From the moment we stepped into Orange, Australia there was an immediate difference in the temperature in its crisp air. This is what being 4500ft above sea level does for you, a cool relaxing climate which is perfect for wine making, an industry which thrives here and the main export from this beautiful area. We spent a month working at one of the many vineyards that dot the landscape, four weeks of hard work, sunshine and plenty of wine.
While we did spend a lot of our time working to pay for our accommodation and meals, which were provided by the lovely family who ran the vineyard, there was also plenty of spare hours for exploring the area and having fun along the way.
The beautiful vineyard views are mesmerising as they roll out as far as the eye can see and areas that are open to public wanderings and walks are perfect for picnics, accompanied by a bottle or two of the local produce. There’s also a brewery hidden amongst the hills that offers great, authentic Australian beer, so if wine isn’t your drink of choice, go on an adventure to find the brewery and pick up a supply of their beer.
Orange also has markets where local farmers bring their fresh produce on every second and fourth Saturday of the month. There were rows upon rows of buckets filled with fresh veggies and bright coloured fruits. We also stumbled upon some fresh local honey and olive oil.
The botanic gardens around the area were a great way to escape from the usual hustle and bustle that we experience in places like Shanghai, Berlin and Bangkok. When you spend your life going to places that are packed with people, monuments, history, hopping from one public transport to another it’s so nice to reconnect with nature and spend a while with the silence of Mother Nature.
While we spent our time at our host’s house if you are travelling to Orange for a genuine holiday or vacation, there is lots of choice for accommodation. We did visit De Russie Suites, with a few people we had met while sampling the local wine in a questionable bar and it seemed really lovely there. It is a complex of mini-apartments with kitchenettes and a private pool. This place is warm, small yet cosy and if you need to get to another restaurant or even a bar, it’s just a walk away. We enquired about staying here as a way to celebrate the end of our work placement, but with apartments starting around £110 per night ($150), they weren’t in our budget, but they’d be perfect for someone looking for a more luxurious stay.
Our main mode of transport during our time here was hired bikes, there are a million places renting bikes for various prices and with various price packages. But we thoroughly enjoyed cycling around the area with the sun on our backs and the wind in our hair. Great for keeping off those wine bellies too!
How to find Orange in Australia? It is only four hours drive from Sydney, in New South Wales. Or if you’re getting public transport, you’ll have to take a train and then a bus which, providing there are no delays or missed connections, will take you around five hours. Luckily, someone from our host family was able to collect us from Sydney airport, a perk of organising the trip as a working holiday.
We loved our time in Orange and actually thought about extending our stay here to enjoy more of the scenery, the atmosphere and the lovely people. Unfortunately, the traveler’s bug hit again and we once again hopped on a bus to a new adventure.