Orange is an incredibly scenic city in the heart of the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, a beautiful cool climate wine region West of West. The city is well known as a destination for avid foodies, for its beautiful architecture and natural landscapes and for being a great weekend away in easy reach of Western Sydney. It is also the traditional land of the Wiradjuri people, known as the three rivers people, who have inhabited this land for at least 60 000 years.
For some time, Orange has been a popular place to visit in any season with a multitude of things to explore and see. From the famous Mount Canobalas lookout and walking tracks to a day trip exploring wineries, Orange is a great place to bunker down and enjoy high quality food and scenery, there is something for everyone. Stunning in Autumn, crisp in Winter with a good chance of a dusting of snow to the splendid Spring green and on into the summer harvest season. This is a true food bowl with depth and breadth of beauty.
When visiting Orange, you’ll be spoilt for choice for accommodation, from elegant country pub style to some charming hotels and BnBs. Begin your day checking in, we stayed at the very cool The Byng Street Boutique Hotel, which is a very short stroll from the main street, perfect for wandering back to after a night out.
This hotel in many ways sums up Orange, a combination of heritage and contemporary, art, colour, and effortless style with plenty of moments of delight. It sets the stage for your weekend away.
Now for adventure! Orange has so much to do and is impossible to cover in one short stay, but as always, we begin with great coffee before we go and explore our destination. A local gem a short drive away is Academy Coffee Roasters, on Woodward Street. Known well by discerning locals, this boutique roaster does a stellar job in clean, cool surroundings set in a small local neighbourhood shop. Worth checking out and the staff are super friendly.
Other coffee options include Bills Beans who collaborate with Seven Mile Coffee Roasters, as well as Groundstone. We love, love, love Racine Bakery on Summer Street up the back of the car park. Locals know it too and the owners are French, so this patisserie is genuine, incredible, and always busy. Get caffeinated, grab a treat, and get ready to head out.
The countryside is always a pleasant drive. Our destination is a well-known winery and cellar door, Phillip Shaw Wines, on Shiralee Road. Orange is well known for great cool climate wines and there are a host of wineries for you to make a whole day of. Check out Printhie Wines, Dindima Wines, Borrodell Estate, and for something different Parrot Distilling Co. Cellar doors always seem to have great architecture and Phillip Shaw’s cellar door delivers.
The original Bluestone building sits comfortably alongside a very cool contemporary addition. You’ll love the fireplaces if it’s cold, great outdoor lawn areas and views over the landscape if it’s sunny. Nestle in for an afternoon of wine tasting and grab a cheese platter along the way.
For a truly life-changing experience, Fiorinis, which is a good 20 mins out of Orange is a bucket list restaurant. Open for lunch and dinner weekends only. Truly mind-blowing, this is a destination food experience. Set amongst rural acres, in what looks like a simple farm shed, Fiorinis is one of the best dining experiences we have ever had. The plethora of fine cars parked in a gravel area out the front is the only thing that gives away what lies inside. Incredible. If you can get a booking, do it.
Next, you might like to walk off the great food and wine you’ve consumed. Again, you have some great options. Indigenous Cultural Adventures is run by local Wiradjuri people and can take you on an informative tour of Orange to gain an understanding of this ancient culture and its landscape. Orange Botanic Gardens is a great place to spend some time in the sun, with a beautiful cool climate garden to wander in. The Orange Regional Gallery is also well worth a visit. With tours coming from far and wide, it is a great place to explore some fine arts and exhibitions.
Heading back to your accommodation, freshen up and get ready for a night of great food and wine (again). For a cheeky afternoon with the locals, you might want to drop into one of the many local pubs in the city centre. It’s a great way to feel a part of the local community and the variety and quality of these country pubs is well worth an hour or two. Just across the road from The Byng Street Boutique Hotel is The Gladstone, quintessentially an old-school country pub with wide verandahs and a relaxed atmosphere.
Once refreshed, wander into the city's main street. We would always highly recommend exploring the unconventional and weaving your way through some of the back streets to just take in the beautiful homes and gardens in and around Orange. Be sure to visit Hey Rosey, a small wine bar established by a couple who moved up from Melbourne and wanted to create the quality and character of those cool little wine bars you find dotted across suburban Melbourne suburbs.
Hey Rosey delivers on quality, character, atmosphere, and staff that are passionate about being sommeliers. They have great charcuterie plates, and anywhere you see white anchovies on a menu you know it's going to be a hit.
Now for dinner, already well-watered and fed along the way, you’re here for a foodie weekend so no stopping now. Orange is full of amazing restaurants with a variety of styles, cuisines, and price points. Typically, we love to wander, discover, and explore a variety of places but a hot tip for Orange is to book ahead. Some of the best can have a waiting list and be booked weeks or months in advance. They are that good.
The reality is, with a food scene like Orange fuelled by local food lovers and abundant quality produce the experience of every venue is incredible. Tree changers moved to Orange for that exact reason, and we have barely scratched the surface of food experiences on offer. Charred Kitchen & Bar, Sisters Rock Restaurant, Whitney’s to Okami or The Upper House Indian Restaurant the list goes on and on.
For something a little closer to your accommodation, The Union Bank & The Schoolhouse Restaurant are a short stroll away and are a blend of elegant pub and fine restaurant. Food is also incredible and the whole venue has a fun, buzzing atmosphere. The food is contemporary, flavoursome and with a great range to choose from. Well worth visiting, again white anchovies on the menu… it must be a thing.
Finally, you can wander back to your beautiful, peaceful, and charming room at Byng Street Hotel. They do a great breakfast to ease you into the morning with great coffee too. All before you do it all again. Orange is full of quality experiences, great food, and lovely people. Make a weekend of it, explore, discover, and celebrate our beautiful regional cities, right on your doorstep.