The cool-climate region in the NSW Central West, which includes Orange Mudgee Bathurst Cowra, is now a very popular destination.

We can understand why. The elevated region, with its distinct seasons and exceptional food and wine, is beautiful and accessible to those who live in Sydney and Canberra. It almost seems like the place was created for girls gangs to enjoy a fun weekend away.


Choose a base


Book your accommodation early in the buzzing regional city of Orange. The four-star Quest Orange is located a block away from Summer Street, the main drag. It has 77 serviced apartment options ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments. Two cottages, each sleeping up to six guests, are located on the slopes of Mount Canobolas Borrodell Estate. The estate also has a restaurant, apple orchard, and truffle. Byng St Boutique Hotel has some of the best Instagrammable suites. They feature oversized bedheads with patterned patterns and bright colors.


The Victoria Hotel is a great place to stay if you prefer socializing and oversleeping. It is also one of the most lively hotels in Bathurst. The pub’s exterior bears the stern face of its royal namesake. It offers 19 stylish rooms, some with shared bathrooms. In the Tremain’s Mill area, you’ll find a coffee shop and a hairdresser operating from shipping containers. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, try Wilga station, which is 12 minutes out of Bathurst, towards Blayney. Last year, the 105-hectare farm that already houses the two-person Farmers Hut opened a five-bedroom Shearers Hall with two bathrooms.


To have the most fun in Mudgee, book the entire seven-room Parkview Hotel. Or the 13-suite Perry Street Hotel located in the center of the city. Are you going away to celebrate a special event? Give the guest of honor the room with the bathtub at the red-brick Parkview. The room also comes with a kitchenette and direct access to the verandah. It’s a perfect spot for a sundowner or a drink before hitting the town. The Perry Street Hotel is also housed in a historical building. The suites are designed in a contemporary style, and some have balconies or private courtyards.

What to Do

Orange & surrounds

Orange has some of the best cellar doors in Australia. Philip Shaw is a stunning cellar door that was inspired by a bluestone farmhouse and incorporates modern lines. Heifer Station offers a unique experience where you can sample the wines in the historic shearing shed and relax on hay bales outside. Pinot & Picasso in Summer Street offers a fun paint-and-sip session where you can bring your favorite Orange wine. Shop for homewares and art at Jumbled and then retire to Washington & Co in Summer Street, a cool, cozy cocktail and whiskey bar.

It’s only a 45-minute drive from Orange to Canowindra, the hot-air-ballooning capital of Australia. This is due to the atmospheric wind conditions, which favor ballooning all year round. Book a dawn flight to see the village and its crooked street from above with Balloon Joy Flights or Aussie Balloontrek. Canowindra, pronounced Ca-nowndra, is home to a burgeoning wine scene.

Visit Rosnay Organic Wines, eight kilometres away from town. Wallington Wines has a fascinating history of bushrangers. Cintra Estate makes some of the best vinegar and vinocotto in Australia.

You can find fields of gold or canola in the Cowra area from September to early October. The Cowra Japanese Garden also hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival in spring.

Bathurst & surrounds

Spend a day exploring Mayfield Garden. It’s one of Australia’s biggest cool-climate botanical gardens and is only 35 minutes away from Bathurst in the vicinity of Oberon. The Mayfield Garden is actually two gardens. There’s the 16-hectare Mayfield Garden and then the 49-hectare private garden of the owners. This garden can be accessed during four festivals. It also includes one of the largest English box hedge mazes in Australia. Be sure to charge your phone fully before taking photos of the bluestone bridge, cave, and other stunning reflections.

Mudgee & surrounds

You can keep your group entertained for the weekend by visiting one of the many cellar doors located in Mudgee. Rylstone, near Mudgee, offers De Beaurepaire Wines, a picturesque lawn on which you can relax with French-style wine and a picnic. Visit the Robert Stein Winery cellar door or the motorcycle museum. Or, enjoy a delicious meal in the Pipeclay Pumphouse. The Little Cooking School is also a great place to make your tasty lunch. Drive out of Mudgee and hike The Drip Gorge to work off your gastronomic treats.

Enjoy a delicious meal and drink.


Any Grows is a café that doubles as a boutique nursery. (Visit it on your way to Cook Park to see the amazing conservatory of begonias. Birdie is a casual eatery run by the Lolli Redini team. Charred is a new restaurant that specializes in slow-roasted goodness.


Keppel Street is Bathurst’s most delicious street to eat. Early in the morning, arrive at Legall Patisserie Cafe to grab one of their famous lemon tarts with thin slices of citrus. You’ll find it near the Hub – a popular spot for lunch and coffee. Two good options for dinner are located on the next street. DogwoodBX serves world-class cocktails, food, and drinks, while Vines and Tap offers hearty Italian sharing plates that can be eaten indoors or outdoors in the courtyard.


Book a five-course long lunch or dinner overlooking Lowe Wines for a truly special meal. Mudgee offers a variety of casual dining options, including the Mudgee Brewing Co., a microbrewery with onsite live music.

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