Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee, Parkes, Cowra and Forbes have amped up the ease with which you can plan a food and wine focussed weekend away in Central NSW, by launching a joint website. Having already unearthed Orange’s excellent Union Bank Wine Bar myself, I’ve earmarked tapas at Bathurst’s Webb & Co wine bar for my next visit to the region, along with a gin-making course ($150/head) at Stone Pine Distillery. Visiting Mudgee is also looking attractive, perhaps for a sourdough bread-making workshop ($110/head) at Mudgee Fine Foods followed by a beer at the Mudgee Brewing Company? I’m also eyeing off staying at the rather grand Mudgee Homestead, where for $695 per couple, you can enjoy two nights’ accommodation with breakfast daily, plus a four-course dinner before taking port and Mudgee-made chocolates in the lounge! The great thing about this website is all accommodation is clearly sorted by price, so whatever your budget, you’ll be able to find the right place and activities for you.
And if you're looking for something outside of Sydney to do on the October Long Weekend, The Southern Highlands are happy to provide. I'm actually heading down myself for a brief sojourn at Biota Rooms (and restaurant). While down there I hope to check out Marist Wines at Mittagong who are launching their best pinot gris in five years.
I'm also hoping to head to Joadja Town to see their new whisky distillery after a gourmet snag or two at the Hot Canary Gourmet Meats BBQ (from 11am on Saturday 4th October). Of course I'll have to stop in at the picturesque Exeter Farmers' Market on the way (it's set across a gorgeous village green). And on Sunday 5th October I am finally going to take a tour of the Lisun Exotic Mushroom Tunnel, which has been tempting me for years.