Orange, NSW, travel guide and things to do: Nine highlights


Launched last year by the team behind acclaimed fine diner Lolli Redini, Birdie Noshery is its more casual cousin. With alfresco footpath seating and a stylish wood-floored interior, it's the perfect spot to while away a lazy, sunny afternoon. Start with a dangerously quaffable Pink Hummingbird strawberry gin cocktail then choose from a tapas-style sharing menu that includes chorizo croquettes, smoked salmon crostini and creamy burrata. See


Producing eight different varietals, from the easy-drinking Social blanc through to the hand-picked Legacy shiraz, Nashdale Lane Wines is a boutique, family-run vineyard with sweeping views of Mount Canobolas. Enjoy a relaxed tasting in the rustic former fruit packing shed before spending the night in one of its two high-spec Dutch glamping tents, complete with fairy-lit four poster beds, ensuite bathrooms, wood fires and kitchenettes. See


Located next to a Pizza Hut on the wrong side of town, Charred Kitchen & Bar defies all preconceptions to deliver a stunning showcase of the region's best seasonal produce. Chef Liam O'Brien uses techniques honed in Thailand and the Caribbean to create innovative dishes such as Crying Tiger angus steak with burnt palm sugar and kaffir lime. Completing the picture is sommelier David Collins' award- winning 95-page "Beverages of temperance" drinks list. See


Created in 1918 to supply water to Orange, Lake Canobolas is now a delightful nature reserve that can be circumnavigated via a 2.5-kilometre walking trail. Located six kilometres southwest of the city, it's a popular recreation spot for locals who come to kayak, fish and swim from the lake's two sandy beaches. Look out for native wildlife, including platypus and freckled ducks, and reward your efforts with a coffee in the lovely Lakeside Kiosk. See


The climb to the top of Towac Pinnacle lures you in with a gentle start but then abruptly heads skyward with a snaking set of stairs that disappears into a forest of snow gums. In reality, it's only a 15-minute ascent and the 360-degree views of the Towac Valley from the 1200-metre-high rocky summit are well worth it. Catch your breath while admiring a photogenic patchwork of farms, orchards, vineyards and lakes.


Located in an imposing former Masonic Hall, The Sonic is the kind of effortlessly cool concept store you'd expect to find in Paris or Berlin. Created by Pip Brett and her builder husband Nick Luelf, it houses Brett's clothing and homeware stores, Iglou and Jumbled, plus an upscale art gallery and cafe. The cavernous space is filled with gorgeously decorated living areas and we challenge anyone not to come away feeling inspired. See


Don't be put off by its insalubrious location wedged in the corner of a Woolworths car park, Racine Bakery should be a compulsory pitstop for all pastry fans. From its humble beginnings in 2012 with a small range of organic breads, it's blossomed into a trail-blazing outfit famous for its innovative creations (strawberry and basil eclair anyone?). If you want to play it safe, go for the almond croissant – it's life-changing. See


Recently emerged from a $5 million renovation, Orange Regional Gallery now has an impressive new contemporary wing, a 74-seat theatre and an advanced storage and conservation area. The artworks are the real stars, of course, with a permanent collection of more than 1500 by some of Australia's leading contemporary artists. The re-launch features temporary exhibitions by Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens, photographer Gary Grealy and abstract painter Aida Tomescu. See


To help visitors navigate the region's bewildering array of wineries and producers, the city has developed a series of five themed drives. Our pick is the Mountain Trail, a 20-kilometre journey that loops south-west from the city through the foothills of Mount Canobolas. Along the way you can visit the award- winning vineyards of Philip Shaw and Colmar Estate, enjoy panoramic views from the top of Towac Pinnacle and take a leisurely stroll around Lake Canobolas. See



orange nsw one & only ; text by Rob McFarland
(handout image supplied by Destination NSW for use in one time use Traveller, no syndication) Mandatory credit: Destination NSWpictured: Facade of the Orange Regional Museum and Visitor Information Centre in Orange.

Photo: Trent van der Jagt/Destination NSW

Don't leave town without calling into the Orange Regional Museum, part of an award-winning cultural precinct opposite Robertson Park that also includes an excellent visitor information centre and a cafe. The free museum has a range of temporary and permanent exhibitions that explore a diverse range of regional themes, from migration and mining to local flora and fauna. See

Rob McFarland was a guest of Central NSW Joint Organisation (