Out West

A recent trip away saw us venture across the Great Dividing Range to Orange. The  Bells Line of Road takes you high out of the Sydney Basin. You pass by the Blue Mountains, with glimpses of the grand rock formations. The road then makes a steep descent into Lithgow  where we hope we can find a coffee.

Not long after Lithgow, the road opens up and there it is the grand expanse of the Central West of NSW. I think of all the people in the city who have never seen this beautiful country or even think of its existence. The air smells beautiful and the sky goes on forever.

Bathurst is not far from Orange but it is good to get out and stretch the legs and have another coffee. I love the wide streets of country towns and the old buildings. Country councils don’t seem to be in such a hurry to remove older buildings, thankfully.

The parks remind you of a distant time. We found this Begonia House.

It was full of begonias(of course) and very well maintained, as was the park.

Years ago when Bathurst was a stopping point for us, on route to Sydney, lunch was a  ‘special’ spring roll from a local Chinese restaurant. These days there is more choice. We had a lovely lunch at Hub cafe of a goat cheese tart with figs, and a decent coffee!

Not far from Hub is Legall Patisserie. We had a look at the tempting offerings but decided we would have to stop there another time.

Orange is known for cherries, wine and this time of year, apples. It has been well ahead of other food growing areas in its appreciation of local and fresh foods. The local tourist guide has always been informative and a necessity, to locate local produce.

We stayed on Mt Canobolas, surrounded by apple orchards and vineyards, with an incredible view towards Orange in the distance.

There seem to be new wineries every time we visit. This time we enjoyed Brangayne and Ross Hill cellar doors. Both of these wineries have vineyards on the slopes of Mt Canobolas with altitudes of 970m and 1100m. As happens with other wine areas, the wineries you want to visit aren’t always open on the days you are there. Luckily in Orange, many of the local wines are available at the local IGA supermarket. Great for when you are just passing through.

The same goes for local produce. Most farm gates are only open at weekends. There are a couple of places that stock locally produced goods. We managed to pick up a few supplies at A Slice of Orange in the city centre.

A visit to Orange wouldn’t be complete without dinner at Lolli Redini. Wednesday turned out to be BYO which was a nice bonus.

With a sampling of local apples we headed for home. We had hoped for a hearty breakfast in Orange but we found the few cafes open, overpriced for breakfast. You can get a good coffee though at Bills’ Beans. We decided to look at Millthorpe on the way home. No luck with breakfast there so we settled for morning tea instead. We couldn’t resist what was on offer at The Old Mill Cafe in Millthorpe.

The treats were definitely worth stopping there for. We tried the pear and almond torte

and the lemon meringue pie. Both were full of fresh fruit flavours and not too sweet. We wished we were staying for lunch.

That will have to be next time.

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