Slow living in Orange

Morning sunshine on the road to Orange. PHOTO: Pip Farquharson
Morning sunshine on the road to Orange. PHOTO: Pip Farquharson

Picture rolling hills dotted with fat Angus cattle and woolly sheep nestled in grass, dusted with what could be icing sugar, in the mornings crisp air.

Some may say you're in god's country, otherwise known as the Central West, where the history is as rich as the soil, in the quaint rural setting of Orange, New South Wales.

What began as a mere village in 1846 is now a go-to gem for the adventurous weekender who relishes the road less travelled and the often forgotten pleasures of slow living. 

Take a three and half hour journey from Sydney across the Blue Mountains and arrive to streets lined with beautifully established trees draped in the last of Autumn's burnt-orange leaves, surrendering to winter, while residents generously lend a smile.  

The region’s brimming selection of fine wine, abundant produce and an ever-growing choice of trending cafes, bars and restaurants will impress the likes of Melbourne’s most discerning palettes.  

Sunset views from Mount Canobolas (the highest peak between the Blue Mountains and the Indian Ocean).

Sunset views from Mount Canobolas (the highest peak between the Blue Mountains and the Indian Ocean).

An impressive 360-degree view atop Mount Canobolas, 1395 metres above sea level, is the perfect place to ponder the rolling countryside below, cultivating the path your tastebuds will soon indulge.     

The strength of "NSW's food bowl" can be truly admired at the quintessential farmers market, held every second Saturday during winter at the Orange Showground Agricultural Pavilion.

You'll be spoilt for choice with the region's fortune of wineries, carrying distinct flavours from the rich volcanic soil, high elevation and remarkably cool climate.

Beautiful tree-lined road to De Salis Wines.

Beautiful tree-lined road to De Salis Wines.

De Salis Wines use minimalist winemaking techniques, producing award winning drops worth visiting for a tasting, served generously with warmth and wisdom, overlooking vineyards on their verandah.  

Heifer Station cellar door is a top pick for the family offering spectacular sunset vistas and a menagerie of farm animals to keep the kids entertained, while you indulge in cheese and wine.

Australia's first-ever carbon neutral winery, Ross Hill is a family run business rated in the top 5 per cent of James Halliday's "wine bible". Arrive at 10am for a tour of their impressive operation.  

Don't miss the Parkview Hotel, a Friday favourite, stylishly renovated serving quality meals, just a stone's throw from the iconic Hotel Canobolas (Lord's Place) established in 1939, with a popular steakhouse.

Venture upstairs for a nightcap in their cosy whisky bar, Chesterfields or try tapas and wine at Percy's Bar (Summer St).

The Union Bank Wine Bar, (Cnr Byng and Sale St) a heritage-building entangled in vines, offers a notable selection of the region's wines coupled with tasty morsels created with locally grown produce.

Popular restaurants include: Korean newcomer Mr Lim's, Thai favourite Sweet n Sour Salt and Fiorini's, an unassuming Italian BYO perched on the foot of Mt Canobolas.    

Coffee snobs, don't despair, these baristas know the game is hot. Bill's Beans in East Orange has a loyal following, dedicated to creating the finest - it won't disappoint.

A feast for the eyes at Sonic boutique.

A feast for the eyes at Sonic boutique.

Crema on Lords is backed by a formidable force crafting smooth finishes and free piccolos for those that can't wait.

Wander further down Lords and you'll find Good Eddy, a cosy retreat with quirky interiors, serving speciality coffee with treasures to be found at Belle Armoire Boutique and glorious florist, Botanica.

Around the corner you'll discover Sonic (Sale St) a sensory overload for shopaholics and art lovers.

Soaking up the last of the sun by Lake Canobolas.

Soaking up the last of the sun by Lake Canobolas.

Gather gourmet finds, from around the region at Agrestic Grocer (Mitchell Hwy) and devour your picnic of goodies on the banks of Lake Canobolas with a glass of locally grown Small Acres Cyder.

Nearby, the Lakehouse Cafe offers a knock out menu for breakkie and lunch decked with rustic souvenirs set amongst majestic old trees.

Cosy interiors of Lake House Cafe.

Cosy interiors of Lake House Cafe.

Rest your head in rustic digs like Dalton Cottage (Byng St) or for the more lavishly inclined stay at Borrodell Wines Cider Cabins and enjoy lunch at their restaurant, Sister's Rock or venture on a truffle tour through their 500 Oak trees.  

Twenty minutes towards Bathurst you'll discover the historical village of Millthorpe.

An enthralling place of yesteryear, filled with antique shops like Bowerbird and perfect for a Sunday lunch at The Old Mill.

Stay at the Speckled Nest, a beautifully decorated studio or the historically inspired retreat for two, Hockey's at The Old Chemist.

Treasures like these will no doubt lure you in, but there is so much more waiting to be found. 

Strolling through Millthorpe.

Strolling through Millthorpe.

So naturally, repeat visits are recommended to experience the whimsical charm and profound distinction that each season reveals.