Gorgeous regional wineries. Elevated pub food courtesy of a celebrity chef. Art galleries to explore together. Bathurst comes up roses as a romantic getaway destination that’s full of surprises, here are four ideas for your next date day out.
Explore an intriguing art trail
Creative minds will love exploring Bathurst’s artistic hubs hand in hand. Pop into Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) and stroll the light-filled rooms while you check out the latest exhibition and projects by local artists. See which works from the permanent collection you both love – maybe one of Australian landscape artist Lloyd Rees’ sublime drawings, or one of the machinery-inspired monuments by pioneering sculptor, Robert Klippel.
After you’ve taken in the Australian legends at BRAG, walk across the road to uncover some more regional artistic goodness at the new gallery space for. The Tablelands Artists Co-operative Gallery is an artist-run initiative that showcases works such as pottery, photography, jewellery, textiles, painting and more. It’s the perfect place to pick up a memento for your shelves back home.
Taste Bathurst in a glass
What’s a romantic break without a jaunt around a region’s cellar doors to discover a new favourite drop or two? With an elevation of 650m above sea level, the Bathurst region produces small-batch wines of great character. Make an appointment for a tasting at Renzaglia Wines, overlooking the O’Connell valley, to find out why it was named Dark Horse Winery of the Year in the 2022 Halliday Wine Companion. You’ll meet the winemakers – Mark Renzaglia and his son Sam – as you sip your way through their offerings, which include shiraz, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet merlot, sauvignon blanc and more.
On the way there, stop at Bathurst Grange Distillery, set on a heritage estate and working farm. Book in for a tasting and tour where you’ll see a century-old graveyard, the final resting place of the property’s original owners, the West family. Sample whisky and gin in the old tin shed that’s now a tasting room; their Blue Mountain Gin is inspired by the view of the Blue Mountains from the distillery window, and infused with mint and rosemary grown right on site.
Explore the backroads as you head west to Vale Creek Wines to try its Italian varieties before continuing to the picturesque village of Rockley with its quaint period buildings. Lunch at The Rockley Pub is a must-do, but book ahead for a weekend table as word is out that celebrity chef owner, Matt Moran, is turning out top-notch pub fare.
Fall in love with history
There’s nothing quite like a high tea in gorgeous surrounds to up the romance quotient. To experience it in Bathurst, head to Abercrombie House, a grand 52-room country mansion dating back to the 1870s. Built as an ode to the great Scottish homes early pioneers left behind on their journey to Australia, it’s been lovingly restored to its original condition over several generations. High tea is served in the elegant surrounds of the ballroom: savour loose-leaf teas and plunger coffee and sweet and savoury treats, serenaded by a Celtic harpist. (You can BYO bubbles, too.) Abercrombie House also hosts Sunday roast lunches on select dates throughout the year.
If you and your partner are history lovers, you can step even further back in time at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. The Somerville Collection of more than 5,000 fossils and minerals, housed in the evocative surrounds of the 19th-century Bathurst Public School House, paints a picture of the development of life on earth.
Enjoy dinner and a show
When the sun goes down, Bathurst’s city centre turns on the charm. Check Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre’s events calendar and time your visit to coincide with a show you’ll both love. The performing arts centre hosts everything from comedy to classical music, opera and dance to theatre, as well as contemporary touring music; pop legend Amy Shark and award-winning First Nations singer songwriter Archie Roach have both graced this stage.
Before or after the show, head around the corner to Keppel Street. Vine & Tap is one of the prettiest restaurants in town, set in a leafy cobblestone courtyard where you can dine under the trees and fairy lights. Cosy up over a grazing platter or pizza, share a plate of wild mushroom arancini or go all-in with the beef brisket and bone marrow meatballs or house-made gnocchi with Italian pork sausage. Sip a pre-dinner cocktail or nightcap at the saloon-style Dogwood, BX on the same block (owner Evan Stanley was once named Melbourne Time Out’s Bartender of the Year).
Let us do the planning for you!
Let us do the planning for you!
For more food and drink, history and culture ideas in Bathurst, check out this one-day itinerary.