As far as Spring scenic road trips go, it’s hard to beat Central West NSW where paddocks turn to green and gold as wheat, barley and canola blooms. Central NSW Tourism has announced its ‘Great Outdoors’ bucket-list with some of the best things to see and do on a daytrip or short break.
Follow Cowra’s Canola Touring Routes, go hot-air ballooning in Canowindra for a birds-eye view of the landscape, see the Spring flowers on a 4WD adventure tour and visit Mayfield Garden.
Central NSW begins two-hours’ drive West from Sydney and is renowned for its wide-open spaces, big night skies, fresh country-air, and natural attractions.
Central NSW ‘Great Outdoors’ bucket-list
New ‘Cowra Canola Touring’ Routes – a new guide to Cowra’s ‘fields of gold’ aids travellers to self-drive four different touring routes to see the best canola in Cowra, Canowindra and Grenfell. Choose your sensory experience along the way including Grenfell’s Silo Art, Iandra historic castle, Rosnay Organic Farm, the Quarry Restaurant and Cellar Door, boutique shops or hot-air ballooning. www.visitcowra.com.au/canola
Hot air ballooning flights in Canowindra – for the best birds-eye view of Spring’s spectacular fields of gold, float though the sky on a hot air balloon flight from Canowindra. Aussie Balloon Trek’s deluxe 30-minute twilight flight costs $200 including breakfast. Or Balloon Joy Flights Sunrise Flight costs $300 and is a 3-4-hour experience over the picturesque Belubula Valley including champagne, hot breakfast and pick-up from your accommodation. www.balloonjoyflights.com.au.
Detour Adventures and Simmo’s Off-road Tours – go off the beaten track and explore Oberon and Bathurst’s Spring flowers and mountain high forest lookouts with a 4WD adventure tour. Detour Adventures ‘Seclusion and Tranquillity Tour’ or ‘Silence in the Bush’ is a true escape from the city and explores Sunny Corner and Kanangra-Boyd National Park’s rivers, gully’s and history. Simmo’s Off-road ‘Wine and Food Safari’ Tours visits wineries, orchards, cheese makers and farms. While in Bathurst drive a loop around Mount Panorama for incredible valley views. www.detouradventures.com.au and www.simmosoffroadtours.com
Mayfield ‘Spring Open’ Garden in Oberon – a special event from 26 September to 25 October, book your ticket to explore 65 hectares including the Mayfield Maze, take a row-boat out on Mayfield Lake, see the Croquet Court, the Hawkins’ Family Chapel, the Chook Hilton, and the 80-metre Cascade & Temple. www.mayfieldgarden.com.au
Sculpture Down the Lachlan Culture Trail – in Spring Forbes’ parks are alive with floral blooms and bird life especially at Gum Swamp Wetlands with the new Varanus or Gugaa in Wiradjuri – a 6m high goanna – the first sculpture on the Sculpture Down the Lachlan art trail. Continue out the Lachlan Valley Way to see the truly amazing sign, a 3m high bright red sculpture, along with a collection of other sculptures and murals around town. www.somewheredownthelachlan.com/home
The Dish in Parkes – a must-do on any Aussie road trip is a photo in-front of the iconic ‘Dish’, star of the (2000) movie, and standing 64 metres high. Then explore the world of astronomy and discover what role The Dish plays in ‘listening to the stars’ at the Discovery Centre and 3D theatre. www.visitparkes.com.au/attractions/the-dish/
Picnic by the Belubula River in Carcoar – picnic on the wide banks of the river in the heart of historic Carcoar, just off the main highway. The serene setting under the Belubula River Bridge, built in 1856, evokes the history of this village with its museums, antique and boutique shops. www.carcoar.com.au
Utes in the Paddock at Condobolin – this quirky bush exhibition features around 20 ute vehicles used as the canvas by a series of renowned outback artists in developing this road-side creative installation. Using the ultimate Aussie icon – the Holden ute – as a medium, they are a fun and colourful attraction. www.condobolin.nsw.au/things-to-do/utes-paddock
Camping at Weddin Mountains National Park – a bird-lovers paradise just outside of Grenfell, this Park offers colourful Spring walks, scenic lookouts, and Ben Hall’s Cave Walking track where the history of this bushranger comes alive. www.grenfell.org.au/attractions/ben-halls-cave-and-weddin-mountains-national-park
Lake Canobolas in Orange – at the foothills of Mount Canobolas this pristine lake is a haven for birds and native wildlife, has a circular cycle or walking track, adventure playground and a chance to paddle, sail or swim in the warmer months. www.orange360.com.au
Central NSW includes Oberon, Orange, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Bathurst, Forbes, Lachlan, Weddin and Parkes. There are a variety of places to stay from luxury boutique hotels and farm stays to camping and B&Bs.
Visitors must follow the latest NSW Health advice in terms of physical distancing, practicing good hygiene, and staying home if feeling unwell. Please call ahead to tourism operators for bookings.
Unearth your Central NSW experience at www.visitcentralnsw.com.au.