If you are planning a romantic getaway then rather than a city destination let the words Central NSW enter your thoughts.
Here we introduce you to some of the best romantic getaways in this spectacular part of the world.
Romantic Getaways: Bathurst is beckoning
The city of Bathurst is one of the oldest inland settlements in Australia. It is often referred to as the ‘gold country’ as it is where the first gold discovery occurred in Australia which led to the first gold rush. There is an abundance of things to do in historical Bathurst and is ideal for those who enjoy culture.
If you are looking for a little bit of luxury in this up and coming regional city, then go no further than the Bishop’s Court Estate Boutique hotel, owned by the very charming Christine Le-Fevre. This secluded hotel is unique and wonderful in every way. Stepping into Bishop’s Court you feel as if you have entered the stately home of a very well travelled eclectic artist. Christine has done all of the interior designing herself and has a lot to be proud of. It’s the right amount of decadence complimented with her own individual touches which create a truly romantic haven.
The house boasts six individual double bedrooms for guests, all aptly named. I had the delight of staying in the Harmony room at the back of the house, which opens up onto the communal balcony laden with plush tables and chairs for you to enjoy the delights of the beautiful garden below. It felt like I was sat on a veranda in Venice over looking a beautiful private botanical garden; you can’t get any better escapism than that. The hotel is pure elegance and is perfect for groups, functions or a romantic weekend. It even has a hauntingly beautiful little Gothic chapel which is available for functions and weddings. It’s charm personified.
Things To Do
Mayfield is just a short drive away from Bathurst. It’s a great day trip for nature lovers or people who like an outdoor stroll. Set in the stunning Mayfield working farm grounds, it consists of approximately 160 acres of carefully maintained garden. It’s one of the world’s largest privately-owned cool climate gardens. Open to the public is the six-acre water gardens and landscaped garden. The inspiration for the landscape comes from the great gardens of Europe. There is a strong British influence amongst the designs, and many features of a quintessential English garden. You can take a walk around the gardens, take in the stunning scenery and then head to the garden café for a bite to eat or a coffee. The cafe is quickly becoming known for its home-made organic vegetable salad among other tasty fare.
In the historical city of Bathurst there are many other sites and places to visit. If you feeling like brushing up on some culture, you can explore the regional art gallery. The gallery always has interesting exhibitions which are open to the public so before you go check out their website.
Or step back in time in the Fossil and Mineral Museum. Wander around the Museum and inspect the Somerville collection which hosts some of the finest and rarest examples of minerals and fossils.
Food and Drink
Historical buildings is one of Bathurst’s many draw cards, with many of them renovated and turned into bars and restaurants. If you feel like catching up over a drink in a beautiful converted old church then head to The Church bar. It offers indoor and outdoor seating and has a great atmosphere, especially if you feel like sitting in the gorgeous courtyard and catching up over a glass of wine, they also offer fantastic wood fired pizzas.
However, if you are a fan of home brewed ale and beer, Two Heads Brewing is not to be missed. Situated in The Old Crago Mill, this new up and coming restaurant has its own on site brewery where they create and make their own beers and ales. Not only do they offer their own unique beers and ales but they also rotate their guest ales around between the local brewers. The two brothers who started the company, hence the name, are dedicated to using only locally sourced food and created their menu from scratch, even down to the salt. Their dedication to being part of the local community and helping out the surrounding businesses is something to admire. It’s a great spot to check out and the food is sumptuous and designed to perfectly compliment a good pint of homemade ale.
Romantic Getaways: Orange isn’t just a colour
Orange is best known as the region of colour and it’s easy to see why. It’s located with roaming hills of green, red and orange which is particularly vibrant during the Autumn months. This makes it a popular destination in the cooler seasons. Orange is laden with fantastic places for food and wine, so make sure you bring your appetite.
Nestle into your own private cottage set in the secluded vineyards of Borrodell, set along a beautiful hillside just outside of Orange. Imagine waking up and overlooking a vineyard or cuddling up next to your own log fire whilst sipping a glass of delicious Borrodell wine. The Borrodell vineyard is set along the slopes of Mount Canobolas and overlooks the picturesque sights of the Towac Valley and town of Orange. It’s one of the highest vineyards in Australia and its cool climate allows it to grow some of the best wines, especially the Pinot Noir. They also host truffle-hunting events in the Winter months as the area is laden with rich fruits of the earth. There are four self-contained beautiful cottages to choose from; two are situated amongst the apple orchards used to make their award winning cider and the others are located amongst the chardonnay grapes and near the black truffle block. You can kick back and relax in your own private fully functioning cottage and peacefully fall asleep to the sounds of nature.
Things to do
In the surrounding area you can take a drive up to the summit of Mount Canobolas which is an extinct volcano. Here you can truly feel the freedom of being outside and take in the panoramic views of the gorgeous Orange countryside. On your way back to Borrodell, you can stop by Lake Canobolas and enjoy a wander around the lake. In the height of Summer it becomes Orange’s own outdoor swimming pool for the locals. Just a 20 minute drive from Orange is the quaint little town of Millthorpe. Here there is a range of cute little bric a brac, antique and boutique shops as well as a great café called The Old Mill. You can unexpectedly find a great range of fresh seafood dishes and delicious homemade baked goods.
Food and Drink
Even if you aren’t staying in The Borrodel vineyards, it’s worth booking into the restaurant Sister Rock, which sits atop the hill right next to the wine cellar and heli-pad (yes, there’s a heli-pad and tours are available) the views are unrivalled and it’s the perfect romantic spot to dine and enjoy the local produce and cooking.
There are many bars and restaurants in the town of Orange but nestled away in one of the local vineyards is the restaurant Racines, which is designed to encourage diners to enjoy everything offered on the menu. This is definitely an option for the more upmarket diners who are looking to sample the flavours of Orange in a more sophisticated way.
Romantic Getaways: Mudgee is a marvel
Mudgee is located in the Cudgegong Valley, amongst rolling hills and secluded beauty. Reputed as a hub of fantastic food and wine. Saunter along the towns streets and peruse the local boutique shops or take a trip around the local cellar doors and create your own wine tour.
Cobb & Co Court Boutique hotel is situated in the heart of Mudgee and is just around the corner from many popular local haunts. It’s got a very relaxed feel about it and suits the need of those who are not going to sit inside the hotel room but get out and about. It hosts some luxury queen style rooms and New York Loft style apartments. They overlook the hotels courtyard which is always alive with activity as it also holds an outdoor dining area.
Things to Do
There are 40 cellar doors in the region and the wine in Mudgee is not one to be missed, so create your own little tour and visit some of the best wine cellars in NSW.
There are many places to choose from but there are a few that are a definite must, for example Logan Wines should be at the top of your list. Go and experience their award winning wine in their tasting room whilst taking in the stunning views.
Another must on your wine tour is Gooree, which not only has its own wine cellar but is part of a magnificent thoroughbred horse stud located between Mudgee and Gulgong, known as the oldest town in NSW.
Take a self-guided tour and hire a bike and cycle around the beautiful vineyards at the Peter Van Gent winery and then reward yourself with a tasting session of their delicious wine.
If you feel like swapping some wine for a cheese board or even combining the two, the High Valley Cheese factory is the perfect spot. Here you can sample their homemade gourmet cheeses and browse their shop or even sit and relax with a cheese platter and a glass of wine or beer, perhaps after you’ve experienced what their cellar door has to offer and then you can select a wine of your choice.
Food and Drink
In the heart of Mudgee are many attractive bars and restaurants. Roth’s Wine bar is a popular haunt, offering a selection of fine wines and Italian-style share plates and is one of the oldest wine bars in Australia.
Step into a historical heritage building and enjoy the delights of drinking and dining in Eltons. Or soak up the evening air in the little courtyard of Alby & Esther, this a hidden little gem and serves great food and drink away from the busy main street.