Give yourself over to the crisp autumn change, wrap cold hands round a warm cuppa (or glass of red) and contemplate a cool-weather escape. It’s time to pull out your woolliest of woollies, inhale that deeply reviving autumnal air and welcome the golden leaves as you discover the wonderful experiences on offer in NSW.
Look out for leaves
You can see spectacular foliage all over the state, however some regions really shine during autumn. Take a road trip through the Riverina, stopping at Tumut, Wagga Wagga and Gundagai for a tour of spectacular seasonal colours.
An easy day-trip for leaf lovers is a visit to Mount Tomah in the Blue Mountains where you can tour the Botanic Garden’s array of deciduous trees. The Cowra Japanese Garden puts Japanese design and heritage on show. The serene five-hectare gardens are particularly beautiful in autumn as they transform into a kaleidoscope of colours.
Pick your own
Crisper than a mid-April morning, a bite of a just-picked Bilpin apple is an addictive experience you’ll want to repeat each autumn. In this pretty village in the Blue Mountains, a handful of orchards are open to the public including Bilpin Fruit Bowl, Bilpin Springs Orchard, Shields Orchard and Pine Crest Orchard, so you can pluck your own straight from the tree. Stop by Bilpin Cider for the Thirsty Third Sunday of each month for live music and pork roast to accompany your cider.
Plan an autumn sleepover
When cooler weather means inside is better than out, why not book in for a luxe escape in the country? Watch the morning mist slip across the water from the deck of the cabins at Hideout in the Southern Highlands. Just a 90min drive from Sydney, this idyllic farm stay is all romance.
With four architecturally designed villas framed by a stunning amphitheatre of sandstone escarpments, Barranca in Kangaroo Valley offers a stylish, pared-back stay where you can bask in the natural drama of the bush. Set on a conservation and bush regeneration property near Bathurst, 232 at Boonderoo is a unique earth-covered hideaway. A stone fireplace ensures all autumn escape goals are duly met.
Have fun at a festival
For six cool-weather weeks from 13 March until 9 May, Bathurst and its surrounding villages host anAutumn Colours program that tours the heritage and history of the area through talks, walks and events. You might come simply for radiant leaves, but once here, spend some time exploring the fascinating sites and characters that have shaped this beautiful region.
As Australia’s longest-running regional food festival, Orange F.O.O.D Week has a legacy of stuffing people to the gills with extraordinary local fare. Running from 9-18 April, it shines a light on producers, restaurateurs and vintners. The festival is delicious way to explore this beautiful pocket of country NSW and stockpile one’s larder and cellar stores for the coming winter.
In Oberon, Mayfield Garden hosts the Autumn Festival between 2–25 April, where you can stay the night under the stars at the onsite glamping tents and explore 65-hectare gardens, including Australia’s largest hedge maze.
If autumn is your favourite season, you’ll find a whole town of like-minded people in Tumut, at the foothills of the Snowy Mountain. Here the locals celebrate the golden season with the Festival of the Falling Leaf on the last Saturday of April each year. Get along for the street parade, market stalls, music, activities and fireworks.