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Orange Autumn Drives

Orange Autumn Drives

As autumn weaves its magic spell over the many trees in Orange, a kaleidoscope of colour is produced. Autumn is arguably Orange’s most colourful season. The trees throughout the city change colour as the first frosts of winter appear.

Take the self-guided tour around the city and discover the colour of the city.

Robertson Park
Sale Street
Dalton Street
Sampson Street
Cook Park
Hill Street
National Avenue
Elephant Park
Byng Street
Autumn Street
Memory Park
Newman Park
Coronation Drive
Ploughmans Lane
Cargo road
Mount Lindsay Park
Orange Botanic Gardens
Campbells Corner
Gateway Park
Lake Canobolas Reserve

Get the brochure from the
Orange Visitor Information Centre
Byng Street Orange
Ph 1800 069 466

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Lake Canobolas Orange

Lake Canobolas Orange


> Located at the base of Mount Canobolas, 10km south west of Orange CBD
> A popular attraction
> Walking track around the lake
> Lake ideal for swimming and canoeing (no powered equipment allowed)
> Playground
> Picnic and  BBQ facilities
> Historic Pump House
> Lake stocked for fishing with trout
> Free entry
> Open every day 9am – 5pm except Christmas Day
> Dogs not permitted

The Dam 

> Built in 1918 for Orange’s water supply. Now recreational use only
> Dams Molong Creek (formerly Meadow Creek)
> Capacity 567 million litres
> Wall 268m long and at the highest point is 12.2m high.

Lake Canobolas Pump House

Lake Canobolas was originally Meadow Creek Reservoir and built in 1917. It contains the equipment that was used to pump water to Orange from 1918 to 1957.
The Pump House contains three main pieces of equipment. The first is a gas producer that uses using charcoal, coal or coke. The gas produced fuels the suction gas engine that is situated in the centre of the pump house. At the far end of the pump house are two pumps, each consisting of three pumping pistons.
The gas producing end of the shed is 7.315 metres long and includes the gas generator, coke scrubber and coke dump. It seems that the plant was setup to run on coke as only traces of this have been found.
The machinery was manufactured in England in 1915 by Richard Hornsby and Sons Ltd of Grantham and Stockport, England. The double cylinder suction gas engine rated at 128 horsepower, engine number 50137. This was the last engine built by Richard Hornsby and Sons Ltd prior to World War I when the plant was given over to the war effort.
Restoration of the Pump House and Engine was carried out by students of Fitting and Machining, Carpentry and Joinery, Painting and Decoration and Plumbing from Orange TAFE as a 1988 Bicentennial Project.

Lake Canobolas Pump House is situated at Lake Canobolas Reserve. The Pump House is located on the eastern side of Lake Canobolas and is open daily from 9am to 5pm except Christmas Day.

Main photo courtesy Borrodell

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Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah.

This superb garden has been developed to display cool-climate plants from around the world to complement the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Special emphasis is given to Southern Hemisphere plants and their relationship. It is administered by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.

Bells Line of Road, Mount Tomah NSW
Ph 02 4567 3000

Free entry. Open Monday – Friday: 9.00 am – 5.30 pm, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 9.30 am – 5.30 pm. Closed Christmas Day

Facilities – Restaurant, accommodation, Botanists Way Discovery Centre, walks, toilets, picnic spots, gallery, visitor information, plant sales, parking


About the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

The Blue mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah sits on a basalt peak 1000 metres above sea level in the World Heritage Listed Greater Blue Mountains. The Gardens cover 28 hectares and is home to thousands of species of cool climate and southern hemisphere plants and is the highest botanic garden in Australia.

As well as many beautiful landscaped gardens and rainforest walks the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden runs events and workshops to inspire a love of plants. It is a stunning wedding location and offers accommodation in the Jungle Lodge.

Suggested 30 minute and 1 hour walks may be found on the map signs around the garden.

How the gardens are arranged

Plants at Mount Tomah are grouped according to their geographical origin and these are grouped into thirteen ‘Feature Gardens’ are where you see similarities and differences and learn about evolution of flora from different continents.
Call into the Visitor Information desk just inside the main entrance for a garden map and information about the gardens and the Blue Mountains Region.

Southern Hemisphere Woodland

Features diverse woodland includes species that represent Gondwanan and the Southern Hemisphere with plants from Australia, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Africa.

Conifer species

Conifers flourish at Mount Tomah with many unusual species when and an impressive collection of conifers in this feature in this section.

Bog Garden

The Bog Gardens is a hanging swamp with a unique wetland habitat and is typical of hanging swamps in damp cavities on hillsides and cliff edges providing damp conditions loved by ferns and mosses.

Daffodils in the Brunet Meadow

This is a grassy glade with mature trees and shrubs and includes a collection of conifers.


The Proteaceae family includes waratahs, banksias, grevilleas and proteas. The Proteaceae feature garden is home to many bright and colourful waratahs, and African plants, like the Gazaland protea of Zimbabwe and the curious clasping-leaf sugarbush.

Remnant Rainforest

Explore a pristine rainforest and see giant tree-ferns, sassafras, coachwood, blackbutt, brown barrel and other trees growing in their natural state. Easily accessible using the Lady (Nancy) Fairfax Walk.

Rhododendron Species

In spring the rhododendrons bloom in all colours, forms and sizes all with wonderful fragrances.  

Formal Garden

Inspired by traditional European styles, is laid out in three terraces. The Herb Garden has plants arranged in simple geometric beds, reminiscent of early monastery and university gardens. The Rose Garden has an intimate collection of modern and heritage roses. The Lawn Terrace recalls formal 17th-century gardens, with manicured lawns and clipped hedges. In contrast, the colourful Pergola Terrace is based on 19th-century English herbaceous borders. The Formal Garden is wheelchair-accessible.

Conifer Cultivars

A graceful collection of conifer cultivars selected for their superior horticultural features, like plant shape, growth form and foliage colour.

Residence Garden

Near the Visitor Centre showcases modern domestic landscaping and features a sweeping lawn of rye and fescue grass with handsome specimen trees.

Eurasian Woodland

During autumn, this collection of evergreen and deciduous trees from Eurasia puts on a dazzling colour display.

Heath and Heather Garden

A miniature world of texture and colour in this pretty garden displaying colourful tapestry of heaths and heathland plants from the Northern Hemisphere, Africa and Australia.

North American Woodland

The ‘fall’ season (autumn) is a blaze of colour in the deciduous section and features graceful trees including  maple and beech.

Tree Ferns

There are two species of tree fern that occur on Mount Tomah. Both species are planted around the Visitor Centre. Cyathea australis (black or rough tree fern) is found on higher slopes. Frond bases are covered with dark, shiny scales. The local Aboriginal people used the stems of young fronds to make a tonic to use after illness.

Dicksonia antarctica (brown or soft tree fern) is found in sheltered gullies. Frond bases are covered with coarse red-brown hairs. The pith from the centre of the trunk was eaten by Aboriginal people.

Their roots are very close to the surface and do not spread far from the main trunk. When growing tree-ferns, use of a good quality organic fertiliser and well rotted animal manure – will keep the soil moist and provide nutrients to ensure healthy and vigorous growth.

The Waratah, the state emblem of New South Wales

The NSW floral emblem, the Waratah, grow extremely well at Mount Tomah. The Waratah has a long association with New South Wales and was adopted in 1962 as the official state floral emblem.

In the early years of last century there was a heated debates about the relative merits of the Golden Wattle and the Waratah as the national floral emblem. Those in favour of the wattle (mainly residents of Victoria and South Australia) argued that as the Waratah grew only in New South Wales, it was less suitable than the more widely distributed wattle. Although it is true that “Telopea speciosissima” (the New South Wales Waratah) is almost confined to the Sydney region.

History of Mount Tomah

Mount Tomah was named Tree Fern Hill by the botanical explorer George Caley (1770-1829), who was the first European to visit the area. “Tomah” reputedly means tree fern in the language of the Darug Aboriginal people whose tribal lands included this area.

National Parks

Featured Region

Journeys around NSW

  • The region has over 46 wineries and cellar doors for you to visit. Here we showcase some of the cool climate wines that are making the region famous. At many cellars doors, you will be able to meet the winemaker and hear of their passion for their wine and of our region. They will explain how our unique combination of altitude, cool climate, soils and topography provides Orange Region wines a unique point of difference.

  • It has attracted the rich and famous and those looking to escape life on the coast. Over the years it has welcomed Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, Fred Hollows and Dame Mary Durack and many more. You should see why!

  • Visit NSW and discover the states cities, towns and regions. Sydney Visitor Guide, Orange Region Visitor Guide, Bathurst Visitor Guide, North Coast, South Coast, Hunter, Central Coast and Country. Accommodation, events, shopping restaurants and more.

  • I don’t know if it is the altitude or the attitude but food does taste better in Orange. And if you marry your taste buds to a local wine such as Colmar Pinot Gris or a Brangayne Shiraz you will be in for a great food experience.

  • In Orange city and in the region, there are a plethora of amazing cafes. Some have recently opened, and there are many more on the horizon and the best of the original pioneers just get better.

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Mount Canobolas

Mount Canobolas Orange


The power that dominates the landscape.

Mount Canobolas exerts a complex and powerful cultural, social and economic force upon the Orange Region. For those who live and work on its slopes to those see it every day there is an influence that goes beyond its rich volcanic soils.
There are several excellent walking tracks and lookouts.
It is an indicator of the weather, a beacon for aircraft, an important nation broadcast point, and a focus for the region.

  • Orange Region’s first commercial winemakers were Stephen and Rhonda Doyle who started Blooodwood in 1983.
  • Canobolas dominates the city both geographically and by its weather and in a gentle way, the lives of all that live in view of the mountain.
  • Canobolas comes from two Aboriginal words ‘coona’ and ‘booloo’ meaning two heads or two shoulders’.
  • It snow on Mount Canobolas several times a year. There has been snow in November in 2008.
  • The volcanic soils have enable the region to be one of Australia’s premier fruit-growing districts.
  • Mount Canobolas Regional Park
  • The mountain has many moods and a local favourite seeing fog develop in the swirling clouds on the subalpine peak with the lights glowering from the transmission towers that dot the peak.
  • 400 different organisations who the towers on the mountain including every Government agency and is used by NASA.
  • The subalpine island of vegetation on the mountain’s top holds flora and fauna species found nowhere else.
  • Hundreds of people lived on the mountain during the Great Depression growing their own foods.
  • Mount Canobolas is the key to the rise of Orange as a premier winemaking region.
  • There is no other area in Australia with the high elevation remote from the sea making for the idea cool climate for quality wines.



  • Mount Canobolas is 1,395 metre (4577 ft) above sea level
  • One if the highest mountains in the Central West
  • It is an extinct shield volcano which last erupted about 11 to 13 million years ago.

Photo Brian Yap ©

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Brisbane Water National Park

Brisbane Water National Park
This spectacular park borders the Hawkesbury River 40km north of Sydney and a little west of Gosford. It covers 12,000ha of rugged sandstone country with magnificent views of the Hawkesbury River, Brisbane Water and Broken Bay.

Brisbane Water National Park photo
Photo by Christopher Yardin

Brisbane Water National Park photo
Photo by neeravbhatt

There are a number of lookouts in the park including Staples Lookout on Woy Woy Road with views over Brisbane Water and Warra Trig off Patonga Road and Tony Doyle Lookout both with great views over Broken bay.

The park has fabulous wildflower displays from late winter to early spring. The flowers include boronias, Christmas bells, gravilleas and waratahs.
Brisbane Water National Park photo
Photo by Arthur Chapman

Brisbane Water National Park photo
Photo by Doug Beckers

Brisbane Water National Park photo
Photo by Happy days 09

It has a rich diversity of native animals and has populations of threatened species such as tiger quolls and koalas.

Girrakool photo
Photo by photohome_uk

Girrakool photo
Photo by Halans Picnic Area
The spot is just off the Pacific Highway opposite the entrance to the Reptile Park and has gas BBQs, picnic tables and large grassed areas. There is a fee to use this and other park facilities.

Somersby Falls Picnic Area
A great spot for a picnic where you can view the falls from the top. There is a steep track to a lookout platform halfway down the falls. Facilities include free gas BBQs, picnic tables and toilets.

Bulgandry Aboriginal Site
This spot has outstanding examples of Aboriginal sandstone rock engravings. A boardwalk covers the site for easy viewing of axe-grinding grooves and engravings of animals and figures. The best viewing times are early morning and late in the day as the low sun causes better shadows to highlight the engravings. The boardwalk starts at the end of a 250m gravel track that leads from the car park. Access is off Woy Woy road approximately 2km from the Kariong turn off.

The Great North Walk
This walk passes through Brisbane Water National Park. It is a 250km walking track between Sydney and Newcastle. It was established in 1988 as part of Australia’s  Bicentennial Celebrations. More information

Walks in the Brisbane Water National Park
Please note that the car park opens at 8am and is closed and locked at 8pm during daylight savings and 5pm other times.

Brisbane Water National Park photo
Photo by neeravbhatt
Somersby Falls Walking Track

A steep track with many steps. Excellent views of falls and rainforest from observation platforms. Duration 10 minutes. Difficulty hard, due to large number of steps.

Piles Creek Loop
Start and finish from Girrakool picnic area. It follows a the deep gorge of Piles Creek and has many nice picnic spots. Distance 5km. Difficulty medium.

Girrakool Loop Track
A short and easy walk which starts and finishes from Girrakool picnic area. It has scenic views over waterfalls and during late winter and early spring is a great place to see colourful wildflowers. Aboriginal rock engravings can be seen at the start of the walk and we recommend that you stop at for photos at Illoura Lookout and the shady waterfall at Andamira Lookout. Distance 2km. Difficulty easy.

Patonga to Pearl Beach
This walk follows the Great North Walk through Brisbane Water National Park. As this walk begins and ends at a beach having you swimmers and a towel is a great idea. Starting from the end of Patonga Beach you follow the signs to the national park. follow the trail past Warrah lookout with commanding views of the Hawkesbury River and the Pacific Ocean. Then follow the Peal Beach signs past sandstone caves, native hanging ferns and all the while you sould be on the lookout for bush turkeys and kookaburras. The exit is marked at Crystal Avenue which you take to Pearl Beach. Distance 4.2km. Difficulty medium.

Brisbane Water National Park photo
Photo by neeravbhatt
Brisbane Water National Park photo
Photo by Christopher Yardin

More information about Brisbane Water National Park
National Parks and Wildlife
Suites 36-38, 207 Albany Street North, Gosford NSW 2250
Ph 02 4320 4200

Photo by kjsydney

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