Hidden Gems: Orange's Best-kept, Local Secrets
From vineyards to festivals, these are the best-kept, local secrets in Orange you need to know about.
Whilst out-of-towners venture here for the Orange is far from being a one-trick pony. Here, the food and wine culture is just as much of a drawcard as the beautiful outlook. Being renowned as one of Australia’s best wine regions, you can expect to be wowed at every cellar door. The many fine dining restaurants, local cafés, and casual eats place great focus on locally sourced produce, which is exceptional! Equally, the flourishing cosmopolitan lifestyle is also beyond question, attracting more and more boutique fashion and homeware stores to its stylish streets.
For more reasons why you should book a weekend trip to Orange, here are the region's best-kept, local secrets.
1. Food Scene
From trendy cafes serving up innovative dishes using local produce, to gourmet local bakeries and fine dining restaurants, Orange offers a variety of glorious dining options. After all, this is where Australia’s longest-running regional food festival, Orange F.O.O.D. Week (held annually in April) takes place, and surely that’s enough to catch the curiosity of any foodie. Racine is famed for their delectable baked goods, and The Greenhouse of Orange is a popular alfresco dining option with a delectable menu of hit dishes.
Beyond the amazing restaurants and cafés, the local produce is delicious. At all-rounder live music, eatery, cellar door and market, The Agrestic Grocer, you can sample local fare and stock up on everything from fruit and vegetables, to eggs and homemade treats. When it comes to fresh honey, preserves and sauces, The Beekeepers Inn has a delicious variety of options.
2. Beautiful Accommodation
A visit to Orange will no doubt involve some overindulgence of the food and wine variety, so a place to rest – and a beautiful one at that – will be in order. Whether you choose to book a stunning onsite hideaway at one of the many wineries, or a luxury self-contained villa with a secluded, scenic outlook — you can count on Orange to provide a beautiful backdrop during your stay. Our favourite place to stay is The White Place. Boasting two beautiful, centrally located places to stay, The White Place is generous in size, stylish, and charming. Both homes are well-equipped with all the creature comforts of home to facilitate a beautiful weekend away. Modern and light-filled, these holiday homes lend themselves perfectly to entertaining and unwinding with friends and family.
3. Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries
Home to a celebrated wine industry, Orange is the perfect place to swirl, smell and taste some of Australia’s best drops. Spend your time wine tasting at the many cellar doors of acclaimed wineries, making your way through some seriously good cool-climate vinos. For laid-back sundowners, Nashdale Lane Wines is the place to sit back and relax over a glass or two of their signatures wines. At picturesque Phillip Shaw Wines, expect to delight our palate with bright fruit flavour drops. While you're at the cellar door, you can get recommendations as to what local tipple might go best with lunch, or even grab your favourite bottle for a scenic picnic amongst the vines.
If you're less of a wine connoisseur, Orange has got you covered as well. The burgeoning craft beer scene has really taken off in recent years, and we can't get enough of Pioneer Brewing Co.'s refreshing pale ale, and the Only a Ginger, Ginger Beer from Badlands Brewery is a must-try. And you'll even find a delectable local, handcrafted cider at Small Acres Cyder. When it comes to spirits, there are two local distilleries that you need to visit. For gin-lovers, Parrot Distilling Co. has seven different flavours to sample, and over at Jones and Smith Distillery, you can sip on their Australian craft single malt whisky.
4. Chic Boutique Shopping
Should you need a break from all that wining and dining, there’s plenty to explore in Orange in the form of some serious retail therapy. Take to either Byng Street, Summer Street, or Sale Street (or all three) for a boutique shop-crawl, where you’ll find classic and country-style homewares aplenty, but also a healthy dose of fresh, contemporary designs, tempting both locals and visitors.
The White Place is a great example of how a heritage home can be given a brand new purpose. Laid out inside a Victorian terrace, each room inside this beautiful homewares store is filled from top to bottom and corner to corner, with homewares, cushions, rugs, clothing, furniture and art — sourced both locally and internationally. As mentioned above, there’s even the option to stay at their separate self-contained cottages, adorned with more of the store’s finest, which are also for sale.
5. Epic Event Calendar
Orange is known for its comprehensive events calendar. From weekly markets to multi-day festivals, before booking in your stay it is best to head to Orange360 and consult schedule to tee-up the ultimate Orange weekend getaway. Coming up this year, the Orange Winter Fire Festival is back again in August and igniting it's signature line-up of bonfire-inspired events. The month of October is dedicated to grapes, with Orange Wine Month taking over the region. Expect delicious banquets and incredible wines! And get ready for April next year when the Sculptures by the Bush takeover the beautiful landscape and create an artistic tourist trail for art-lovers.
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