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Orange, New South Wales: The Ultimate Foodie Weekend Trip from Sydney

Rowlee Wines. Image via Destination NSW.

If you’re after the perfect weekend escape from city life post-lockdown to help you discover some of the wealth of rest and relaxation offered by regional Australia, then there’s no better spot than Orange. This regional city is an indulgent food and wine hotspot with stunning landscapes and a rich cultural history – it’s the ideal place to reboot 2020 and take a short break from the monotony of city life.

Orange is just a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney, so it offers the perfect weekend getaway for wine-lovers and foodies combined. We recommend basing your weekend around decadent tastings at some of the regions gorgeous vineyards and cellar doors, with a healthy sprinkling of the outdoors and sumptuous food to pair with it. 

COVID-19 Note: All businesses mentioned in the article are currently operating and open for visitors with appropriate health measures in place. If possible, we recommend booking ahead as numbers may well be restricted in order to ensure your safety.

WINE

Orange is known as the highest wine region in New South Wales, with most vineyards growing at a 600- to 900-metre altitude, but some even reaching as high as 1050-metres. Although traditionally known for the production of shiraz and chardonnay, it’s also perfect for sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. However, what’s exceptionally special about Orange is the culture of experimentation and passion for wine, which means there’s a whole host of blends and grapes to discover.

Here’s our top five cellar doors to visit in Orange:

<strong>Ferment, the Orange Wine Centre</strong>
Image by Chuttersnap via Unsplash

Ferment, the Orange Wine Centre

If you don’t know where to start your Orange wine adventure, this is the perfect point to begin. Based in the centre of Orange, Ferment gathers more than 19 of the region’s cellar doors under one roof in a carefully preserved heritage building. Here, you can taste, shop and discover the unique characteristics of Australia’s highest wine region, without racing between different cellar doors. 

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87 Hill St, Orange, NSW, 2800
<strong>Ross Hill Wines</strong>
Image via Destination NSW

Ross Hill Wines

With elevations as high as 1020-metres above sea level, this idyllic vineyard is found on 18-hectares of hills and orchards – Australia’s only certified carbon neutral vineyards. Not only sustainable, Ross Hill Wines offer a whole range of drops to sample, with their two vineyards growing everything from a Chardonnay to a Cabernet Shiraz. The winery’s cellar door also houses the Barrel and Larder cooking school.

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134 Wallace Lne, Orange NSW 2800 Australia
<strong>De Salis Wines</strong>
Image via Destination NSW

De Salis Wines

Perched 1050-metres up on the northern slope of Mount Canobolas, this small family winery – with a minimalist intervention philosophy – has one of Australia’s highest wine growing locations: Lofty Vineyard. Taste their premium classic French varieties at the cellar door.

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125 Mount Lofty Rd, Nashdale, Orange NSW 2800.
<strong>Highland Heritage Estate</strong>
Image by Sven Wilhelm via Unsplash.

Highland Heritage Estate

From humble beginnings in a tin shed in 1946, four generations of D’Aquino winemakers have grown their family enterprise into one of the region’s leading names. Highland Heritage Estate’s cellar door, with sweeping vineyard vistas from 890-metres above sea level, is a stunning spot for sampling the winery’s award-winning drops.

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4698 Mitchell Hwy, Orange, NSW, 2800
<strong>Brangayne of Orange Wines</strong>
Image by Jonathan Farber via Unsplash.

Brangayne of Orange Wines

After growing apples, pears, peaches and cherries in their fertile orchards since the 1930s, the Hoskins family turned their skills to grapes, with admirable results. Their single vineyard philosophy allows ultimate expression of terroir, and the small batch wines speak eloquently of soil and season.

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837 Pinnacle Rd, Canobolas, NSW, 2800

But, if you have trouble choosing, take a bespoke tour with Orange Wine Tours or Vine Venture Tours.

FOOD

We don’t even need to tell you that the best companion to some beautiful wine is a delicious meal to go with it. And, luckily, good food is not hard to come by in Orange; from gorgeous restaurants to luscious markets, you’re sure to sample something delectable in Orange.

Here’s our rundown of the top three places to eat in Orange:

<strong>Racine Bakery</strong>
Image via Destination NSW

Racine Bakery

If we don’t convince you, then the irresistible aromas will be certain to guide you to this artisanal bakery and its fresh daily treats. Feast on organic sourdoughs and breads, pastries, cakes and biscuits, sausage rolls filled with locally reared meat, and Racine’s famous butter pastry pies – all washed down with excellent coffee of course.

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166B Summer St, Orange NSW 2800

<strong>Orange Farmers Market</strong>
Image via Destination NSW.

Orange Farmers Market

If you’re lucky enough to be in Orange on the second Saturday of each month, then don’t miss out on the Orange Farmers Market. More than 60 stalls of sheer foodie heaven showcase the scope of the region’s renowned food basket. Taste and shop your way through award-winning fruit and vegetables, artisan breads and pastries, jams and chutneys, cheeses, eggs, olive oils, sauces and a myriad of gourmet delights. 

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Subject to Change.

<strong>Spilt Milk Bar</strong>
Image by Alessandro Zocc, purchased.

Spilt Milk Bar

The simple pleasure of a delicious gelato just cannot be beaten. From lemon myrtle grown nearby, to honey from neighbouring bees; local ingredients take centre stage  in the delectable handmade creations at this gelato store. Spilt Milk’s ‘cow to cone’ philosophy means everything is made from scratch, seasonal and utterly irresistible.

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45 Sale St, Orange, NSW, 2800

If you’re after a sit-down dinner, look no further than Charred Kitchen & Bar, where relaxed dining meets a serious appreciation of food. Combining local produce and their unique wood and charcoal-fired oven, here, you can tuck into warming mains and decadent desserts, accompanied by a mighty wine list.

THINGS TO DO

If you want to break up some of your indulgences, there’s also a wealth of nature and heritage to discover and enjoy in Orange. Whether you want a breath of fresh air or new knowledge to learn, you’ll be able to find something great to pass the time in Orange.

<strong>Orange Heritage Trail</strong>
Image via Destination NSW.

Orange Heritage Trail

The rich history of knowledge is no secret, and with this self-guided walk, you can take in 46  fascinating buildings and landmarks. Trace the footsteps of 19th century gold prospectors, bushrangers and traders through Orange’s historic streets and parks, starting at the Orange Visitor Information Centre and Banjo Paterson Memorial. 

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Orange
<strong>Balloon Joy Flights</strong>
Image via Destination NSW

Balloon Joy Flights

If you want to elevate your getaway with something extra special, take off with a stunning hot air balloon flight. We recommend flying at dawn, to catch the sunrise over the picturesque Belubula Valley, Canowindra and the Mount Canobolas foothills. Soaring through the pristine air will be an unforgettable experience in Orange. 

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752 Longs Corner Rd, Canowindra NSW 2804
<strong>Ophir Reserve</strong>
Image by Alf Manciagli, purchased.

Ophir Reserve

For hikers and historians alike, Ophir Reserve is a must visit. The first Australian payable gold discovery was made here in 1851, and you can still imagine excited prospectors panning in the Lewis Pond and Summer Hill Creek. There’s now a tranquil picnic area and camping ground and these former goldfields retain their old mine workings and tunnels amid walking trails and a 4WD track, so you can get truly immersed in the beautiful outdoors. 

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Ophir Rd, Orange, NSW 2800

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the people of the Wiradjuri nation, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Want to explore more of what New South Wales has to offer? Make the most of your roadtrip with our Sydney to Orange guide. Or if you’re in search of something with a bit more class, check out our list of the best luxurious glamping campsite experiences.

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