Planning the school holidays but staying local?
From bushranger tours and world-renowned museums to hot air ballooning and feeding the animals on a farm, our Central NSW Joint Organisation assures us the region offers adventure, history and education, you just have to know where to go!
See a real T-Rex dinosaur skeleton at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst, get lost in a hedge maze at Mayfield Garden, and admire quirky art at Utes in the Paddock in Condobolin.
Here's their guide to some of the attractions in our towns to create lasting memories of this holiday:
'Bathurst Winter Festival', 2-17 July 2022 - Celebrate the magic of winter at the annual Bathurst Winter Festival, ideally timed for the school holidays.
There will be stunning light shows and illuminations throughout the historic city, boutique food events, carnival rides and live music.
The Winter Playground is the heart of the action with an outdoor ice-skating ring, rides on a carousel and giant ferris wheel. Enjoy local food tastings, mulled wine and craft beers. Various free and ticketed events. www.bathurstwinterfestival.com.au
Mayfield Garden - explore Australia's largest privately-owned, cool climate garden with 37 acres, giant chess, a hedge maze, a lake, ponds and so many nooks-and-crannies to discover. www.mayfieldgarden.com.au
Jenolan Caves - the world's oldest known open caves, over 340 million years old, featuring more than 400 caves with daily tours. www.jenolancaves.org.au
Mount Panorama - drive the world-famous circuit that has hosted the world's best races. www.mount-panorama.com.au
Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum - come face to face with a real T-Rex dinosaur skeleton, see world-renowned fossils, and catch the 'Fossil Flicks' movie session and Torchlight Tours during school holidays. www.somervillecollection.com.au
Gold-mining history at Hill End - take the kids to this renowned gold-rush town of the 1850s, with tours to teach t the art of gold-panning, fossicking, along with a visit to an underground gold mine.
Heifer Station Winery - a cellar door with a difference, adults taste the local vintage while kids enjoy the on-site petting zoo and can feed the chooks, sheep and goat. Once one of NSW's biggest cattle stations. www.heiferstation.com/
Wentworth Mine - visit this historic mining site is open July 2 and 3. Take a walking tour around the site and see the relics of past mining heritage and continue with a tour of Lucknow historic village. http://wentworthmine.orangemuseum.com.au/
Lake Canobolas - at the foothills of Mount Canobolas this pristine lake is a haven for birds and wildlife, with a circular cycle or walking track and adventure playground. Coffee, snacks and lunches are available at the Lakeside Kiosk & Café. www.lakesidekioskandcafe.com.au/
Carcoar Toy Museum - kids of all ages will love the impressive display of over 2,000 toys spanning the First World War right through to modern times, from Betty Boop, Dan Dare and Sad Sack to the Simpsons, Japanese Anime and a dedicated Robot Room. Also visit the Golden Era Piano Museum and Carcoar Hospital Museum. www.carcoarvillage.com/20th-century-toy-museum
Self-guided walking tour - this National Heritage listed town is an incredible place to walk and learn with historic sites including the Edmond Blacket Church (1849) and impressive Courthouse. www.carcoar.com.au
The ancient 'Age of Fishes' Museum - long before dinosaurs roamed the Earth, the mighty rivers here teemed with bizarre ancient fish - armoured varieties, fish with lungs, and huge predators with jaws like the crocodile. See thousands of fossils at the museum. www.ageoffishes.org.au
Blind Freddy's Bushranger Tours - learn all about the Central West's legendary bushranger history, when bandits like Ben Hall commanded the region and called the shots. www.blindfreddytours.com
Cowra Garden - learn of Cowra's significant role in the nation's war history when Cowra was a significant POW site and the location of the largest Prisoner of War Breakout in modern military history. www.cowragarden.com.au
Balloon Joy Flights - for an eagle eye view of the Central West, take off from Canowindra, home to the renowned annual balloon challenge event. www.balloonjoyflights.com.au
The Henry Parkes Centre and Information Centre - a must-stop for pop-culture and a glimpse into yesteryear, this is four museum collections under one roof: The King's Castle Elvis Exhibit, Parkes Motor Museum, Parkes Museum and the Antique Machinery Collection. www.henryparkescentre.com.au
Parkes Observatory, 'The Dish' - affectionately known as 'The Dish', is one of the largest radio telescopes in the Southern Hemisphere and was the location for the Australian film of the same name in 2000. www.parkes.atnf.csiro.au
Wiradjuri Amphitheatre - learn about the local indigenous culture of the Wiradjuri people at the amphitheatre facility, with indigenous artwork created by local Wiradjuri artists on display. https://visitparkes.com.au/attractions/wiradjuri-amphitheatre/
Lake Forbes - pretty as a postcard, enjoy a meander along the nine-kilometre walkway or cycling track by Lake Forbes and watch the local Forbes Dragon Boat Club in training.
Forbes Heritage Trail - see the town's grand buildings from yesteryear and visit bush-ranger Ben Hall's grave and 20 heritage local landmarks. www.forbes.nsw.gov.au
McFeeters Motor Museum - On the Newell Highway just south of Forbes this purpose built museum is home to a vast collection of meticulously restored motor cars. Cars range from veterans to custom cars, rare, common and just down right bizarre. Details motormuseum.net.au/
Sculpture Down the Lachlan - start at Lake Forbes and wind your way along the Lachlan River to Condobolin visiting these larger than life sculptures along the way. Details www.sculpturedownthelachlan.com/
Utes in the Paddock - Condobolin is the new home for this quirky bush exhibition with around 20 ute vehicles used as the canvas by a series of artists in developing this road-side creative installation. www.condobolin.nsw.au/things-to-do/utes-paddock
Home of Henry Lawson - Grenfell is Henry Lawson country where the celebrated poet was born in a tent on the goldfields in 1867. Today, see the Henry Lawson Obelisk, a bust of Henry Lawson on Main Street.
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