Go west young man

The Central West is known for its network of quiant, historical villages, goldmining and bushranging past and the great Australian poet Banjo Paterson. The centre of the Central West is Orange, and the nearby shires of Cabonne and Blayney. The area also has a reputation for luxurious produce and fine wines celebrated in two internationally renowned festivals. In April, F.O.O.D. Week (Food Of Orange District) supports local produce and 'fine food' over 10 days. In October, the Orange Wine Festival highlights the region's premium wines with wine shows, tastings, educational workshops and celebrations over 18 gluttonous days.

When you’re in the area there’s plenty to see. The City of Orange reflects a rich tapestry from the traditional Wiradjuri land owners, to the settlers, gold miners and commercial traders. A one and a half hour heritage walk offering some of Orange's finest buildings can be found on the Orange City Council website. The walk includes the Banjo Paterson memorial park at the site of the poet's birthplace along Ophir Road. 

The Orange Regional Gallery features a range of groundbreaking exhibitions all year. The Gallery is also making it's collection accessible throughout the Orange Health Service, bringing often unseen artworks to over 200,000 people per year. Regular art tours are conducted by the curator for staff and the general public at health facilities in the area.

Head out from the city in any direction and you’ll find a gem in every historical village.

Go west to Manildra and the Amusu Theatre, a historic movie theatre featuring all the original trappings. The theatre is complemented by a movie poster museum featuring movie posters and memorabilia. You can also see the latest release films in a genuine, historic setting every 3rd Saturday of the month at 7.30pm during summer, and every 3rd Sunday during winter at 1.30pm. Includes free country supper after the movie.

Head west along the Escort Highway and then south along Canowindra Road until you reach Canowindra. Here you'll find the award-winning Age of Fishes Museum, displaying  360-370 million year old Devonian Period fossils sourced from the Central West fossil beds. 

The Canowindra Historical Museum is situated in the main street near to the Age of Fishes Museum. Highlights of the Museum are the shepherd’s hut circa 1828, Harold Boyd’s complete dental surgery, and a wedding gown collection from 1881-1982.

Northwest of Orange, the Mitchell Highway takes you to Molong and it’s eponymous museum. Along with a chequered history as a doctor’s surgery, this 150-year-old building is inhabited by a ghost. No one has seen it to date but several staff have had some strange experiences. Every night when they lock up the building they normally have a quick chat with "her" and say goodnight.

Head northeast to History Hill Museum, the largest privately owned gold rush collection on display in Australia. History Hill's collection focuses on the land, the time and the people of Australia's Gold Rush era.

South is Golden Memories Millthorpe Museum located in the historical village of Millthorpe. The museum is a large complex consisting of seven large buildings housing many and varied collections from Aboriginal items, fraternal societies, local family and business history, rural technology and machinery and much more.

Along the way, check out the Wentworth Main Mine, located on the eastern side of Lucknow village. Take a walking tour around the site, and see the relics of past mining heritage when the goldfield was fully operational and brought gold fevered people from around the world.

Further south from Orange is the Carcoar Hospital Museum. If you have a penchant for the era of Australian medicine and surgery bereft of anesthetics and antiseptics then this is the place to come. The original hospital remains intact, with hand-poured glass, hand-forged nails and original shingles.

Orange is just 3 ½ hours from Sydney and within easy reach of the Blue Mountains. Find out about accommodation, food and entertainment at Visit NSW or go to Taste of Orange.


Museums & Galleries of NSW helps small-medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres create exciting experiences for visitors and, through this, thriving local NSW communities. We don't run museums, galleries and cultural centres but we care about those who do. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

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