If you are planning a trip to Orange and looking for things to do in Orange which will suit you and your family, welcome! You have just hit the jackpot.
I am pretty sure this is the most comprehensive post you will find on all the fun activities and places to visit in this lovely Central West city.
So read on … this is a very long post, you can hop about from section to section using the table of contents just here.
Contents of this post
- Best Times of Year To Visit Orange
- Where To Stay In Orange
- The First Thing To Do in Orange
- Outdoor Things To Do In Orange
- Indoor Things To Do in Orange
- Where To Eat in Orange With Kids
- Half and Full Day Trips From Orange
Best Times of Year To Visit Orange
But I say any time of year is good. Yes, winter can be, literally, freezing and summer can be rather hot. But there are many things to do what are enjoyable at any time of year.
And off peak is cheaper, let’s be practical.
I’ve written a post detailing our family’s fave places to stay, our personal recommendations plus ideas for finding bargains. Check out the Family-Friendly Accommodation in Orange post here.
The First Thing To Do in Orange
Get yourself along to the Orange Visitor Information Centre in the centre of town. It is in a very interesting building with a turfed roof. There’s a cafe here, the Orange Regional Museum, the Art Gallery, the Library and cool sculptures and fountain.
Orange Visitor Information Centre
149 Byng Street, Orange
Open: 9am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day
There’s street parking on Byng Street or a car park, entrance is off Lords Place. This is a spacious visitor centre with heaps of free information, leaflets, maps and personable staff to answer any questions.
Then let the kids run around on the grass roof whilst you have a coffee, before a look around the Museum and Art Gallery. The joy!
Outdoor Things To Do In Orange
Bring the bikes or hire some and choose from easy shorter rides through parks and along the river, or range further afield past fields of alpacas.
The Visitor Centre can give you maps showing all the cycling options. You can find the Cycle Orange Guide online here.
Hire bikes from DG Cycles at Shop4/241 Lords Place
Phone (02) 6360 4040
Not a huge park but one with Victorian grandeur and great beauty, a walk around Cook Park is always a pleasure. You’ll find beautiful trees, a pond and some play equipment, plus a rotunda where bands can be heard.
Cook Park is on Summer Street at the western end. Read more on the Cook Park Heritage Walk brochure which you can pick up at Orange Visitor Centre.
Just a 10 minute drive from town, and on the way to Mount Canobolas is this lovely lake and recreation area. You can walk around the lake in about 30 minutes, we are not fast walkers. There are two fantastic playground, one with a great flying fox.
Children love playing at the small lake beaches, and running along the walkway which goes by the dam section. We have swum in the lake, it’s pretty weedy though.
There also a charming cafe, the Lakehouse, which is open at weekends, and more often in summer, though usually closed for two months in winter. (Latest news, it may not be open at all…. disaster!)
A drive out to the peak of Mount Canobolas provide sweeping views of the central West, there are beautiful walks up there too, plus vineyards and fruit picking paces, and cafes too, as you travel.
Mount Canobolas is 1,395 metres high and we’ve found snow up there. There are information boards explaining the unique flora and fauna of the area, as well as its historic significance.
The Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area has campgrounds too. Look at all the info on the NPWS website here, the Federal Falls walk is good, it’s a 4km loop, mostly easy but with one very steep incline at the end. Not suitable for very young children.
Orange Aquatic Centre is a really terrific, spacious pool complex close to the centre of town. There’s a 50m pool set amongst lovely lawns, very exciting diving boards and indoor lap and leisure pools too. Top tip: Bissys Cafe is just a few blocks away.
Address: Hill St & Warrendine Streets, Orange NSW 2800
Phone: (02) 6363 3000
You can also swim at Lake Canobolas in summer, we have done this, the lake is a bit weedy though.
Walking Around Orange
Orange is built on a grid system and has some absolutely divine houses and gardens to stickybeak at.
A walk around the streets surrounding Cook Park is lovely, as is a walk in East Orange along Byng Street, Nile Street and Autumn Street.
Cafe hop from Bills Beans on the corner of McLachlan and Summer Streets at to the Nile Street Cafe admiring the roses in every garden as you walk: divine.
Orange has rich farmlands around it with orchards and farmlands providing a great variety of produce. Two of our fave places to pick fruit are
Huntley Berry Farm
Read all about this non-profit social enterprise and see photos on this blog post: Huntley Berry Farm
This is a farm store and cafe where you can also pick apples and other fruit in season. It’s a 15 minute drive from town and a pleasant destination on a drive. You can pick:
1209 The Escort Way Borenore NSW 2800
Phone: 02 6365 2247
Gosling Creek Reserve Walks + Playground
This is a pretty Reserve with easy walking tracks that are good for bikes, trikes and strollers. There are BBQs and picnic areas, viewing platforms over the reservoir and over wetlands. There is some excellent and exciting playground equipment with this amazing climbing frame.
Orange Botanic Gardens
Orange Botanic Gardens are right beside the Adventure Playground and make a lovely place to walk and run around. Follow the Country Walk to find many areas; a homestead garden, a billabong, native and exotic woodlands and a heritage rose garden and orchard.
Address: 1 Yellow Box Way, Orange
Orange Adventure Playground
This is a really large adventure playground, great for kids and young teens. I’ve written a post about it and made a little video which you can find here below. PS There is a cafe here.
Address: Yellow Box Way, Orange
Indoor Things To Do in Orange
Heifer Station Winery
By far the best winery to visit when you have kids in tow, there are farm animals to meet and heaps of space to run around. Read all about Heifer Station winery on this post.
Orange Museum and Art Gallery
On Byng Street, beside the Tourist Information and lovely cafe, you will find the Orange Regional Museum. This is a great size for kids, not too big and with many relatable objects The Paddock To Plate exhibition tells the story of the settlement of Orange and its food and wine story. You will hear about the regions indigenous people too, in their own voices.
Orange Regional Gallery is right alongside, with exhibitions from locals artists as well as travelling exhibitions.
Address: 149 Byng Street, Orange
Flip Out Orange
My kids always loved a visit to the huge Flip Out in Orange. It was never crowded when we visited, a great place to burn off some energy on cold or wet days.
Address: Warehouse 2, Lot 502, Edward Street, Orange
Phone: 02 63602669
The Coronet Milk Bar
Step back in time when you enter the magnificent Coronet Milk Bar on the main drag in Orange. No kids ever regrets a visit here. There are lollies galore, milk shakes, ice creams and very friendly staff. The Coronet is next door to Scrumptious on Summer, so you can have a coffee whilst the kids chose their lollies. Life is sweet.
Address: 142-8 Summer Street, Orange
Where To Eat in Orange With Kids
Orange is positively busting with great cafes and restaurants. These are the ones I always recommend to families.
88 Warrendine Street, Orange
This cafe has space in and outside in the garden too. Many ingredients are grown in the garden and Bissys aims to use as much organic and local food as possible.
There’s a skate park and a small playground just across the road. The bowling club and the Aquatic Centre are very close too.
Bikes can be hired from Bissys and at weekends and in school holidays children can meet the cafe’s pet animals too.
The Greenhouse of Orange
44 Sale St, Orange NSW 2800
Phone: (02) 6311 1899
This is one of the newest and most modern dining options in Orange… and there’s a large playspace for kids – hooray. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner you’ll find the best locally sourced produce at this relaxed yet stylish eatery. There’s a pizza bar, street food kitchen. I’ve only visited for food and coffee so far.
Byng Street Local Store
One of our family’s favourites for breakfast, Byng Street Local Store is modern, light and bright and often buzzing and busy.
Address: 47 Byng Street, Orange
Phone: 02 6369 0768
Scrumptious on Summer
This is probably my family’s favourite eatery in Orange, it’s so cosy and welcoming with a very healthy, hearty menu. You can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here, inside or outside if it’s warm. Or just pop in for a coffee and a cafe… and the kids will definitely want to visit the Milk Bar which is right next door.
This was the first eatery we ever tried in Orange (when we stopped on the way home after a visit to Taronga Western Plains Zoo.)
The cozy atmosphere, warm homestyle meals and friendly staff have never failed us on many subsequent visits.
Address: 146 Summer Street, Orange
Phone: 02 6361 7200
Orange Farmers Market
Held on the second Saturday of each month from 8.30am – midday, this is a real farmers market. You will find all the local produce for which Orange is so famous, plus artisan products from Orange and further afield within the Central West district.
Can I highly recommend the chocolate makers… and the wine…. and the nutritious and delicious hazelnuts from the local hazelnut farm? You’ll find around 60 stalls and 60 stallholders all keen to tell you about their produce, all for a gold coin donation to Rotary Daybreak.
The market is held at Northcourt, by the Art Gallery and Museum, on Peisley Street in spring and summer and early autumn. In winter is is held at the Orange Showground.
Check dates and location before you go on the Orange Farmers Market website here.
Five Other Delightful Cafes
Orange is heaving with cool cafes, here are some more honourable mentions.
Nimrods at 214 Lords Place, a cheerful small cafe with a rustic, healthy menu.
Simply Nile Cafe at 49 Nile Street in East Orange, right opposite the school my twins spent a year at in 2017- ideal spot.
Chateau du Chocolae at 220 Lords Place, yes a chocolate cafe, what can go wrong when you have kids!?
Good Eddy at 187 Lords Place, Orange, a small and groovy cafe with a clothes shop attached.
If you’re looking for wifi, check out my post on The Best Cafes with Wifi in Orange here.
Half and Full Day Trips From Orange
Just a 10km and 10 minute drive back towards Bathurst, Lucknow is a terrific wee village to explore, particulalry if you go on the weekend when the old gold mine is open.
There’s also an EXCELLENT lolly shop and a cafe called Two Fat Ladies, some aantique shops and a large boot and leather skins shop.
This utterly delightful village is like a film set from the turn of last century. It’s 22km from Orange, about a 20 minute drive. There are delightful coffee shops and boutiques to explore, plus a fascinating farming museum which is open at weekends.
Just 35km from Orange, a 30 minute journey by car, is the town of Blayney. Check out our post below for fun stuff to do with kids there. Combine a trip to Blayney with a visit to Millthorpe on the way there or back.
Oberon Mushroom Picking
A couple of hours drive back towards the Blue Mountains is gorgeous Oberon, set in stunning rolling countryside. There’s plenty to explore here. We have only done some excellent autumnal mushroom picking.
This extensive cave complex is found 8km south of Wellington, just over 90km from Orange so a 1 – 1.5 hour drive. You go on a guided tour, we did the Cathedral Cave tour and would joyfully return for the others.
Check out the Wellington Caves Complex website here. It’s excellent, info on staying there too.
Now then… what have I forgotten?
Have you got enough info here to keep you busy for a weekend or even a week?
We love Orange, it’s such an easy city to get around, with great stuff to do and rolling country all around. And food and wine…
Can I answer any questions for you?
Just ask away in the comments or on the Facebook page here.
Happy travel planning,