Extend the Summer in Country NSW

Staff — 10 February 2023
There are some cool ways to extend the Summer in Central NSW.

Jump into a two million litre natural swimming hole at Bathurst’s Wilga Station or enjoy world-class art at the Archies 100 exhibition, exclusive to Bathurst. A groovy new Blayney in the 80s festival demands power ballads and big hair, and there are so many places to pick Summer fruits, eat and drink in this renowned foodie region.

“Central NSW needs travellers more than ever, after devastating floods that impacted so many communities, we have collated all the best new things to see, do and taste on a road trip. Come out, we’re open.” said Jenny Bennett, Executive Officer of Central NSW Joint Organisation.

The best new things to do in Central NSW this Summer include:


  • For a cooling dip, Wilga Station has opened a two million litre natural swimming pond for guests staying at their luxury farm-stay accommodation. Head into town to explore the city’s buzzing arts and foodie scene.
  • Head to the new ultra-cool Reckless Brewing which has moved its brewery and taproom to the heritage Crago Mill complex, offering their ‘Bx’ - the beer of Bathurst - and a Kitchen with tapas to perfectly match their fresh tasty ales.
  • Bathurst Regional Art Gallery will host a landmark exhibition Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize, from 26 January to 26 March 2023.Australia’s oldest and most loved portrait award, the exhibit showcases 100 works from throughout the prize’s history.
  • Explore the newly renovated Chifley Home which has re-opened after extensive restorations. The former home of Prime Minister Ben Chifley and his wife is one of Australia’s most intimate museums.
  • The Bathurst Aqua Park, the largest in country NSW, is back bigger and better than ever at Chifley Dam throughout Summer. Jump, slide and splash to your hearts content. 

Orange and Cabonne

  • Fruit picking season is underway with cherries, strawberries and stone fruits begging to be picked at over 15 orchards and farm-gates across the region. What better way to spend a morning than hiking, picking or cycling from farm to farm and cooking up a fruit cobbler. 
  • A new luxury farm stay retreat Basalt in Orange offers three architecturally designed studios with their own unique features and captivating views. Grafted into the rich basalt soils on the highest point of a 75-acre cherry orchard, choose from the Chaser, Drifter or Yonder Studio. 
  • Mayfield Vineyard, an iconic Orange vineyard, has re-opened its cellar door and offers new accommodation in the ‘Homestead’, a heritage listed five-bedroom home filled with antique furniture and luxury touches.
  • If poolside cocktails are in order, the 4.5-star Oriana hotel has a retro vibe a, pool club and cocktail bar. They have announced Sublime Summer at The Oriana with packages that partner up with local businesses to offer culinary, adventure and relaxation add-ons to their accommodation. 
  • Badlands Brewery will open a new brewery and venue in the heart of Orange in January 2023.  
  • Mad Hatter Drink Lab has opened in the heart of Orange, a hip new venue to enjoy a variety of the Mad Hatter beverages and cocktails.


  • On 4 February 2023 Millfest is back to the historic village of Millthorpe’s Redmond Oval for an evening under beautiful London Plane trees. Enjoy local food, wine, music, markets and activities for the kids.
  • Turn up the power ballads and bust out the big hair for the inaugural ‘Blayney in the 80’s’, a weekend festival from 3-5 March 2023. The music, fashion, icons and food of this fabulous decade will be celebrated with themed entertainment, workshops, exhibitions, street activities and markets.


  • On Saturday 18 February Light up the Night is a unique event at Grenfell Railway Station as 100 drones synchronise to light up the incredible night skies above Grenfell. Live music adds to the atmosphere as you join happy picnic goers and buy dinner from market stalls.

Some other ways to cool down in Summer.

·Koorowatha Falls, Cowra - after a morning hike in the Koorowatha Nature Reserve, cool down at the Koorowatha Falls, with its spring-fed waterhole for swimming

·Lake Endeavour and Bumberry Dam, Parkes –go to see ‘The Dish’ during the morning, and as it heats up, cool off dam-side at these popular local attractions for canoeing, bushwalking and birdwatching

  • Gum Bend Lake, Condobolin – this serene man-made lake sits alongside the Lachlan River and is a hotspot for the locals for water skiing, swimming, and picnics in the huge rest area
  • Forbes Ski Dam, Forbes - a beautiful spot on the bend of Lake Forbes the Dam is the local beach for swimming, water sports and comes with a playground, BBQ shelters and backs onto 10km of walking and cycling trails
  • Cowra Japanese Gardens – picnic alongside waterfalls, streams, two lakes and an authentic open air tea house is a welcome retreat
  • Mayfield Garden, Oberon – the largest cool-climate garden in the Southern hemisphere offers some cooling spots under majestic trees and glamping accommodation through Summer

Central NSW includes Oberon, Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Orange, Parkes and Weddin.


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