Sydney, it’s time to get out of the city this weekend.
When it comes to a weekend road trip from Sydney, there’s nothing more magical than a trip to Orange. Witness the passing suburbia as you travel up through the mountains where the scenery changes into winding roads, tall trees and sprawling views. From there, it’s all in your hands.
Here’s your Google Maps itinerary, so let’s go.
First stop: Katoomba. The most notable thing to do in Katoomba is Scenic World, with three main attractions to wow your sights. Catch the Skyway over Katoomba Falls and see the vast expanse of the Blue Mountains, ride the steepest train track in the world or hop on the Cableway down to the valley’s floor. While you’re in the area, take a walk over to Echo Point and see the Three Sisters. But, be sure to check out the town of Katoomba and all its various quirks. This goes especially for The Gingerbread House which serves up the best hot chocolate in the Blue Mountains. Even Leura, the next suburb over, shares wonderful sights. We recommend a wander through their Everglades Historic House and Gardens or the Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum. There are also a few lookouts to visit in the area, including the Elysian Rock Lookout, the Bridal Veil Lookout and the aptly named Spooners Lookout.
If you’re looking for somewhere to work on your camera skills, Lithgow has it all. True photographers would love the Lithgow Ironworks, a dilapidated building that makes for great pictures like the one above. There’s also the Lithgow State Mine Heritage Park and Railway, featuring an eclectic collection of buildings and machinery for you to look at. For railway fanatics, the Zig Zag Railway will be reopening in 2019, which closed due to the 2013 bushfires. This also includes the Zig Zag Brewery, which is now aiming to make award-winning brews for New South Wales and beyond. But perhaps spirits are more your thing? At Craft Works Distillery, you’ll enjoy the distinct taste of single malt whisky, featuring names that could easily pass off as rock band names. And if you want to continue your photography skills, check out the Lithgow Dam.
No trip through central New South Wales would be complete without a trip to Jenolan Caves. It’s even a great place to stop and camp for the night. The area plays host to over nine caves with underground rivers and plenty of stalactites and stalagmites to wow your senses. You can choose to go on a tour of them by yourself or be taken through with a local guide – they even do night as well as ghost tours, and there are a few bushwalking tracks around the area. Whether you choose to have a quick stop or stay overnight, be sure to visit the onsite bar, bistro and restaurant. And if camping isn’t your style, you can book accommodation in the area for a more secure evening sleep.
Bathurst is race car central, featuring the world-famous Mount Panorama race track. So if you’re up for the roaring sounds of engines, be sure to visit. You can even enjoy your own lap of the circuit, but be sure to stick to the speed limit. Of course, the race track isn’t all there is to see in Bathurst. For a truly special evening, try a night tour of Abercrombie House. Its exterior looks like a picture out of a Downtown Abbey-type rom-com, featuring 52 rooms to peruse. If you’re a nature person, you’ll enjoy Machattie Park, a Victorian-style sanctuary that is well worth a wander through. Finally, for the lovers of ice cream, be sure to make a quick stop to Annie’s Ice Cream Parlour for a treat.
Welcome to Orange, where peak food, drink and lifestyle meets the countryside. If you haven’t been to Orange before, we recommend taking a self-guided Orange Heritage Trail where you browse the streets and see the finest buildings of the city. When that’s done, take a trip through the local food and wines at restaurants like Lolli Redini, which serves up an eclectic contemporary mix of Italian and French. Less than a five minute walk down the road you’ll then find Orange’s most renowned wine bar, Ferment where you can enjoy a glass or two at their cellar door. Then, when the belly is full and the senses are soothed, go for a much-needed walk in the natural habitats like Orange Botanic Gardens or Cook Park. But, a must-see is the scene from the top of Mount Canobolas. You can get there either by the Spring Glade walking track or leisurely driving up. Before you go, make an afternoon trip to the local galleries and exhibits.
Feature image: Orange, NSW. Photographed by Alf Manciagli. Image via Shutterstock.