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Orange NSW, sleeping trains and dead guys

“I slept in a train. I slept in a train.’ Our five year old still tells anyone who will listen about the time we stayed the night in a converted train carriage only a short distance from our beloved Orange Region.What to do in Orange NSW |Blah Blah Magazine

Central West NSW is the Australia found in storybooks. Wide flat brushstrokes of countryside, set alight by the biggest of blue skies and blazing sunsets. It is paddocks edged with red dirt, tumble down barns, bush rangers (or ‘dead guys’, as our five year old calls them), brumbies and train stations abandoned in the pursuit of gold.What to do in Orange NSW |Blah Blah Magazine

It’s the kind of place that reminds us to breathe deep and slow down. And yes, the grown ups in this clan adore the food and wine of the area – surprise, surprise! Some of you may remember how we gushed about Mudgee, another favourite of ours.

However, this trip wasn’t really about a destination, but rather about a meander down the slow road. I’m not sure how long the three and half hour drive actually took us. We stopped when it took our fancy or on a little person’s demands, because we could.

It was a whim of a trip, a blank weekend in the calendar, snatched, accommodation booked late one Thursday night. We just packed a ‘let’s just see’ mindset and little else.

My favourite stop in the Orange Region was…


Millthorpe has my heart – pretty streets, great coffee, fabulous food and some lovely second hand shops to peruse. We parked the car and wandered. I’m amazed at how such a tiny town can squeeze all this delight into a few streets.what to do in millthorpe | Blah Blah MagazineThe Old Mill Café rescued us when we realised we had forgotten to pack our coffee pot. Apologies for the blurry picture, but I had some urgent coffee drinking to do. And, yes, the coffee is good.what to do in millthorpe | Blah Blah Magazine

Pizza on Pym, because the wood fired pizzas are great, the owners are just lovely and the courtyard out the back is cute and kid friendly, too boot. what to do in millthorpe | Blah Blah MagazineGerry’s @ The Commercial set our steak lover’s heart aflutter. It’s the kind of hearty menu that gives maximum comfort factor without sacrificing taste. I adore that there are no pokies and no TV.

what to do in millthorpe | Blah Blah Magazine Our littlest loved the park, dogs and slow streets of…


We stopped for tea with parents of a dear friend at Carcoar (pronounced carcaw), but whenever we go  I need to remind myself the town is the real deal, not a film set.

It’s not a tourist town. There’s not a lot to do, other than drive around dogs sleeping in the middle of the street, but it is a time machine town and you won’t regret stopping there for a wander and a pint and a pie at the Royal Hotel.

Our foodie vinophile (Gordon) loved Orange

Orange NSW is the beating heart of the region and is taking the food and wine thing by the balls and owning it.

The Agrestic Grocer is a great place to pick up fresh supplies and there is a craft brewhouse next door, too.What to do in Orange NSW |Blah Blah Magazine Gordon’s favourite vineyards were Philip Shaw  and Mayfield. And, yes, he wishes we had known about the new and amazing sounding restaurant, Percy’s, MrandMrsRomance and Not Quite Nigella both mention in their posts on Orange.

Just quietly, there is a great big adventure playground, at the back of the Orange Botanical Gardens, for little legs to let off steam after a long drive or as a sales pitch for hanging out in grown up places for too long, if you catch my drift…

The train that stood still

I suspect our big boy will always remember the first time he slept in the train carriage near the town of Barry. He didn’t want to leave.

What to do in Orange NSW |Blah Blah MagazineI’m a bit the same. I love the creaking and clunking reminders of adventures past. I’m so happy we let the whim take us. Think I might need to snatch another blank weekend sometime soon…

What to do in Orange NSW |Blah Blah MagazineWhat are your favourite holidays?

About BlahBlahMagazine

Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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  1. We just spent the long weekend in Orange and fell in love too! I spent a bit too much money in Millthorpe – all of those gorgeous little shops. Where is that train carriage? It looks fabulous!

  2. Huge fan of Orange and Mudgee – it makes me want to go back! What a glorious adventure. My favourite getaway is the Blue Mountains; I love the vastness of nature, the food, the fresh air and it’s relative proximity to the city. It makes a weekend getaway so achievable! x

  3. Oh whimsical holidays on a whim are often the best. They are always so relaxed and you often find the best hidden gems when you take your time like this.
    Thanks for joining in #wednesdaywanderlust this week x

  4. I think sleeping in unusual locations always stays with you. I bet your son will still be talking about this in many years to come.

  5. I adore rural Australia. It is like a film set sometimes! And I love the foodie gems you find as well. That train carriage sounds amazing, definitely a place to return to!

  6. Gorgeous photos! You describe central west NSW so beautifully Bele. I love trips taken on a whim. Need to do more of that! We’re snatching a weekend next month to drive a couple of hours up the coast for our first family camping trip. These are the trips our kids will remember many years from now. Hope you manage to sneak another trip soon xx

  7. Soooo country and rustic. Feels so homely to me since I have country roots myself. I love the idea of the train stay! Kids dream!
    There is a lot to be discovered in rural Australia.

  8. Right. That’s it. We’re planning our next road trip back to Orange right now! And this time we’re stopping off at both Millthorpe and Carcoar. They look amazing! Thanks for the tip, Bele.
    And thanks for the mention too. 🙂

  9. Hello Bele, that does look lovely. I’m off to Orange for a night next Thursday and must find a place to stay. Love the train carriage! We’ve never explored the region so your tips and pix are a joy to read and see.

  10. I love those unplanned, wake up needing a lil country air weekends Bele. I know them well! How wonderful that your lil man got to sleep in a train – must be such a gorg story to hear him tell! It looks a beautiful spot – kind of jelly we live so far from it! Rachael

  11. I think sleeping in a converted train would be a highlight for my boys too!

    Thanks for linking up with #wanderlust this month I hope it was as great for you, as it was for us having you!! Our next one is this Wednesday. You can sign up for a reminder here if you want: http://carbis.com.au/wanderlust/

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