From hiking adventures and sneaky waterfall dips, to some of the best pub feeds in the west, the Central Tablelands region around Orange hosts an epic range of activities for the ultimate two day road trip.

We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Wiradjuri people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Spring has well and truly sprung in the Central Tablelands Region of NSW!

Situated on Wiradjuri Country, this area makes for the perfect weekend getaway to the countryside. Stowed away just outside of Orange there are countless hidden gems to find. We spent a couple of days adventuring around Orange to bring you this itinerary and help plan your trip!



  • Cycling from Cowra to canola farms to enjoy a road-side picnic B&E roll
  • Staying in the historic Marlow House and picking fresh oranges
  • Driving to Eugowra to visit the museum and going to The Fat Parcel for lunch
  • Hiking and wild swimming in Nangar National Park
  • A day of entertainment spent at the famous Woodstock Memorial Show

Ditching Sydney for Sunrise at Marlow House

The breathtaking four hour drive west from Sydney guides you through the Blue Mountains and out into the Central Tablelands.

We stayed overnight at the historic Marlow House and waking up the first thing in the morning in Canowindra (45 minutes from Orange) was like a scene from The Wizard of Oz. Opening our tired eyes to the sun rising over the fluorescent yellow canola fields mirrored the scene where Dorothy sees the world in colour for the first time.

After such a wet and dark winter in Sydney, it was so refreshing to witness the fertility of the land coming back to life. Be warned: if you go in spring you’ll never really get used to the craziness of this yellow canola around every corner, it’s insanely mesmerising.

The local Rosellas and Galahs were our alarm clock for our first day and the cold September morning air hit us with samples of flowering Lavender and Rosemary planted in almost everyone’s front yard.

Pedalling Around Town

As the sun rose, we skulled our tea, rugged up, and headed out to cycle around Cowra, a neighbouring town about a 25 minute drive away. Passing through the sleepy widened streets dotted with Cherry blossoms, I almost stopped every five minutes just to take in the scenery. If I had a dollar for every time I said ‘Holy Canola’, I could buy everyone in Cowra a beer.

There are heaps of cycling routes on the Orange 360 website if you’re keen to give the pedals a real workout.


Kendal Street Cafe

Stopping in at Kendal Street Cafe for a coffee felt like hitting my local back home, and we loved the whiteboard on the wall stating:

‘No Racism, No Discrimination, No Dickhead Behaviour’. A motto to live by.


Gravel Riding Near Cowra (and Checking Out The Canola Fields)

Fully caffeinated and warmed up, we rode for just under an hour outside of Cowra on ‘Sunnyside Road’, a public dirt road that takes you through the canola farms.

I recommend travelling down Sunnyside by bike as it gives you the opportunity to see the fields at a leisurely pace and makes for some great photo opportunities. For this trip, a gravel, hybrid, or mountain bike is recommended, but a road bike also did the job for us. You also don’t have to ride super far or need to be a good cyclist for this one… (I personally have the strength of a chicken nugget and I had so much fun!).

Look but don’t touch! The fields look gorgeous but please don’t walk amongst them for a photo. Even if you don’t trample a farmer’s precious crop, you could introduce disease to the canola.

After smashing burger#2 of many for the weekend: a classic B&E with some of the freshest eggs you can imagine, we returned to our accommodation to pick some last-minute oranges off the tree in the backyard and loaded the car up for the next adventure.


Small Town Lovin’ in Eugowra

The drive out to Nangar National Park was my favourite of the trip. We were given a hot tip to drop into The Fat Parcel in Eugowra for lunch before our hike, and it didn’t disappoint.



Eugowra is a humble town home to some beautiful street murals, sculptures, and the town itself is a piece of history. Whilst we waited for burgers #3 and #4, we ducked across to the Historical Museum and Bushranger Centre, where (for just a $3 donation), staff Peter and Bev showed us some of the region’s most treasured historical artefacts. It was incredible to hear the stories behind some of the pieces in the museum and to really appreciate the small town hospitality.


Nangar National Park

Nangar National Park was an easy 40 minute drive from Eugowra and it’s an absolute candy store if you love a good bushwalk. There are a variety of walks to do that range from a few kilometres to an eight hour peak to peak experience.

Plan Ahead: Driving through Nangar National Park can require a 4WD through some sections. Check the maps and info on the website to see which sections of roads are sealed and be prepared to not have mobile reception.

Read more: How To 4WD For Beginners



You can easily design your own walking loop from the existing trails and you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to get involved. In fact, for those who are expert relaxers like myself, you can pack a picnic and drive up to the doorstep of Mount Nangar lookout for a lazy afternoon in the sun with a stunning view of rippling mountain ranges below.

Keen to strap our hiking boots on (and burn off the burgers), we set out on a moderate 3.6km walk that linked the lookout back down to Dripping Rock. At this picnic area, there’s a tiny waterfall that runs off of Terarra Creek and provides a nice opportunity for brave hikers to cool off under the cascade.

Heads up! Dripping Rock isn’t on Google Maps, but info can be found in the national parks brochure.

Of course I couldn’t help myself and slowly scrambled/Tai Chi crab-walked across the rocks to sit under the flow of water, however, please be very careful of slippery rocks and stinging nettles! Oh, and don’t forget to pack a towel.


Camping at Terarra Creek

If you’re travelling on a budget and don’t mind the outdoors, plan your trip to include a night at the Terarra Creek camping area where you can build a cosy campfire and watch the sunset turn into the most spectacular show of stars. Out west without the light pollution it’s such a pleasure to switch your phone off and get a front row seat to stargaze on a cool, clear night.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

‘This isn’t an AirBnB dear,’ Ellen told me in her sweet Scottish accent, ‘We’ll make you a hot breakfast, we’ll sew up your lost buttons and when you arrive there isn’t a hidden key, you just knock on the door and I let you in!’

Morning Swim at Carcoar Dam

After a coffee we set off for an early swim in Carcoar Dam to get the blood flowing for the day. This massive lake is a famous fishing spot and features a free campground on the foreshore… it even features its own sailing club!


Woodstock and the Woodstock Memorial Show

After a 25 minute drive from the dam, we arrived in the town of Woodstock just in time for the Woodstock Memorial Show. Since 1946 the show has been running annually on the first day of spring, bringing in big crowds from all over the region to raise funds for the community.

For a small donation on entry, we stood packed Akubra to Akubra at the showground, bringing back memories from the Royal Easter Show when I was a kid. The schedule for the morning meant there was always something exciting to see. From speed sheep shearing to woodchopping, tractor shows, livestock, whip-cracking and the RuffTrack crew showing off their dog training skills.



RuffTrack is a fantastic charity that runs programs to engage young people who are falling through the cracks at no fault of their own. Through agricultural education, community outreach services, and connecting to country, they’ve successfully built a spectacular team of young folk who’ve established trust and bonds with some amazing working dogs.

We couldn’t resist grabbing some bakery treats made by the local mums on our way out, plus some fresh produce including local award winning olive oil, honey, and jams. ​The tangible sense of community on the day was incredibly heartwarming.

Bring cash! The Woodstock Show (and many other rural agricultural events) don’t operate with EFTPOS.

These rural towns pack so much love into their craft – whether it’s exquisite metalwork or a vanilla slice – and are always so welcoming to people passing through town. It was super rewarding to know our cash spent, even if it’s just a few dollars here and there, was feeding directly into a stream of positive community change.

So shine up your boots, fill up your car, pack a bag, and plan your next trip out west!