city has to offer. After a busy few days at Fashion Week last month we decided to take them up on their offer and head off for a few days of rest and relaxation and some girl time. Orange is around a 3.5 – 4 hour drive out of Sydney so we all jumped in my car and headed off on a Tuesday morning. We definitely could have used more than three days enjoying the city but here’s my list of the best places to see, eat and shop.
Where we stayed
We stayed at The White Place House which is a gorgeous heritage cottage within walking distance to the Orange CBD. It’s always good to be in such close proximity to the action so we loved how central our accommodation was. Whenever I rent a house when I’m travelling I always inevitably see something whether it be a beautiful trinket or a luxe blanket that I really want to take home, so I was rather pleased to find that The White Place House has a store which sold an edit of the furnishings in our cottage. I may have taken home a souvenir…
Where to eat
It was my first time to visit Orange and one of the great things I discovered is that they’ve got a thriving food scene so we were really spoilt for choice as far as restaurants and cafes went. We checked out Orange’s hot new restaurant Charred Kitchen & Bar which uses local produce and cooks everything up in a wood and charcoal oven (their wine list also won an award from Gourmet Traveller Wine) and Mr Lim Korean and Chinese Diner where we enjoyed a great dinner and even better cocktails. I always like to scope out a good cafe whenever I arrive in a new town and we particularly rated Groundstone which is a Scandi-inspired cafe with good food and the coffee was awesome. Also Byng Street Local Store is a fave of locals (always a good sign) and we enjoyed a lovely breakfast there one morning. If picturesque surrounds are your thing make a point of sitting down to lunch at Racine Restaurant—it overlooks a vineyard and view is to die for.
What to do
If you’re into wine Orange is definitely the place to be as they have so many incredible vineyards. We enjoyed a private wine tour and tasting at Ross Hill Wines which is always a nice way to while away a few hours. Also we paid a visit to Heifer Station Wines where we were able to ride bikes and prune the vines and also sit down for a relaxing cheese and charcuterie picnic. Another spot I’d highly recommend is Swinging Bridge Wine where we also enjoyed a wine tasting and Rowlee Wines where we were lucky enough to enjoy a private tour of the estate. And don’t miss grabbing a drink at Ferment in the Orange Wine Centre which is both a wine store and tasting room.
If you’re in the mood for something active do the bushwalk to Federal Falls. It’s a 4km loop track that starts and ends at Federal Falls campground. You’ll pass through lots of tranquil scenery but the enormous rock faces we saw were a definite highlight. Get up early then reward yourself with a delicious breakfast at one of the local cafes for all that exercise!
Where to shop
The girls and I had to check out the local shopping scene of course, and stumbled across a few gems. The Sonic is a must if you’re after beautiful, unique homewares, they also have a good edit of clothing that’s worth checking out. We also popped into Angus Barrett Saddlery & Leather Goods which has some amazing hand-crafted leather goods such as belts and bags. Hawkes General Store was another spot we liked, they had a great selection of clothes, shoes and accessories and really cute kids’ clothes.
This post was produced in collaboration with Destination NSW and Orange360