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Travel guide Central West 'Explorer Country'

Review - Old Bara Guesthouse
By Penny Parsons

Old Bara Road via Mudgee New South Wales You feel as though you are the only people around - there is no sign of other houses, just paddocks and grazing cattle, which gives an amazing sense of peace and quiet. There are wonderful views of the Mudgee hills and the property. Overall rating?    Excellent, with outstanding ambience and cleanliness    What makes Old Bara different? The sense of peace and seclusion makes this a very relaxing place. It feels as though you are living on your own farm and the feeling of privacy is very relaxing. The house is set in 1300 acres and there is plenty of wildlife, including kangaroos, wombats and hares. Accommodation overview Old Bara has four bedrooms, two have queen-size beds, one has a double bed and t... Read more

Review - Glen Davis Boutique Hotel
By Penny Parsons

1 Canobla Avenue Glen Davis NSW This grand and historic hotel is set in Australia’s equivalent to the Grand Canyon – a region of amazing escarpments and natural wonders. Overall rating?    Outstanding    What makes Glen Davis Boutique Hotel different? The setting is amazing – deep in the Capertee Valley and close to the Wollemi National Park, and yet only a few hours drive from Sydney.  The Hotel originally serviced the bustling town’s shale oil mine and various visiting dignitaries and was considered to be the finest hotel west of the Blue Mountains. Accommodation overview There are a variety of rooms from family suites to queen and single rooms.  Some have ensuite facilities, while some have shared facilities... Read more

By Lisa Monk

This lovely town on the western edge of the Great Dividing Range, in the Central Slopes and Plains region of NSW, is named after Sir Henry Parkes, known as the ‘Father of Federation'.  Parkes is the major urban centre in a region known for gold and copper mining, wool, cereal crops such as wheat and barley, as well as the fields of canola that cover the region like a golden blanket when in flower. The mostly flat terrain is criss-crossed by semi-permanent watercourses that are often little more than waterholes and is part of the catchment area for the Lachlan and Bogan Rivers, which are major tributaries of the Murray-Darling system. The surrounding rural villages of Bogan Gate, Trundle, Tullamore and Peak Hill all have something unique to offer and make Parkes the perfect pl... Read more

Review - Kurrara Cottages Retreat
By Emily Kothe

Henry Lawson Drive Mudgee NSW We arrived as the sun was setting, and the view across the working vineyard was gorgeous – and matched by the warm welcome from our hosts. Overall rating?       Outstanding What makes Kurrara Cottages Retreat different? The warmth of the welcome – fresh carrot cake helped! – and the sense of peace that envelops you as soon as you arrive. It is one of those places that feel right from the moment you walk through the door.. Accommodation overview Our cottage had a queen-size bed and was perfect for a romantic getaway. All linen and toiletries are supplied. Facilities overview The layout is open plan, with the indoor sunken spa bath and living area accessible from the bedroom area.  There is a small ki... Read more

Out & About - Orange
By Tom Barclay

More than just a wine region, it’s the depth of produce that’s giving Orange the green light as a foodie haven to rival Mudgee. Tom Barclay travels just three hours west of Sydney to bring you AT’s selection for the perfect foodie/romantic weekend. Apples on the Mount A winery, orchard, restaurant and now even cottages. The scenery at Borrodell on the Mt makes the trip up a steep hill worthwhile. One of the highest vineyards in Australia with magnificent vistas across the countryside. Aside from wines, there’s also a range of ciders to try. However, the piece de resistance is the apples. Track down Borrodell’s owner (Borry) to guide you through his heritage apples. He has more than 170 different species, which he can rattle off at breakneck speed, includin... Read more

Editor's Choice - Ophir Valley Cabins
By Lisa Monk

There may or may not be gold in ‘them there hills’, but Orange is certainly a place with many golden opportunities to enjoy yourself.  Set in the glorious explorer territory of the Central West, one of the first things you notice about Orange is its sense of history.  An easy few hours drive from Sydney, Orange is a city that has become a mecca for those who enjoy the good things in life, along with a flavour of the country. Ophir Valley Cabins are a short drive from the centre of Orange, and are the perfect place to stay while you discover all that Orange and the surrounds have to offer you, whether you are looking to keep the family happy, or are on the gourmet trail with friends or a special someone. You have a choice of staying in “The Lodge”, &l... Read more

Review - Ranelagh B&B
By Jill Collins

Bourke Street, Dubbo New South Wales Style and grace in 'Explorer Country' The property is a beautiful old home built in the late 1800s. It is set back off the road (which is good as Bourke Street is the Newell Highway) with a long drive.  It is a reminder of times past and more gracious living. Overall rating? Excellent What makes Ranelagh B&B different? This stately home is set in grounds that include sweeping gardens, a tennis court, chook yard, pool, sitting area and is just a short drive from the centre of Dubbo.  The period furnishings and inclusions such as a home theatre (with DVDs and videos) and billiard room make this a B&B that is out of the ordinary. Accommodation overview There are four double rooms, three feature queen-size beds and the fourth has ... Read more

Top Five Accessible Travel Destinations
By Bruce Mumford

When you’re disabled it’s a lot easier - and cheaper - to stay at home. But after our family came home from a trip away, I realised the memories would be there with our boys for the rest of their lives.  It’s certainly not easy (when you’re disabled what is?) but it is worth it. My favourite Australian  destinations are: 1. Darling Harbour, Sydney I never visited Darling Harbour when growing up in Sydney.  But our family came up here and stayed 3 nights last year and had a wonderful time!  It was great being a tourist in what was once my own backyard.  After seeing a fair bit of overseas, I still think Sydney stacks up pretty well. The terrific thing about Darling Harbour is that it’s so much like Tasmania; a lot to do in such a sm... Read more

NSW Wine regions
By Kylie Robertson & Irene Morgan

The Food and Wine of New South Wales Australia’s first vines Since the first grapevine was planted on the edge of Sydney Harbour in 1788, the New South Wales wine industry has flourished. Today, New South Wales produces world-famous Hunter Semillons, rich ripe reds from Mudgee, delicate cool-climate wines from Australia’s highest vineyards and sweet botrytis-affected wines that are amongst the best in the world. The diversity of climate and terrain in New South Wales has encouraged new and exciting wine regions to emerge alongside established ones such as the Hunter Valley, Orange and Mudgee. The spectacular growth of new wine regions is only matched by the enthusiasm of winemakers across the State who are experimenting with lesser known varieties such as Chambourcin, Gewur... Read more

Coonabarabran, Central West, NSW
By Cooonabarabran Visitor Info Centre

Coonabarabran and the Warrumbungles Coonabarabran is the gateway to the spectacular Warrumbungle National Park. One of the highlights of Central NSW, the Warrumbungles is an amazing landscape of dramatic mountain peaks with intriguing rock formations, plentiful wildlife and a huge variety walking trails including one of Australia’s great walks, ‘The Grand High Tops’. Astronomy is also big in town with two observatories. Visit the impressive white domes of Siding Spring Observatory - Australia’s largest optical astronomy research centre or gaze through telescopes on a stargazing tour at Skywatch Observatory with a professional astronomy guide.   Other Must See and Do Activities… • Admire remarkable fossils at Crystal Kingdom. It also provid... Read more

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