I’d probably spontaneously combust if I lived in a regional town – presumably due to a life without Uber or less than 10,000 viable options on Tinder – but power to the people who don’t, you know, crave a life filled with laziness and a seemingly neverending fuckboy buffet.
Seriously, it’d be nice to get satisfaction from the simpler things, which is why regional areas are fabbo for a lil’ domestic staycation. Hear me out. Big city life (me try fi get by) can seriously fuck with your head if you don’t get out of it every once in a while. This is why I present to you, Orange in Regional NSW.
It’s fast becoming a getaway hotspot for crews and lovers alike, thanks in no small part to all the wining, dining (and if you’re so inclined, 69-ing) that’s available throughout the area. But that’s not all this pocket of the Central West has to offer. See what you can – and should – pack into a weekend below.
GLAMP AT NASHDALE WINES
Everyone’s having a good old froth over glamping (it’s like camping, but glam) and rightly so. It’s inclusive! You don’t need to enjoy blow up mattresses + bugs in unsavoury places to enjoy it! Nashdale Lane‘s glamping is A+ with tents that back onto their vineyards and a cellar door that’s just a short
stumble walk away. There are only two tents onsite meaning privacy is on your side, and with electric blankets, heaters and fireplaces it really doesn’t matter what time of year you wanna hit it up.
BELT OUT A CHOON AT MR LIM
Do not leave Orange without hitting Mr Lim. Not only is the Japanese cuisine next level (get a bunch of plates to share – if you don’t opt for the duck pancakes I don’t want to know you), but the karaoke also makes the venue a must. Seriously, even if you’d rather go 26 years without sex than partake in such a performance, you can still sit back and laugh hysterically at those who feel otherwise. I hate karaoke but even I, noted uptight human, joined in on the fun from the comfort of my table.
GO TO CULINARY HEAVEN AT CHARRED
As you may have figured, Orange is praised for its grub. Charred seriously takes the cake, though, even if you don’t make it to dessert. It’s dark, it’s moody and it serves green eggs and ham as an IRL dish (get them, they’re yum). Get the gnocchi too, but make sure you have room for it by ordering it as your first dish.
TAKE A BREAK FROM WINE AT SMALL ACRES CYDER
You’re going to have a lot (a lot, a lot) of wine while you’re in Orange – it’d be rude not to – so it seems only natural to break up the vino with cider. Considering you probably drink it on the reg anyway, hitting up Small Acres Cyder will teach you a lot about how natural cider can, and should be. I’ll tell you now so you don’t look like a lemon when you show up – yes, you do swirl and sniff as you would a wine tasting.
WHIP OUT YOUR INNER-HIPSTER AT THE AGRESTIC GROCER
The Agrestic Grocer is enough to make any hipster wet with a cafe / restaurant pumping out live music, plus a grocer and bottlo tacked onto it. Best part? You can get most of what’s on the menu at the grocer, which is a no-brainer once you try that beer jam with your bacon and eggs.
PAT SOMETHING OTHER THAN A DOG AT HEIFER STATION
You should go to Heifer Station just to tag the destination which really is an immature person’s social media dream (hello, it me). But there’s a whole lot more to experience while you’re there – like get your scarf eaten by Ellie the horse, pat an alpaca, do a wine tasting, tuck into a cheese platter or sit on hay bales ’round the fire pits. It’s serving up chic hootenanny realness, if ya ask me. Make it your last stop with Orange Wine Tours, and include Ross Hill (best bloke runs the place), Swinging Bridge + Rowlee cellar doors as pitstops. Lunch at Racine will also line that tummy, if you know what I mean.
HAVE AN OUTDOOR SESH IN THE UNION BANK COURTYARD
Everyone loves a good sesh (usually on Sundays but whatever floats ya boat) while soaking up the great outdoors. The Union Bank is iconic / a goodun’, with live performances, a wine bar, fire pits and all-round good vibes. If you make it into the night they have fairy lights happening around the trees which is a visual TREAT in and of itself. If you know you’re gunna have one too many, stay at Templer’s Mill (which is like, literally a couple of doors over) and attached to the newly launched Greenhouse of Orange AKA the hottest rooftop in the region. It literally has its own greenhouse of produce atop the RSL, and serves up goooooood grub.
BE AT ONE WITH NATURE AT BORENORE CAVES
While the scenery is continuously brilliant in and around Orange, you should take a quick halfa out of your day to check Borenore Caves. It’s easily accessible, unlike many other nature hotspots which require a small hike to get to ’em. Use the cave’s framing or the cute pathways to mix up your vineyard-filled Instagram offering from the weekend.
Obviously, there’s a fuckload more to do in Orange (like get lit at The Royal – guilty) and there’s even more going down from Aug 3-5 for the region’s first-ever Winter Fire Festival, showcasing the best of Orange in winter with a series of bonfire events.
So there you have it – if you’re wanting to escape the daily grind, traffic and shitheads, then make sure this place gets a look-in. Orange you lucky you have us here to guide you?
Instagram / @ablondeandabeard
This writer travelled to Orange as a guest of Orange360.