Orange in New South Wales is a great idea any time of the year but is especially charming in winter and autumn. The regional town, located three and a half hours’ drive from Sydney, is an easy weekend getaway from the big smoke.
Maple trees litter the streets in hues of red and yellow. Hot chocolate by a wood fire, under a cosy blanket, is something you can only do in winter or when temperatures drop, as they do in the regional town. Walking the streets at night in coats and beanies is a scene out of a movie. In fact, Orange is a movie set foregrounded by classic Australian pubs, colonial cottages, and dewy mornings.
If you’re ready for a country escape with good food and good wine, follow our guide to Orange.
Where to Stay in Orange
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in country life, then there’s no better place to call home than The White Place. The homes on Byng and Casey Street scream country chic, and the best part is: If you like anything in the house, you can buy it. The White Place is also a store in town, selling home decor, fashion accessories, clothing, and shoes. The homes are furnished with items sold in-store, so you can take a piece of Orange home.
The home on Byng St is a light-filled, double-brick house with ornate ceilings, polished timber floors, fireplaces, and a large open-plan layout, perfect for entertaining your family and friends. There is even an outdoor pool and deck for the warmer months. The Casey St home is a little smaller, although the same amount of rooms. It’s also dressed differently, opting for a Scandi-style kitchen.
Both houses are within five minutes walking distance from shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars.
Where to Eat in Orange
Walk along the main street, and you will find that every few steps leads to a cafe, a restaurant, a pub, or a bar. Orange is a small town, but its options are (almost) endless, which makes eating here an adventure alone. From Japanese to Italian and modern Australian, there are a few restaurants and cafes you can’t miss.
Lolli Redini is Orange’s only hatted restaurant and is worth the trip alone. The 20-year-old institution is hiding in a cosy federation cottage, offering limited seating in multiple rooms. The food here is French and Italian, with the finesse of a Michelin star, without being pretentious. Instead, expect exceptional dishes, such as a cheese souffle that is sure to warm any patrons coming in from the cold and a succulent crispy-skinned chicken with polenta and vegetables. They have a range of first-class wines, and the produce is sourced locally from producers who meet their criteria.
Down the road, visit their funky new bar, Birdie Noshery and Drinking, open until late. You can also drop by for breakfast classics in the morning, including a bacon and egg roll, eggs benedict, and ricotta and buttermilk pancakes.
Another great breakfast spot is The Agrestic Grocer, a unique cafe on the edge of town, in an old wooden barn. They not only offer a fresh, homely breakfast and lunch, they also sell local wines, condiments, alcohol, and snacks in the store next door. There’s even a stage for live music on the weekend.
If you’re looking for pastries or a sweet treat, Racine Bakery is the place to go. It’s a small bakery, but it’s always filled with visitors and locals chowing down on pies and cakes. Stop by to pick up fresh sourdough for breakfast at home, or in the afternoon for the last piece of brownie and a bag of choc chip cookies. Get the cookies, you won’t regret it.
Spilt Milk Bar is also worth a stop for their fresh gelato. The old-school milk bar serves scoops of salted caramel, chocolate, and their iconic spilt milk flavour, among a wall of other flavours.
Where to Shop in Orange
From boutique stores to markets, Orange has a range of shopping options. If you’re after homewares, unique jewellery, clothes, and lamps, head to The White Place. You can peruse their huge store and spend hours sifting through little knick-knacks, falling in love with linens and pots. Orange is home to amazing milliners, including Fiona Schofield Millinery, who can work with you to design a hat. Blowes Clothing offers classic casual wear clothing, and Hawkes General Store also has many fashion items to peruse.
Where to Drink in Orange
Orange’s wine region is young, but it’s earning a reputation in the wine industry, making it an emerging wine destination in NSW. Due to its high altitude, Orange produces cool-climate wines, including pinot noir, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc. Rowlee Single Vineyard Wines is helmed by Nicole Samadol, an inspiration in the female vintner community and overall Australian Wine Society. Expect crisp chardonnays and playful reds, including the Nebbiolo. Enjoy a tasting of the range in the cellar door and a vineyard tour in the ATV on-site, or opt-in for a picnic hamper on the estate.
The vine-to-table tour combines the ATV tour with a tasting and lunch on the grounds of the estate. They also have a private guesthouse available to rent for a two-night stay.
Another great vineyard to visit while in Orange is Printhie Wines, a 15-minute drive from town. Here, you’ll find an old shed converted into a charming Cellar Door with fairy lights and original wood. The shed was once used to sort apples but now hosts thirsty locals looking for a good tipple. Owned by the Swift Family, Printhie Wines also has a range of sparkling wines under the name Swift. The sparkling varieties have won several accolades and are well worth a taste.
You can pop by for a simple tasting or add on a picnic experience, which will have you enjoying pastries and savoury bites amongst the vines. There is also a sparkling masterclass that includes a taste of 10-year-old sparkling and a three-course alfresco lunch in the rustic Chaff Shed by the water.
If you love gin, stop by Parrot Distilling Co., a small batch distillery in a funky shed, where you can savour gin flights and order gin cocktails. Most days, you can walk in, although if there’s a group, give them a call to make sure they have room. It’s a big warehouse, but seating is limited.