Hopefully your tastebuds have been in training because Orange is a place you taste. With any luck it’ll be Orange Region Farmers Market day (second Saturday of the month). The stallholders have got up early so it’s only polite to accept samples of strawberries, chocolates, olives, cherries, pies, pancakes, jams, jellies, macarons, gelato, wine and craft beers. Should it not be market day, you can still head out on one of the farm-gate and cellar door trails getting to know the same producers and their products, or just cruise the town trail. There’s Ferment – The Orange Wine Centre, A Slice of Orange – the gourmet grocer – they’ll even do you a picnic hamper, Racine Bakery, The Agrestic Grocer, Byng Street Cafe and Local Store, Factory Espresso, and Badlands Brewery. For a great Saturday lunch in town, try yum cha at Sweet Sour Salt.
Pick up a Wine & Food Guide from the Visitor Information Centre and select one of the five out-of-town trails. The Eastern Heritage Trail takes you through the old mining settlements of Emu Swamp, Byng and Lucknow to the quaint country village of Millthorpe. No need to carry supplies on this trail though, it passes nine winery cellar doors, a boutique brewery, cafes, pub bistros and, at Millthorpe, Tonic – one of the finest restaurants in the region. Millthorpe has enough quirky retail to leave your credit card limp, and also has some great self-guided walks to put the colour back in your cheeks. On your return to Orange take Lake Canobolas Road past the pretty lake and recreation area and drive to the summit of Mount Canobolas for dramatic views and sunsets.