Take a road trip 3.5 hours out of Sydney through the Blue Mountains, past Bathurst and you’ll find yourself in Orange, aka wine country.
Orange is fast becoming one of Australia’s best wine regions and with that comes a strong gourmet food scene. At a glance, you have 80 vineyards, 30+ cellar doors, and 47 cafes and that’s just in the town of Orange. Dotted around the surrounding countryside are wonderful little towns to discover, each with its own quirks and charms. Whether it’s a winter weekend curled up by the fire or a springtime road trip there is plenty to do all year round. With a mix of friendly country hospitality and cosmopolitan lifestyle here are our hot picks on where to eat, drink, play, and more in Orange.
This small but mighty cafe is tucked away on a little side street but is worth seeking out for the fresh daily pastries and impeccable coffees. A solid locals favourite, head in to grab a loaf of sourdough bread or have a cheeky chocolate chip cookie. They formerly also had a restaurant that has pivoted to become a catering and events company. Owners Shaun and Willa Arantz support local farmers and suppliers in and around Orange on their menu.
This cafe is a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. It’s busy most days of the week, especially on the weekends. It’s the place to go for great coffee and a delicious breakfast menu. You’ll find classic breakfast items like bacon and eggs along with some really nice seasonal dishes.
Lolli Redini is another popular restaurant in Orange. Established in 2001 it’s won numerous Chef Hats and is known for its contemporary Italian and French-influenced food using mostly local produce and other specially sourced items.
The Agrestic Grocer is a cafe, cellar door, live music venue and gourmet grocer. They’re open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week and host beer and cheese tastings at their cellar door. Pop in and grab yourself some gourmet treats from the grocer including local cheeses, jams, preserves and more. It’s an essential stop if you’re planning on spending a night in with a good bottle of Orange wine.
Another local favourite, this chic cafe serves up decadent brunches focusing on local and natural ingredients. Their Turkish scrambled eggs with harissa is a must-have or if you’re looking to indulge the orange and poppyseed pancake with blackberry curd is so beautifully presented it’s almost too good to eat!
If you’re looking for a nutritious yet tasty lunch, it’s hard to go past the new kid on the block Herba Salata. Their menu changes daily with local seasonal fruits and vegetables which you can pair with a choice of proteins. A great option for vegetarians and vegans.
Harvested by hand and crafted in small batches, Rowlee produces premium single-vineyard wines utilising varieties suited to a cool climate and high altitude including Arneis, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Nebbiolo, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Settle in for a wine tasting or keep an eye on their website for upcoming events. They regularly host different food and wine experiences, especially around key Orange festival dates.
Nashdale Lane is a family owned and run vineyard and winery surrounded by orchards, olive groves, sheep and cattle farms with views to the iconic peaks of Mount Canobolas. They also have onsite luxury glamping accommodation. Their cellar door is open 7 days a week – their Nashdale Lane 2018 Shiraz is incredible make sure you try this no matter what. You can enhance your wine tasting experience with matching cheeses and charcuterie.
Enjoy an afternoon at Heifer Station Wines, one of Orange’s busiest and most popular cellar doors. They host wine tastings in their 100 year old woolshed. The Heifer Station “The Bull Paddock” Chardonnay is amazing and goes very well with one of their signature cheese boards. Heifer Station’s cellar door is particularly great if you have kids. They have a petting zoo on site with lots of animals including pigs, goats and a friendly alpaca named Snowy.
The old Orange Ex Services Club has been renovated and is now The Greenhouse of Orange. On the weekends it’s a hot spot of locals with different fire pits, food and drink specials and live music.
Offering distillery tours and tasting boards with a selection of their gins served with complimenting garnishes, this is a must-do in Orange. Take a break from all the vino with a refreshing hand crafted gin in a relaxed atmosphere.
There are lots of great boutique fashion and homewares stores to discover in Orange. One place you must visit is The Sonic, situated in a stunning old building that was once the Masonic hall is now a mecca for quirky homewares, artworks from emerging artists and on-trend women’s fashion, clothes and accessories. There’s also a cafe inside but be warned, a simple coffee may turn into a big splurge with so many fun and inspiring pieces for sale. Another great store to check out is Hawkes General Store.
The White Place is a shopping destination within Orange. Made up of a number of linking rooms that offer everything from cashmere sweaters to luxe homewares, there is really something for everyone. The stock is updated daily so you’re always set to discover new arrivals and Greek-inspired treasures for your home.
Federal Falls Bush Walk
With all of that eating and drinking, you might need to walk it off. The Federal Falls bushwalk is a 4km loop track that starts and finishes at Federal Falls campground, passing through snow gum forest and past gigantic rock faces on its way down to Federal Falls. If you’re there after the rain, you’ll be in for a pretty sight.
There are a number of Airbnb properties you can book in Orange but if you really want to embrace country life and stay somewhere unique book into The Black Sheep Inn. Situated just 10 minutes out of town this 5-bedroom boutique accommodation is a converted woolshed. The property’s original shearing shed has been transformed into a modern and stylish bed and breakfast accommodation. Owner Helen makes a delicious breakfast in the morning and is really accomodating. If you’ve got a group of friends book out the whole venue and arrange a chef to come in cater. Or if it’s just two of you cuddle up with a bottle of wine and snacks from Agrestic Grocer by the fireplace.
Offering boutique self-contained accommodation in the heart of Orange, the White Place consists of two beautiful and unique rental houses all designed and created by the Owners of The White Place store. The unique part of these luxe rentals is that the furnishings continue to evolve as they are replaced with new items available from the store. Think part show home, part rental, these beautiful homes are available to rent all year round. Owner Alex Pilcher has also created an events company to add to their offerings adding services like wedding planning, styling and venue hire.
Orange is a 3.5 hour drive from Sydney and a 3 hour drive from Canberra. It is well-serviced by rail and bus, and has a local airport for 1 hour direct daily flights from Sydney. If you don’t feel like driving check out Eco Luxe Transfers. Use your travel time better by getting a seat in the amazing Tesla Model X to travel from Orange-Sydney, Orange-Dubbo and beyond. You can book the whole car or just a seat in the car. Then sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Want something a little closer? Check out our guide to Berry NSW.