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Orange, NSW: 48 Hours in Australia’s Up-and-Coming Food & Wine Region

Orange, New South Wales

As you drive along the cliff-hugging roads of Blue Mountains National Park, with short, sharp turns and seemingly-endless forestry beyond, the air becomes lighter and the buzz of the city is left behind. You pass Lithgow, drive through historical Bathurst and end up 261 kilometres west of Sydney and 863 metres above sea level. Welcome to Orange. With over one million visitors—and growing—exploring the rolling vineyards and boutique cellar doors every year, this charming countryside region of New South Wales is quickly becoming the go-to getaway for food and wine connoisseurs.

Here’s what to tick off your list with 48 hours in Orange, NSW.

Need somewhere to stay? Check out our exclusive deal for The Oriana Orange.

Words by Shylie Rimmer

Groundstone-cafe-orange-nsw

Day 1

Morning: Get Acquainted

9am – Breakfast: Drenched in light and modern-Scandinavian style, the minimalist Groundstone Café is located in the arts and cultural precinct of town and serves up a breakfast that could rival any Melbourne café. Opt for their Smashed Avocado on chargrilled bread, topped with feta, mint, pine nuts and herb oil for a light and refreshing start to the day. Don’t miss ordering a creamy flat white mixed with almond or oat milk.

10:30am – Get cultural: Located just next door, you’ll find the Orange Regional Museum, currently showcasing an interesting Paddock to Plate exhibition that takes you through the story of a mountain, its people and its produce. Learn how this region is becoming internationally recognised as one of Australia’s best wine districts with a growing reputation as a food capital.

Rowlee-wines-orange-nsw

Afternoon: It’s All About the Wine

12pm – Tasting at Orange’s ‘Best Cellar Door’: “It’s all handpicked,” says James as he takes us past rows of bold red Nebbiolo grapes. Rowlee Wines are known as region innovators, with owners James Manny and Nicole Samodol running the show and producing high-end, single-vineyard wines that continue to turn heads. In fact, their 2016 chardonnay topped the list at the Orange Wine Show and just last year, their Rowlee Rose—the first rose made at Rowlee—did the same. No stop in Orange is complete without popping into Rowlee Wines.

2pm – Treat yourself to lunch: Pastel water paintings adorn the light olive-green walls and farmhouse-chic windows open up onto the rolling vineyards beyond. Chances are if you’ve been to Orange, you’ve heard of Racine. Nestled at the foot of famous Mt, Canobolas, Racine uses locally-sourced produce to create a spectacular three-course lunch that you’ll be sure to remember. Don’t miss the crisp-topped pressed duck with pearl cous cous, labneh and pistachio and pomegranate.

Need somewhere to stay? Check out our exclusive deal for The Oriana Orange.

4pm – Meet the family at De Salis Wines: Round out your day with a private wine tasting at the Svenson family-run De Salis Wines – the highest vineyard in Orange, located at an altitude of 1,050 metres. Dubbed by Gourmet Traveller as one of the top five wine experiences in the world, this boutique cellar door experience is only enhanced by the striking view across the rolling vineyard, the behind-the-scenes tour Ben Svenson will happily give you if time permits and the company of Knox, the family staffy.

Evening: Dinner Time

7pm – Hang with the locals at Mr Lim: Oversized bamboo steamers drape off exposed brick walls and large copper-coloured lights hang from the ceiling. Mr Lim Korean & Chinese Diner is a place you want to go when you’re craving some killer food without the ostentatious crowd. The sweet and sour crunchy chicken breast is a hit with customers, but the DIY duck pancakes are a game changer.

Byng Street Local Store in Orange, NSW

DAY 2

Morning: Do as the Locals Do

9am – Coffee please: A favourite on Orange’s bustling café scene is Byng Street Local Store, frequented by locals on their morning commute craving a cappuccino and a daily-baked healthy snack. Opening at 7am, seven days a week, this café’s always-busy ambience is evidence of their great brew and country-style friendly service.

10:30am – Peruse the local stores: Orange has some of the most gorgeous boutiques I’ve ever set foot in. Step into super-chic Sonic—designed with minimalist white-washed floorboards and painted-white exposed brick—and pick out some high-end fashion pieces or stunning homewares. Then head to Hawkes General Store—a boutique-cross-café for some silk blouses, trendy jumpsuits and a hot brew.

Need somewhere to stay? Check out our exclusive deal for The Oriana Orange.

Afternoon: Don’t Worry, There’s More Wine

12pm – Cheese and wine at Philip Shaw Wines: Arguably the most beautiful winery in the region, the décor at Philip Shaw fuses rustic barrels and old barn doors with brick-like cement walls and polished wooden and metal tables, epitomising country elegance in every way. Sit outdoors, order a cheese board with creamy, local cheeses from the Mouse Cheese Company; indulge in their 13-wine tasting experience and gaze over the lush, tiered gardens.

2pm – Discover a carbon neutral winery: Running with the ever-increasing trend of sustainability and eco-friendliness, Ross Hill Wines is Australia’s only NCOS certified carbon neutral winery. Previously an old apple cherry orchard, the storage room now stores barrels upon barrels of wine instead of fruit. Enjoy another tasting and keep an eye out for the smoky Wallace Lane Pinot Noir, which sits in oak for 13 months and the 2018 pinot gris which offers up a fresh chardonnay-meets-sauvignon-blanc flavour.

The Agrestic Grocer in Orange, NSWEvening: Indulge in the Local Produce

3:30pm – Grab some snacks for the drive home: A short drive out of the town centre you’ll find the rustic Agrestic Grocer – a local deli-cross-café that sells fresh and local produce from Orange and its surrounds, as well as boasting a constantly-shifting menu showcasing the best of the region’s harvest. You’d be silly not to pick up some local cheeses, olives, bread and dips for the drive home.

Need somewhere to stay? Check out our exclusive deal for The Oriana Orange.


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