As the weather heats, think about a day out for a picnic and dip. A few places you can go for a paddle in the wild include Flat Rock (near O'Connell, off Mutton Falls Road at the Fish River) or Clarence Dam (or Dam Cliffs) - a free swimming hole that is both deep and cool (Chifley Road, east of Lithgow). Grove Creek, a hour's drive south of Bathurst, is worth the drive after recent rain, but make sure you swim away from Grove Creek Falls. Wallaby Rocks on the Turon River west of the village of Sofala is lovely, but doesn't have facilities so you'll need to pack for that. On our doorstep is the Macquarie River . Try Hereford Street bridge and the Bridge Street bridge and further up towards Eglinton if you're looking for a place to cool off.
There will be a traditional barbecue breakfast and awards ceremony at Heritage Park to mark Australia Day 2021. Come along to meet the Australia Day Ambassdor and see the winners of Blayney's Australia Day Awards. If the weather turns bad, the event will shift to the Blayney Shire Community Centre. Events kick off at 8am (and will be subject to COVID-19 restrictions).
The fun fair is coming to town again. The Summer Fun Fair will be held at Orange Showgrounds on February 6-7 and 13-14. There will be fireworks and unlimited rides for $30. The Fun Fair Summer Splash, featuring fireworks, water slides, rides and food trucks will be at the Bathurst Showground from January 23 to 26. You'll find showbags, carnival food and rides from Sydney.
The Long Road
Home + Road Trip
Thinking of hitting the road for a camping holiday this year? It seems a lot of people have the same idea and there are some great locations in the Central West and (way) beyond. You can start in Dubbo with visits to the Farmers Markets, Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the city's historic streets. Then hit the road heading west. Visit Silverton, Wilcannia and Walgett (try the thermal artesian bore baths), look at fish traps in Brewarrina and paddle boat in Bourke. The entire trail is 930km following the Darling River. Should take six days or so (depending on how much you linger longer). Don't forget to back the mosquito repellent and the sunscreen. Check out www.visitnsw.com.
Orange's F.O.O.D (Food of Orange District) week will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. Australia's longest running regional food festival is a 10-day community event celebrating Orange's food and wine - from farmers to chefs and restaurants. Among this year's signature events are Shining the Light on Local Producers, the Sampson Street Lunch and a 30th anniversary dinner. April 9-18. Various venues. Tickets available at orangefoodweek.com.au.