As the days grow shorter, the Central West town of Orange puts on a sensational burst of Autumn colour before its descent into wintry cold. Heralded as 'the colour city' for its spectacular seasonal changes, the autumnal beauty of Orange is possibly one of the state's best known secrets. Orange, with its rural setting and copious plantings of poplars and other deciduous trees, is surely one of the best localities in NSW for enjoying the beauty of Autumn.
If you visit Orange in autumn, be prepared for brisk temperatures. On the other hand, skies are generally glowing blue, the roads are wide and open and vineyards shine with golden leaves.
Lake Canobolas - great spot for an Autumn picnic, but dress warmly as temperatures can be brisk.
Orange is an excellent food and wine centre with a thriving gourmet restaurant scene. It's also a mecca for fruit growing, with almost half the apples in NSW grown in the region. As the largest city of the Central West (population of 38,000), there is plenty happening there.
Visit one of the vineyards - in autumn, the vines turn bronze.
Partake of the great food and wine scene.
Visit Mount Canobolas, altitude 1,395 metres.
Picnic at Lake Canobolas.
Enjoy the surrounding villages of Milthorpe and Molong.
Visit the orchards and go apple picking.
Go to the Orange Region Farmers Market (phone 1800 069 466)
Head to the pub (there are 13 in Orange).
If you happen to be there during Food and Wine week (12th to 21st April 2013), partake in any of the scheduled events.
Participate in the Orange Apple Festival (10-12th May 2013)
For up to date information about what to do in Orange, including the above locations and events, click on these links to the Taste Orange and Visit Orange websites or the Orange NSW website.
When you arrive in Orange, my advice is to head to the Visitors Information Centre. The Orange Visitors Information Centre provides advice, maps, visitor information guides and also sells local produce and hot and cold drinks. It is open 7 days per week between 9am -5pm and is located at 151 Byng Street (on the corner of Byng & Peisley Sts). After a long drive it's also a much appreciated toilet stop.
Dubbed the 'colour city' - typical street in Orange in Autumn.
Getting to Orange Orange is 260km from Sydney and approximately three and a half hours drive from thence. Alternatively, you can catch a Countrylink rail service. It's also possible to fly in through Rex services. For those driving from Sydney, you can either take the M4 highway or the M7 to the Blue Mountains. If on the M7, go via Richmond and Bell till you get to Lithgow and the Great Western Highway. From there take the Mid Western Highway to Bathurst. From Bathurst, you need to get onto the Mitchell Highway which will take you straight to Orange.
Consider this a road trip or weekend away. In autumn the highway to Orange is littered with glittering poplars and rural vistas. For those in search of the best localities to peep at autumn leaves, you can't beat the drive to Orange. When it comes to celebrating nature, there's no place like the country.