100 Mile Diet
The food and wine of Central NSW
The Central NSW towns of Orange, Cowra, Dubbo and Mudgee produce some of the most enticing produce in NSW. This enjoyable drive is a great way to taste the best wines from the celalr door, fresh farm produce at the farmgate or from a market and creative cuisine in cafes, pubs and restaurants. Check out this four-day itinerary.
Best food and wine experiences in Central NSW
If you love good food and wine, then make your way to Country NSW to enjoy some of the best produce, wines and dining in the State. There's no better way to explore this bounty than on a 100 Mile Diet tour of the region, eating food that's locally grown and produced.
Lithgow to Lidsdale: Drive to Lidsdale, just outside Lithgow, to taste fresh goat cheese at the Jannei Goat Dairy.
Lidsdale to Orange: Continue west through Bathurst to Orange where you'll find great cafes on Summer Street; many showcasing regional produce, including cheeses, wines, oils and more. The region hosts great food and wine events all year round. Visit in late October, for example, to enjoy Orange Wine Week, which focuses on local wines and produce.
Orange: Relax with a massage at Duntryleague Guesthouse's Wellness Sanctuary or play a round of golf at the property's championship course. For dinner, Racine Restaurant's combination of locally-sourced wine and produce ensures you'll return to your accommodation happy and well fed.
Orange: Browse the town's gourmet food stores, including The Essential Ingredient and A Slice of Orange. If it happens to be the second Saturday of the month, treat your tastebuds at the Farmer's Market. Or, if you have the time, why not take part in a dog-led truffle hunt in nearby Millthorpe.
Orange to Borenore: Drive west to rural Borenore for a coffee at the Borenore General Store. Borenore Caves Reserve is a great place to enjoy an outdoor picnic with the local produce you have bought. Alternatively, visit some cellar doors or drop into the fig orchard or local berry farm to pick your own fruit.
Borenore to Canowindra: Drive 50 minutes through gorgeous scenery, olive groves and orchards and visit any of countless vineyards before stopping in Canowindra . Stroll the heritage-listed main street, visit The Age of Fishes Museum - they have fossils up to 360 million years old there - and enjoy lunch at the Taste Canowindra tourist centre.
Canowindra to Cowra: Drive south to Cowra to fill your car with treats from the Cowra Smokehouse and numerous vineyards. In spring, the cherry blossom is out and you can stroll through the Japanese Garden to make room for dinner, made with local produce at the ever popular Nelia Restaurant. Spend the night in a luxury cottage at Everview Retreat.
Cowra to Parkes: Drive to Parkes to tour the famous 'Dish' telescope and pop into The Dish Cafe for some regional goodies.
Parkes to Dubbo: Next, head north to Dubbo and proceed to the cafe at Lazy River Estate for lunch followed by locally made gelato. See over 1,500 animals from all over the world at Taronga Western Plains Zoo before dropping your bags at your accommodation - there is plenty to choose from in this popular stopover town. Dubbo also boasts a variety of clubs, cafes and restaurants serving delicious dinners.
Dubbo to Gulgong: Sample Macquarie Valley wines and then drive to historic Gulgong, once home to Henry Lawson, a well known Australian writer and poet. Stop for a walk and coffee on Mayne Street.
Gulgong to Mudgee: Continue to Mudgee, a gourmet haven famous for its wine and honey production. Begin at Leaning Oak Winery and Dairy, where you can milk a goat, then create your own vintage at a cheese-making workshop. Next is the Mudgee Brewing Company - a constant favourite specialising in handcrafted beers distilled with local water. It also has a great restaurant for lunch, dinner or even a quick snack.
If you're there on the third Sunday of the month, try a Mudgee Farm Walk through local working farms highlighting Mudgee's free-range, organic and home-grown produce, or visit in September to experience Mudgee Wine Month.
Mudgee to Lithgow: Finally, make the 90 minute drive back to Lithgow. This suggested itinerary concludes here. But if you're still hungry for more, remember there is so much of this abundant region to taste and explore.
Friends having coffee at Ilfracombe, Cowra, Central NSW. Image Hamilton Lund
View of vines at Mulligan Cowra Cellar Door, Cowra, Country NSW. Image Hamilton Lund
Views of Mudgee township featuring historic civic buildings, Country NSW. Image Jon Armstrong
Historic Duntryleague building, Orange, Country NSW. Built in 1876 it operates as a guesthouse. Image Orange City Council
Nanami Lane Lavender farm, Eugowra, near Orange, Central NSW. Image Orange City Council
Walking through an apple orchard in Orange, Country NSW. Image Evolving Images
Avoid driving tired and reach your destination
When driving, always consider how tired you are - fatigue is one of the top three contributors to Australia's road toll.
Ensure you have had enough sleep before your trip and share the driving wherever possible. When driving on Australian roads take advantage of the many 'rest areas' available, regardless of whether it's a long-distance or short-distance trip.
Easily locate rest areas and plan your rest breaks for your next journey by visiting www.rms.nsw.gov.au