We’ve been shuttling between Sydney and Orange a fair bit this year and have found some sweet places to stop.
And I mean sweet as in sweeties, lollies and honey. Yum.
And there are some more healthy and wholesome stops too.
Here are our family’s tips on where to stop on this long journey from Sydney to the beautiful Central West countryside.
This post is all about the Sydney to Orange via Katoomba and the Blue Mountains. You can also travel via the Bells Line of Road, as we did the time we drove to Dubbo.
However, this post deals just with the route via Katoomba and the Blue Mountains.
Sydney to Orange – How Long Is The Journey?
Minimum four hours, minimum. We live in the northern areas of Sydney and can hop onto the M2 in about 30 – 40 minutes.
The fastest we’ve done the Sydney-Orange trip is four hours, ten minutes, with one toilet and petrol stop.
With more stops it can easily be five hours, and, really, you might want to have a proper longer stop and take six.
Where and When To Stop?
You need to work out whether you want to do a big stop and see one of the interesting places along the way. Then you will be making a full day of the journey.
There are heaps of places to do this, both as you cross the Blue Mountains and after them.
Personally, I love to do a long stint of driving, get right over the Blue Mountains and then have a break. But with the kids it doesn’t always work like that!
Blue Mountains Stops
Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum, Fauconbridge
One for the art lovers, this beautiful home, gallery and gardens is just a few kms off the main road.
There’s a cafe here and, kids willing, you can see some of Norman Lindsays glorious paintings. Or just grab a bite to eat and view the sculptures in the gardens.
14 Norman Lindsay Crescent, Fauconbridge
Phone: 02 4751 1067
Lawson toilet and café stop
There’s a groovy toilet on Staples Crescent in Lawson, a left turn from the Highway. The toilets are spacious and there’s a café and also a bakery exactly opposite them.
I don’t know the names of either but they are easy to find and we can vouch that the coffee is good.
Scenic World makes a good longer stop, as long as it’s not too busy there. It’s interesting and exciting to visit, read all about Scenic World here.
Just stopping and having a look at the Three Sisters is also fun.
The Hydro Majestic, Medlow Bath
This is one of my favourite stops as I love the views from beside the Pavilion, which is where we usually go to eat, drink and visit the bathroom. We have tried the Boiler Room restaurant which is lovely, indeed too lovely for my kids, and too pricey.
The Hydro Majestic is the grand old dame of Blue Mountains hotels, we must stay here one day and take in the views over hours, lose ourselves in its history. In the meantime, we often stop here to eat, do a toilet stop and to gaze in awe.
52-88 Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath NSW 2780
Phone: 02 4782 6885
Stops Beyond The Blue Mountains
The Lolly Bug at Hartley
This is a marvellous and spacious lolly shop, just at the bottom of the hairpin bends at Mount Victoria. Use a stop here to brike the kids into behaving well in the car. More lollies that they’d dream possible.
2297 Great Western Hwy, Little Hartley NSW 2790
Phone: 02 6355 2162
Olivers at Lithgow
Just before you arrive into Lithgow itself, there’s a very healthy café called Olivers on the right hand side of the road.
Here you can buy all sorts of wholesome meals and take out, organic coffee. There are also browse the healthy livings books and DVDs to browse.
Much as I love sweeties, this is my fave place of them all.
Lot 1, 888 Great Western Highway, South Bowenfels, NSW 2790
Phone: 02 6353 1748
Bathurst – so much to do!
You can stop at many, many different places in Bathurst from cool milk bars to the Dinosaur Museum. Check out this post to learn about all of them: 15 Things To Do in Bathurst With Kids
The Beekeepers Inn at Mitchell
There’s a lovely, wholesome café here as well as live bees in hives to watcn and lots of honey products. There is a nice outside seating area, also an antique shop and lots of old curios to see. There’s also a farm shop and a brewery on site.
2319 Mitchell Highway, VITTORIA, NSW 2799
Phone: 02 6368 7382
2 Fat Ladies at Lucknow
Just 10km out of from Orange itself is the sweet little village of Lucknow. There is a terrific country café here on the right hand side of the road, plus the scrumptious Two Fat Ladies lolly shop. More bribery opportunities with this one. There’s also a gift shop here.
4602 Mitchell Hwy, Lucknow NSW 2800
Phone: 02 6365 5001
And that’s it, you’re in Orange!
There are so many lovely things to do and places to visit in Orange.
Check out this post on Great Accommodations in Orange, With and Without Kids.
Full post on things to do in Orange coming soon… well, soonish!
Have you got your own fave stop on this journey to add to our list?