March 11, 2020 / By Nicole West
With the colours of the countryside starting to change, Central New South Wales glides into autumn on a backdrop of seasonal beauty. To go with it, an action-packed events calendar brings scrumptious food, unique art and groovy retro tunes to the region’s charming towns.
Here’s a rundown so you can start scheduling your next getaways around some serious fun!
F.O.O.D Week, Orange - 27 March - 5 April
There’s no better way to kick off autumn than with a foodie feast! The country’s longest running regional food festival, and often acclaimed as one of the best, is coming to town from the 27th of March to the 5th of April. Orange F.O.O.D Week showcases the region’s local farmers, winemakers, chefs and, of course, succulent produce.
Within the midst of fiery hued trees, indulge in tasty bites at the Night Markets. Take the four-kilometre stroll through bucolic vineyards while dining on a nine course degustation menu and soak up the overall vibe of sustainability and community spirit.
Bathurst Heritage Trades Trail - 28 & 29 March
Established as a town in 1815, Bathurst offers a rich history that goes far beyond its gold rush past. From the 28th to the 29th of March, rare and lost trades and crafts will be brought to life at the Bathurst Heritage Trades Trail.
As Australia’s oldest inland European settlement, look forward to discovering whip cracking, glass artistry, cigar box making, carpentry, embroidery, blacksmithing, lace making and saddlery from more than 100 artisans.
Head to the Walshaw Hall to see antique presses and printing, along with mandolin and violin makers. The Agricultural Research Station will host convict collectables, traditional woodworking and wine masterclasses. For knitting, crocheting, candlewicking and bead workshops, pop into the Scout Hall.
Field to Forest, Oberon - Throughout March, April & May
Expect refreshingly crisp, clean air in Oberon, which, at 1,113 metres, is the highest town in the Blue Mountains region. From here, it’s easy to visit Jenolan Caves and Kanangra-Boyd National Park. However, autumn brings a foodie’s delight with Field to Forest running throughout April.
Forage for wild mushrooms on tours, dine in secluded pine forests, attend workshops and set off on mouth-watering wine trails. If you visit from March to May, 4WD trips are also available to trek through remote forests and learn how to identify the best delicacies.
Mayfield Garden Autumn Festival - 10 April - 3 May
In a quick 15-minute drive from Oberon, you’ll find Mayfield and the spectacular displays of autumn foliage you’re looking for. The Hawkins Family Garden sprawls across 65 Hectares and it’s open to visitors from the 10th of April to the 3rd of May for the Garden Autumn Festival.
Explore a traditional English-inspired maze, an elegant Croquet Court and the Hawkins’ Family Chapel. Take a rowboat out on Mayfield Lake and let the kids loose in the garden with interactive games. If you’re taking the little ones, there’s a courtesy bus to help you get around.
Iandra Castle Open Day, Grenfell- 12 April & 26 April
Constructed between 1908 and 1910, majestic Iandra Castle is a heritage-listed wonder built in the Federation Romanesque style. In 1893, the owner, George Henry Greene, pioneered share-farming which revolutionised wheat growing in the country.
Open days on Easter Sunday and the 26th of April let you take a picnic basket and enjoy the gorgeous gardens, before discovering the homestead, worker's cottages, blacksmith, chapel, cemetery and wool and hay sheds.
Canowindra International Balloon Challenge - 15 - 19 April
The autumn skies fill with colour as hot air balloons glide gently overhead each morning and afternoon, during the Canowindra International Balloon Challenge. Watch them from the 15th to the 19th of April, then head to Balloon Glow to see a spectacular parade, watch performance groups and enjoy great local food and wine.
Trundle ABBA Festival, Parkes - 2 May
Unleash your inner dancing queen at the Trundle ABBA Festival, on May the 2nd at the Berryman Oval. Australia’s original ABBA festival hosts the fabulous Bjorn Again and fancy dress at its finest - from both performers and attendees. If you can stop yourself from dancing, check out the markets, grab a snack and change into a show-stopping glittery number in the glamping grounds.
Rainbow City Festival, Orange - 22 - 24 May
Fly the rainbow flag in Orange from the 22nd to the 24th of May at the inaugural Rainbow City Festival. Celebrating the LGBTQI+ community, the three day festivities include a Golf Tournament at Duntryleague Golf Club, Doggy Day Out, market stalls and demonstrations on Fair Day and Drag Bingo on Recovery Day.
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