With the Easter long weekend and school holiday break approaching, now is the time to take advantage of the changing season and plan an autum adventure in regional New South Wales, according to the Desination NSW gang.
From gourmet escapes to fossicking and heritage trails, the Destination NSW team gives us three getaways that will make you fall in love with regional NSW this Autumn:
50 shades of Orange and Bathurst
Autumn is a fantastic time to visit Central NSW, with the region guaranteeing vibrant Autumn foliage, delicious seasonal produce and a stellar line up of local festivals and events. If you’re a foodie then the Orange F.O.O.D Week is an iconic experience for gourmands, with the 10 day festival in April a testament to the region’s great reputation for food and wine, and beautiful colours (see picture, courtesy of Destination NSW). Indulge your senses as local chefs and restaurants showcase their skill with farm gate tours, cooking demonstrations and the famous 100-Mile Dinner. Continue your Central NSW love affair with a side-trip to Bathurst, just a 45-minute drive away. One of Australia’s oldest inland settlements, Bathurst’s historic town centre is fascinating, with a blend of old and new including revitalised laneway bars, cafes and restaurants. Be sure to check out the Autumn Colours program of events and the Bathurst Motor Festival at Mount Panorama from 25-27 March.
New love in New England
There is so much to love in the New England region, the changing leaves of trees in towns like Glen Innes, Inverell, Tenterfield and Emmaville are spectacular, as is the fossicking for gemstones. Armidale, the hub of the New England High Country shines in Autumn, with numerous parks, tree-lined streets and gardens displaying a spectrum of reds and oranges. With the city housing many heritage buildings, grand cathedrals and churches, Armidale is the perfect destination for an autumn break, and its annual Armidale Autumn Festival in March a stand out event on the local calendar. A visit to nearby Uralla is a must to admire the famous Gostwyck Chapel covered in Virginia Creeper.
The laidback country charm of Tamworth and the wider region is ideal for a short break, with national parks, trout fishing, horse riding and great local produce aplenty. Another must see is the historic gold mining village of Nundle, just a 50-minute drive from Tamworth. With great local cafes, antique stores and delicious baked goods at the Nundle Craft Inc. weekly farmers market, you’ll find plenty to do in town. The scenic Fossickers Way touring route begins in Nundle and takes in key fossicking areas. It’s especially pretty in Autumn with its wooded hills, open green pastures and fertile valleys. A little further afield, Boggabri promises a weekend of family fun at the Boggabri Drovers Campfire from 20-25 April with events including a big campfire, camp oven cooking, shearing demonstrations, tours of the district, bush poets, craft stalls, whip cracking, antique machinery display, a bush band and much more.
Pack up the car and escape on a road trip to the North Coast destination, Bellingen. With lush valleys, a rich architectural heritage, rural charm, delicious local produce and natural beauty, Bellingen is also known for Australia’s largest regional market offering an amazing selection of handmade arts and crafts, regional produce and live entertainment. Neighbouring Dorrigo National Park is a must see, offering stunning scenery that has been millions of years in the making. The World-Heritage listed rainforest offers a variety of rare flora and fauna, swimming at Crystal Shower Falls, a Skywalk lookout which takes in Bellinger Valley and scenic barbecue and picnic spots.
For more information on Autumn escapes in NSW visit http://www.visitnsw.com
For car rentals visit www.drivenow.com.au