YELLOW canola fields, pink cherry blossom festivals, fresh green produce, and black and white night skies - Central NSW is a photographer's dream in spring.
Just a two-hour drive from Sydney and tucked behind the Blue Mountains, Central NSW is a place of colourful landscapes, garden festivals, wine and food events, and tours of blooming gardens.
Stretching from Bathurst and Mudgee in the east to Forbes and Condobolin in the west - taking in Orange, Cowra and Parkes along the way - the region is also packed with gastronomic delights, magnificent landscapes and a rich cultural heritage.
Thinking of heading there this spring? Here are some top ideas for places to go, from Central NSW Tourism:
- King's Parade at the heart of the Bathurst Town Square is transformed by flower and blossom so vibrantly pink that it almost hurts your eyes! Immediately adjacent, the gorgeous Victorian-era Marchattie Park bursts back into life.
- Mayfield Garden Spring Festival, October 5-27: This 22-day festival explores 65 hectares of manicured gardens and offers a rare chance to experience the expansive private Hawkins family garden and the English-inspired Mayfield Maze. This is one of the world's largest privately owned cool climate gardens, with row boats on the lake, an 80-metre Cascade & Temple, restaurant and cafe.
- Bathurst Spring Spectacular, October 26-27: Ten of the town's gardens will throw their doors open as lilacs, irises, rhododendrons and azaleas will be in bloom, a riot of colour celebrating spring. Every garden will also feature music, art and sculpture.
- Millthorpe Garden Ramble, November 3-4: The village opens 10 large rural gardens, small village gardens, veggie plots and small nooks to the public, with fine local food and cool-climate wines part of the celebrations.
- Cowra's "Fields of Gold" Canola Tours: A must-do for photographers, this guided tour of Cowra's canola region includes commentary on canola history, the best photo spots and a town tour. Run on Saturdays and Sundays in September and October.
- Orange Wine Festival, October, 18-27: Features more than 80 events including the Orange Wine Show Tasting, Wine in the Vines, The Vino Express, dinners, lunches as well as the highly popular Festival Night Market.
- Cowra's Spring "Wine and Forage" tours: Organic wine tastings, guided walks through the orchards with fig and olive tastings and a seasonal lunch at Wallington cellar door are part of a five-hour tour. October 12, October 20, November 2 and November 9.
- Red strawberry pickings at Huntley Berry Farm in Orange: Heldfrom November-May. Grab a bucket and pick your own from 11 varieties of berries at this beautiful farm