Pack your ap­petite, cu­rios­ity and a good book for a re­lax­ing, food­filled week­end away.

Homes+ (Australia) - - HEALTH+ -

IF YOU’RE DUE for a few days away with­out the kids to in­dulge your taste­buds in an his­tor­i­cal and beau­ti­ful coun­try set­ting, con­sider the Cen­tral West of NSW. In less than four hours’ drive from Sydney you’ll find your­self in a re­gion known for its qual­ity food and pre­mium wine – and we’ve road­tested three of its best desti­na­tions: Millthorpe, Or­ange and Car­coar.

Sit­u­ated in the heart of a dy­namic food and cool-cli­mate wine re­gion, Millthorpe boasts char­ac­ter and charm that has re­mained un­changed since the early 1900s. The one-street vil­lage has been clas­si­fied by the Na­tional Trust and has ev­ery­thing you need, from newsagents and bou­tiques to cel­lar doors, restau­rants and cafés. Ex­plore this liv­ing mu­seum, then kick back and read a novel in the fresh coun­try air.

If you are af­ter a lit­tle more “hus­tle and bus­tle”, take a 20-minute drive to the vi­brant city of Or­ange, one of Aus­tralia’s top desti­na­tions for the pas­sion­ate foodie. Here, you can choose from an abun­dance of tours and self-guided her­itage trails, or treat your­self to fine din­ing at the many award-win­ning restau­rants. If you’re keen to taste lo­cal hand­crafted wines, pay a visit to the Fer­ment wine cen­tre, where more than 13 wines pro­duced in the Or­ange re­gion are on of­fer. End your day with a spot of shop­ping at the many bou­tique stores stock­ing ev­ery­thing from beau­ti­ful home­wares to pre­mium leather goods and in­dul­gent sweets and cho­co­lates.

A pleas­ant 40-minute drive south of Or­ange is the quaint town of Car­coar, which is the third old­est set­tle­ment west of the Blue Moun­tains. The vil­lage has been au­then­ti­cally re­stored and con­served in close con­sul­ta­tion with Na­tional Trust her­itage ad­vis­ers and show­cases many mid-Vic­to­rian era build­ings. Rich in Aus­tralian his­tory, Car­coar is well worth the drive to see what life was like in 19th-cen­tury ru­ral Aus­tralia.

Hid­den her­itage You’ll find the his­toric vil­lage of Car­coar tucked away in a val­ley.

Lovers’ re­treat The Speck­led Nest is a cosy set­ting for a ro­man­tic week­end away.

Lo­cal charm En­joy a de­light­ful sanc­tu­ary from the ur­ban rat-race in Millthorpe.

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