Welcome to Central NSW
Central NSW's relative proximity to Sydney and its bucolic landscapes have recently seen the region's agricultural communities gain popularity among weekenders, grey nomads on tour and city slickers seeking a tree-change. Getting here by road or rail, traversing the iconic Blue Mountains across the Great Dividing Range, is half the fun.
Both Orange and Mudgee are must-dos for foodies and winos alike, while travelling families love Dubbo, Parkes and Bathurst for their selection of kid-friendly museums and attractions. Further afield, pretty Cowra – with its Japanese gardens, peace monuments and war cemeteries – offers a glimpse into this quiet little town's unexpected and tragic role in Australia's wartime past.
Keep heading west and soon enough, things start drying up and the rich, red outback soil takes over.
Fading stately buildings, wide streets and well-tended parks and gardens align Central NSW's larger centres with a past built on gold-mining and bushranger folklore, but this history is often best explored in the smaller villages you might pass through en route. Be sure to stop for a snoop if anything piques your interest. Many villages have quaint museums, and there's usually always a bakery or cafe where you can pick up a pie or a coffee and support these small economies.The villages of Gulgong (near Mudgee) and Millthorpe (near Orange) are both pretty as a postcard and make worthy destinations in themselves. Each features photogenic main streets with wide verandahs, plus old pubs and a healthy smattering of quaint cafes, foodie haunts, wineries and galleries.If you love the tranquillity, you just might want to spend a night or two in a rustic B&B or romantic rural cottage.