Winter is finally over, and so begins the beauty of springtime. Blossoms are blooming, the bleating of lambs and cheeping of chicks signals tender new life, and there’s a lingering energy in some of the state’s greatest regional hotspots…
The Bathurst Spring Spectacular
If you love colourful native gardens, live music and market stalls, this weekend getaway to Australia’s first inland settlement is for you! Ten distinguished garden properties will open their gates to inspire your everyday green thumb and garden design mind. There’ll also be artisan demonstrations and prizes to be won if you find all of the musical motifs in each garden.
While you’re in the area, stop by the Bathurst Farmers’ Market (held on the fourth Saturday of each month in spring) with a gold-coin donation for entry, which supports the local Lions Club.
When: 26 and 27 October 2019
Entry fees: $25 for 10 gardens ($20 for concessions), or $5 per garden visit
Hours: 9.30am to 5pm
More information: bathurstgardenclub.org.au
Griffith Spring Fest
This event offers some particularly exciting drawcards for kids, including a scarecrow display and Real Juice Company citrus sculptures. Meanwhile, adults will delight in the launch party (featuring local wine, beer and cider, live music, a paella station and street food), the long lunch at Piccolo Family Farm (two savoury courses and a dessert buffet – yes, please!) and the garden tours.
When: 13 October to 27 October 2019
Entry fees: Vary according to activity, but general admission is free
Hours: Vary according to activity
More information: griffith.nsw.gov.au
Orange Wine Festival
It’ll be no surprise to you when we reveal that this festival is based on the cool-climate wines of the region – but that’s not all it’s about! You can also expect a solo exhibition of new works by local artist Rhonda Campbell, a free tour of the magnificent 80-year-old Rhododendron Garden at Brangayne, and wood-fired pizzas by Italian-born chef Enrico Sgarbossa. Better yet, thanks to the Vino Express between Sydney and Orange as well as plenty of tour buses, you’ve got a Plan B. Enjoy responsibly.
When: 18 October to 27 October 2019
Entry fees: Vary according to activity
Hours: Vary according to activity
More information: orangewinefestival.com.au
Here are a few new ways Transport for NSW is connecting the state…
Bathurst Bullet 2.0 (starting 16 September)
The Bathurst Bullet 2.0 service departs Bathurst Station later in the morning, at 7.35am, and returns earlier in the afternoon, departing Sydney at 3.05pm and arriving in Bathurst at 6.47pm. It’s good to keep in mind, however, that it will run to slightly revised times on Wednesdays to allow for the Indian Pacific timetable.
On weekends the new morning service will depart Bathurst at 6.07am and the return service will arrive in Bathurst at 6.52pm, almost three hours earlier than the original – and still operational – Bathurst Bullet service.
Extra stops on the new service include Tarana and Rydal stations, which will provide more flexibility and choice for regional communities.
New Griffith train service (starting 18 September)
A new mid-week service between Griffith and Sydney will give train travellers across the Riverina more choice and flexibility when planning their trips. The first service will depart Sydney on 18 September, followed by the first Griffith to Sydney service on 19 September.
The new service will depart Sydney’s Central Station on Wednesdays at 12.01pm to arrive in Griffith at 8.33pm, and depart Griffith on Thursdays at 7.25am to arrive in Sydney at 4.03pm.
Orange coach connections (starting 14 October)
A second coach service will connect those in Orange to the Bathurst Bullet trains. On weekdays, the coach will depart Orange at 4.55am and 6.30am, and arrive in Bathurst at 5.39am and 7.15am respectively.
Both coaches will also run on weekends, giving communities a seven-day-a-week link to the Bathurst Bullet services. On weekends, the coach will depart Orange at 4.52am and 6.30am, and arrive in Bathurst at 5.42am and 7.15am respectively.
To plan your trip, visit transportnsw.info/trip.
Images courtesy of Destination NSW, Greg Vinall and Visit Griffith.