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Orange wine feature image

How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Orange

If you’re looking for one of the best weekend escapes from Sydney, Orange is one of our favourites. Now more than ever, Aussies are exploring their backyards through beautiful countryside explorations. This country town in the Central West has you covered with great wineries, destination restaurants, and experiences you won’t find in the big smoke.

With the perfect weekend getaways right on our doorstep and just a couple of hour’s drive from the Sydney CBD it’s time you get away and explore the New South Wales backyard.

We’ve done the hard work and come up with a plan for your next country holiday in Orange, all you have to do is execute it (ultimate brownie points with your other half). This quaint country town is filled with some of the best restaurants, wineries, gin distilleries, and antique shops you’ll find in the state. Let’s check it out.

RELATED: These are the best farm stays in NSW right now.

The oriana hotel
The Oriana | Image: Supplied

Where to Stay in Orange

The best accommodation in Orange NSW is where you’ll want to stay with friends or family because what’s a good weekend spent with friends and drinks without somewhere to park up with your favourite bottle? Speaking from first-hand experience, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite places to stay.

The oriana hotel room inside
The Oriana Signature King Terrace Suite | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

The Oriana

On our latest trip to Orange, we had a chance to stay at The Oriana. This is a classic case of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ because this once under-loved 1960s drive-in motel has been transformed into a 4.5-star appointed resort-style experience with great rooms, a top restaurant, bar, and all the extras you won’t find at a traditional chain hotel.

From the moment we pulled into the driveway The Oriana screamed ‘Palm Springs’ with plenty of retro-glamour thrown in throughout the experience. The check-in process is smooth with a glass of local wine on arrival, cookies, and fresh milk supplied from the fridge.

We had the chance to stay in one of the Signature King Terrace Suites upstairs (from $380) but there’s a range of ground-floor rooms available from around $180 depending on the season. Those looking for a great balance of luxury and affordability should look at the Signature Queen Room which can be found for under $300 per night depending on the season.

The Oriana stands out amongst the crowd for the full experience it offers. No matter which room you select you’ll be able to take advantage of the full suite of amenities. Sit by the pool in the warmer months with the Summer Kitchen and Pool Club bringing a retro resort vibe. Sip poolside cocktails and have yourself a feast with long cabana lunches. In Winter, sit cosy in the Winter Garden Martini Bar, take in the warmth of firepits, then head inside and make yourself comfortable in The Peacock Room Restaurant or Bela Vista Bar. More on those two below.

Byng street orange
The White Place on Byng Street | Image: Supplied

The White Place – Byng Street

Situated in the heart of Orange on Byng Street lies The White Place, a self-contained boutique house-style set of accommodations that are great for larger groups who want to stick together. From the moment you step inside, you’re overwhelmed with indulgence, immersing yourself in this quaint country home decked out with space to fit family and friends.

Top to bottom, The White Place is equipped with everything from fireplaces to timber floors, and for those balmy summer staycations, a pool (Daquiri’s inbound!). The Byng Street Accommodation can sleep up to 8 people across 4 large bedrooms and the layout is convenient. When you consider it’s located right in the centre of Orange, a mere 10-minute walk to shops and food, this house is most certainly one you can’t look past.

Book The White Place – Byng Street

Casey street
The White Place on Casey Street | Image: Supplied

The White Place – Casey Street

This accommodation in Orange is booking out fast, so thankfully, there are two to choose from. Just around the way from Byng is the Casey Street accommodation which is just as idyllic. Featuring Greek-inspired white walls that elegantly frame the Balinese rustic wooden furniture, you feel like you’ve stepped into a hybrid destination paradise. Like most accommodations in Orange, you’re only 20 minutes from some of NSW’s best wineries and 10 minutes from restaurants. There’s nothing better than unwinding with a glass of Orange’s finest wine (which we can personally attest to).

Book The White Place – Casey Street

Swinging bridge wine tasting outside the front door
Swinging Bridge Wines | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

Visit These Orange Wineries

Orange is full of the region’s best wineries. You’ll mostly find cool-climate varieties growing on these vines, with a mixture of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, and the usual suspects of Pinot Gris, Rosé, and Shiraz all preferring elevation under 1000m

Byrne farm wine tasting inside the venue
Byrne Farm Wines | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

Byrne Farm Wines

Byrne Farm Wines is the place you’ll want to spend the afternoon and we recommend making it the last stop of the day on your Orange wine journey. A family-owned and operated winery, take a seat on the deck, bask in the afternoon sun, and take in the sights of nature’s television with ducks in the pond, chickens, and even some horse riding in the show arena off to the side.

In terms of the wines, Byrne Farm is home to one of our favourite Chardonnays in the entire Orange wine region. Grown at approximately 900m above sea level we tasted the 2022 vintage that brings green apple, white peach and green melon fruits with a mineral, crisp finish. Grapes are handpicked and whole bunch pressed before they’re put in large oak for fermentation and aged for 9 months. It’s delicious, and you don’t get any over-the-top oakiness.

Take the afternoon easy and finish the tasting with a glass of the Shiraz Pinot Noir blend that’s full of red fruits, floral scents and a powerful long finish. It’s an ode to the 20 years winemaker Jeff Byrne spent working in the Hunter Valley and a very good one at that!

Address: 841 Cargo Rd, Nashdale NSW 2800
Phone: 0413 018 511

Swinging bridge wine tasting inside the venue
Swinging Bridge Wines | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

Swinging Bridge Wines

It’s hard to stand out amongst the crowd with Orange cool climate wineries dominated by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals. However, Swinging Bridge has successfully made a name for itself with a string of great vintages. Their hashtag ‘#’ series is the most sought-after.

Since we last visited, there’s been a large-scale renovation with a new cellar door that now offers one of the best wine tastings in Orange. Treat yourself to a wine and food pairing ($50pp) that includes seven of the vineyard’s wines all paired with a selection of canapés designed by their in-house Chef and Sommeliers.

If lunch is in order, check out the ‘Indulge with Swinging Bridge’ experience ($150pp) that includes a guided walking tour of the Hill Park Vineyard before an in-depth tasting of their wines paired with a 4-course degustation lunch.

Address: 701 The Escort Way, Orange NSW 2800
Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-4pm
Phone: 0447 416 295

Nashdale lane wines
Nashdale Lane Wines | Image: Supplied

Nashdale Lane Winery

Situated in the foothills of Mount Canobolas, Nashdale Lane Wines is a family-owned and run vineyard surrounded by orchards, olive groves, sheep and cattle farms. With a delicious wine-tasting experience highlighted by a large variety of choices, it rivals that of any other in the region.

Known for their fresh, unique, and sophisticated selection of wines the tasting experience features the likes of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. And as if you need any more motivation, we think it’s about time you sat back, gazed out into the distance, and refreshed your memory with the perfect matrimony between taking a break and enjoying a glass of wine.

Address: 125 Nashdale Ln, Nashdale NSW 2800
Hours: Mon-Thur 12-4pm, Fri-Sun 11am-5pm
Contact: Make tasting reservations here

Visit Nashdale Lane Wines & Cellar Door

Gin 1

Parrot Distilling Co

If you’re after something a little stiffer, let us introduce Orange’s newest alcoholic addition – the new Parrot Gin Distillery. Parrot Distillery has spent years perfecting its internal quality assurance to create a homegrown gin for the ages. Unfamiliar with gin? Don’t worry, their knowledgeable and friendly staff will take you on a tour showing the ins and outs of how to make the delicious Gin and tonics we all know and love. These gins are seriously delicious, so take it as a word of warning. You might end up 10 deep before you know it, so keep an eye on that consumption.

Address: 66 Endsleigh Ave, Orange NSW 2800
Hours: Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
Phone: 1300 727 768

Visit Parrot Distilling Co

The peacock room restaurant the oriana
The Peacock Room Restaurant | Image: Supplied

Eat at These Orange Restaurants

The Peacock Room Restaurant

One of the biggest suprises from our recent trip to The Oriana was The Peacock Room Restaurant.

Hotel restaurants don’t have the best track record, however, it’s easy to see why this 140-seat restaurant has such a loyal following amongst the locals and out-of-towners. One of the best restaurants in Orange, you’ll often find the place packed on Friday and Saturday night with guests moving from the retro-chic cocktail bar next door into the restaurant before and after dinner.

The menu is best described as elegant evocation of Europe curated by International Executive Chef Edward Crawford. There are plenty local wines to pair with your French Onion Soup, side of soft sourdough, and tender retro-classic pepper steak. We also highly recommend trying the oysters, barley risotto with zucchini flowers, and bangalow pork loin chop.

Head to the Bela Vista Bar after dinner for one of Orange’s best supper clubs. The cocktail list is filled with twists on old classics rotated seasonally. Think blackberry margaritas and spiced mojitos in Winter before Pina Coladas in summer. Easily one of Orange’s best bars.

Located in: The Oriana, Orange
Address: 178-184 Woodward St, Orange NSW 2800
Hours: Tues-Sat 5:30-9pm
Phone: (02) 6393 9466

Union bank schoolhouse restaurant
The Schoolhouse Restaurant at The Union Bank | Image: Supplied

The Schoolhouse Restaurant at The Union Bank

If you’re looking for one of the best restaurants in Orange for lunch, head into the coveted Union Bank Schoolhouse Restaurant. Here you’ll find a seafood-focused menu with enough protein options to keep the hubby happy as well (the sirloin steak and pork are both out of this world).

We visited on a Saturday for lunch and the setting, service, and food were outstanding. Start with the mussel marinere and Sugar Mill ciabatta with local olive oil before moving on to the whole snapper with green curry and lentils.

Above all, you MUST try the fries. They’ll go down as some of the best we’ve ever had with tonnes of crunch and umami seasoning to top it all off.

After a few wine tastings let us steer you towards the list of non-alcoholic mocktails and drinks such as the citrus highball with SL Fancy Lemonade, cold-pressed citrus, aromatic bitters or the Amalfi spritz with Italian spritz aperitif, classico grande, and soda. Of course, there’s a range of tap beers and local wines to persuade you as well.

Address: 84 Byng St, Orange NSW 2800
Hours: Sun-Mon & Weds 12-10pm, Thurs-Sat 12-11:30pm
Phone: (02) 6311 1770

Mr lim
Mr Lim Korean & Chinese Diner | Image: Supplied

Mr Lim Korean & Chinese Diner

Mr Lim Korean & Chinese Diner is the must-go-to restaurant in Orange, exploring the traditions of Japanese food in the most vibrant, dynamic way all the ingredients are locally grown and sourced. Of course, you can taste the richness and freshness with each bite, but not only is the restaurant food phenomenal it’s also a karaoke restaurant, perfect for those post-dinner and drinks shenanigans.

Address: 282 Summer St, Orange NSW 2800
Hours: Mon-Thur 5:30-10pm, Fri-Sun 12-3pm & 5:30-10pm
Phone: (02) 6360 1122

Mr Lim Korean & Chinese Diner

White place store

Shop at These Orange Stores

The White Place Store

If you fall in love with the design and furniture in your accommodation you are welcome to check out the White Place shop and select a few pieces of your own home. This store has it all, where you can take the vacation home with you! Alternatively, take advantage of these amazing gifts for friends and family.

Address: 100 Byng St, Orange NSW 2800
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-3pm
Phone: 6363 1160

Visit The White Place

How to Get from Sydney to Orange

Time from Sydney: 3 hr 50 min
Distance from Sydney: 259km (CBD)
Highlights: Wineries, Gin Distillery, Boutique Accommodation, Restaurants, more.

General FAQs

How long does it take to drive from Orange to Sydney?

Orange is about 4 hours from Sydney. The drive is very picturesque, however, and there are plenty of beautiful towns to check out along the way.

Is there a train from Sydney to Orange?

Yes, there’s a direct train between Sydney and Orange. It departs Sydney from Central Station station and arrives at Orange Station in about 4h 43m. The train operates once a day, every day of the week.

Is Mudgee or Orange better?

Both Mudgee and Orange offer beautiful weekend escapes. The boutique nature of Orange is appealing to those who love to tuck away and enjoy a quiet weekend in the country. By contrast, Mudgee has a bit more going on and the town seems more ‘active’ with a bit more out-of-town foot traffic. You really can’t go wrong with either as they tick the boxes from quality wines to outstanding accommodation.