Now in autumn is the perfect time to plan road trips to the country.
Imagine the wide open roads, the rolling hills, the red and golden leaves all around you… New South Wales is still blessed with warm temperatures in March and April, but not too hot to spend some time in the car. I really love travelling the country roads to tiny towns, historic sights and spectacular landscapes. How about you?
Here are five ideas I put together for you that you really should consider for a short trip to the country. All of them no more than five and a half hours away from Sydney, which makes these destinations perfect for an overnight trip or a quick escape if you can share the driving duties.
Orange F.O.O.D Week (3:40hrs from Sydney)
Did you know that Orange is considered the “Food Basket” of NSW? The Orange F.O.O.D Festival from the 8th to the 17th of April is showcasing all the good produce that is grown in the Orange region. Farms, wineries and orchards will open their doors, there will be wine tasting, a huge night market and the popular 100-Mile Dinner.
For more info and the full schedule, visit the official website. http://orangefoodweek.com.au
Bathurst Motor Festival (3:00hrs from Sydney)
I think that the Bathurst Motor Festival is probably one of the best known country events in all NSW. Planned for the Easter Long Weekend from the 25th to the 27th of March, this motor sport event at Mount Panorama is one of the highlights in the Australian racing calendar.
Popular not just with car enthusiasts, the event will feature the inaugural 6-Hour Race for production cars, plus a number of other spectacular motor races. http://www.bathurstmotorfestival.com.au
Nundle Go For Gold Chinese Easter Festival (4:45hrs from Sydney)
Nundle is a pretty little historic gold mining town, 60kms east of Tamworth. Surrounded by flat-river farms and fertile grazing land, this picturesque town is not just a great starting point for fossicking, now at Easter you can also join in at the Go for Gold Chinese Easter Festival.
The Chinese community played a pivotal role in the heydays of gold mining from the mid to late 1800s, with Chinese migrants working here as miners, storekeepers and gardeners. Chinese performances, gold panning, and a variety of children’s activities are just some of the reasons why this is a great time to visit. http://www.nundle.com.au/events/nundle-go-for-gold-festival/
Taste Tamworth (5:00hrs from Sydney)
Taste Tamworth starts on the 1st of April and is a 10-day foodie event celebrating local wine and produce, including the Taste Pop-up Laneway Bar, Taste in the Park, The Long Lunch, and Farm Gate Trail.
And there is more to Tamworth that meets the eye: Did you know that Tamworth is the first city in Australia to use electric lights? But it’s probably better known as the country music capital of Australia, and any visit to Tamworth is not complete without a trip to the Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre. http://www.destinationtamworth.com.au/capitalofcountry/Food-and-Wine/foodandwine
Boggabri Drovers Campfire (5:30hrs from Sydney)
The little town of Boggabri is located in the Narrabri Shire in the country’s north-west. The popular Boggabri Drovers Campfire Weekend takes places this year from the 20th to the 25th of April, perfect if you like to camp somewhere exciting.
Not only will there be a huge campfire but also camp oven cooking, shearing demonstrations, tours of the district, bush poets, craft stalls, whip cracking, antique machinery display, bush band, plus much more. This event is so much fun, it even took out the Gold Award in Festivals & Events Category 2015 at the NSW Tourism Awards. http://www.visitnarrabri.com.au/narrabri-directory/the-boggabri-drovers-campfire/
What else is on? (6+hrs from Sydney)
If you don’t mind venturing further afield, check out the pretty Gostwyck Chappel in Uralla which will be covered in fiery Virginia Creeper this season (a great photo opportunity!), check out the Armidale Autumn Festival from 18th to 20th of March, or discover the absolutely mind-blowing Skywalk Lookout in the Dorrigo National Park.