One of the ultimate road-trips, heading inland from Sydney to Central NSW, must be on your bucket-list for a short break this Autumn as the region announces an enticing line-up of culinary events and cultural experiences.
There’s Oberon’s Field to Forest Festival with long lunches and mushroom foraging tours, Bathurst’s Heritage Trades Trail where you can meet traditional artisans and Trundle’s ABBA Festival for music fashionistas who love their bell-bottoms.
The two-hour drive West from Sydney begins as you wind through the Blue Mountains and descend into the countryside. It includes Bathurst, Orange, Cowra, Parkes, Oberon, Blayney, Cabonne, Forbes, Lachlan and Weddin.
Here’s Central NSW Tourism’s Top Tips for Autumn:
- Oberon’s The Field to Forest Festival (F2F) – featuring foraging and food events from 1-30 April 2020 in Oberon festival highlights include wild mushroom foraging tours with Detour Adventures, workshops and pine-forest lunches with Diego Bonetto, a newly launched wine trail and producer events at The Long Arm Farm café and Jenolan Caves. https://www.visitoberon.com/events/field-to-forest-oberon-2020/
- Bathurst’s Heritage Trades Trail: From 28-29 March 2020 this annual event will bring 100 artisans together to pay homage to the rare trades and traditions that have helped shape the region with demonstrations, workshops, local music, food stalls and entertainment. This will be a cultural and educational journey around significant heritage sites of town. bathurstregion.com.au.
- Trundle ABBA Festival – The tiny town of Trundle near Parkes transforms into a sea of jumpsuits, bell-bottoms and all things retro for the Trundle ABBA Festival on Saturday 2 May 2020. The Festival provides a groovy day packed full of family friendly entertainment with the World’s Number one ABBA Tribute Band ‘Bjorn Again’ along with fashion parades, dance exhibitions and market stalls. https://www.trundleabbafestival.com.au/
- Sculptures in the Bush in Blayney: A new tourist trail of outdoor creative artworks will dot the scenic landscapes around Blayney from 6 to 17 April 2020 for Sculptures in the Bush, an event that has expanded from the Hay Bale Art Challenge. There will be competitions for Hay Bale Art, Farm Art and Scarecrows. https://www.orange360.com.au/Places-to-go/Villages/Blayney
- The Canowindra International Balloon Festival: The excitement is building for the Canowindra International Balloon Festival which takes place from 15-19 April 2020. Don’t miss this spectacular display of balloons lighting up the night sky at the Balloon Glow and Night Market which includes Food and Wine stalls, Live music and the highlight of the evening, the Balloon Glow. For more information visit https://canowindrachallenge.org.au/
- Orange’s F.O.O.D Week: From 27 March 2020 Orange O.O.D Week returns with nearly 100 food and wine events across ten inspiring days, beginning with the ever-popular Night Markets, plus the Orange Apple Ramble, the See Saw Hot Air Balloon & Prosecco Breakfast and various events to celebrate sustainability. www.orange360.com.au
- Autumn colours at the Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre: Enjoy the beautiful, vibrant Autumn colours at the Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre, the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The garden is a monument to peace and reconciliation between Australia and Japan, boasting five hectares of meticulously manicured garden complimented by tranquil waterfalls, bonsai and tea houses, koi carp, and cafe. visitcowra.com.au
- Iandra Castle’s Open Day: On Sunday 12 April 2020 Iandra Castle will host its Open Day with a festival like atmosphere, tours and picnics in the magical grounds. Located on Mt Oriel the Homestead is a unique part of Australia’s heritage and a rare example of a feudal-like estate, modelled on the English Manor System. https://www.grenfell.org.au/attractions/iandra-castle
- Condo 750 Rally: Whether it’s glamming up or getting down and dirty, Lachlan has it all. With picnic race meetings on in March and April and the adrenaline-charged Condo 750 navigational off-road rally over the Easter weekend, there is something for everyone. Or just want to relax? Come and spend time at wonderful Lake Cargelligo right on the lake. http://www.lachlan.nsw.gov.au/business-tourism/whats-on.aspx
- Forbes features ‘amazing’ offerings to complete any country getaway. Tour the Aussie Biscuit Factory (weekdays only) or walk through the vines at Banderra Estate Winery. Take a Sourdough Farmhouse Ferments workshop at Girragirra or visit local wool-garment producer Woolerina. Get lost between worlds where heritage meets contemporary with the Heritage Trail and Somewhere Down the Lachlan Sculpture Trail. amazingforbesnsw.com
If youre returning and want to see what’s new, Orange is at the heart of change with the Byng Street heritage precinct welcoming a new 4.5-star Byng Street Boutique Hotel and the Union Bank being re-born with a new bar and School House restaurant. In Bathurst the Tremain Flour Mill has been restored into an edgy new arts and dining hub, Forbes’ Carrawobitty Estate has finished a renovation and Cowra’s Iandra Castle is undergoing restoration. In the village of Cudal The Platypus Accommodation and Café is a newly refurbished motel and scrumptious coffee shop now open for visitors.
Central NSW begins 2-hours’ drive West of Sydney as you descend the Blue Mountains. There are also direct flights from Sydney to Bathurst, Orange and Parkes.
Plan your Central NSW experience at www.visitcentralnsw.com.au