Orange Gathering Run

11 September 2017 / Words and photos: Norm Barker

A cold but clear day met us for the start of a run to Orange. The group of 26 members in 13 cars gathered at the Hall Lay By for the drivers’ briefing and Norm lead the group off on the Barton Highway with Wal Hick as tail end Charlie.

The route took us to the Hume Highway and then onto the Lachlan Valley Way to Boorowa for a comfort stop. The recent rain had brightened up the countryside and the canola crops were starting to flower. On to Canowindra for morning coffee and we were well looked after at “Cafe Delice” with friendly efficient service and excellent coffee. There were many conversations and the locals seemed not to mind the invasion. The group of cars attracted attention and quite a few photos.

Now refreshed, we continued on to Orange via Cargo. First stop was Lake Canobolas where car and group photos were taken. The Lake was a picture in the bright sunlight and everyone enjoyed the serenity. Onwards to the top of Mt Canobolas where we took advantage of the 360 panorama of the surrounding countryside. Lunch was calling so off past the Pinnacle and into the city of Orange where we had booked lunch at Kate Jones “One Nineteen” cafe. It is a beautiful Cafe/Restaurant with friendly efficient service and the food was first class. Once everyone had rested and eaten we proceeded to our accommodation at Duntryleague Guesthouse, a magnificent old homestead on the golf course.

Once everyone was settled a group followed Norm to Millthorpe, a small historical village not far out of Orange. The craft shops and interesting buildings were the attraction and all enjoyed the afternoon. We returned to Orange via Lucknow, an old gold mining town.

We met to go to the all chapters dinner at the Orange Ex-services Club and most of us walked. There were good conversations with other chapter members and then dinner was served. It was a cold but invigorating walk back for a good night’s rest.

Sunday morning was another sunny start and after breakfast in the delightful sunny breakfast room we gathered for a briefing of the day’s run. First to Wellington Caves and we all visited the Cathedral Cave and after the Japanese gardens adjacent to the caves. At the appointed time we left for a drive through Wellington. The group was booked into the “Hermitage Hill Restaurant” which is part of the Old Wellington Hospital. The whole complex has been turned into accommodation, function centre and restaurant. Wayne and Julie were there to greet us and were pleased to see the cars parked up in front of the Historic Hospital building. The restaurant was set up just for us and we had the table on the veranda looking out over the countryside. The meal was excellent and beautifully presented by Julie. Everyone commented on the venue, service and high meal quality. After lunch Wayne and Julie showed us through the complex and everyone wanted to stay. However we eventually left to make our way back to Orange via Burrendong Way. The evening was spent in the lounge of the guesthouse with an open fire and drinks and small eats, a great finish to a very enjoyable day.

After another pleasant breakfast in the sunny breakfast room we all checked out and gathered for the final day’s briefing in front of the house. We set off to Blayney for morning coffee and then on to the historical town of Carcoar where we stopped for photos and a look around. It is an unspoilt town and very photogenic.

On towards Cowra and turn off to Wyangala Dam via Woodstock. A great road for our cars and everyone enjoyed the road down to the dam. Stop for photos looking at the Dam and the beautiful countryside around the water. A short comfort stop at the base of the Dam and off to Boorowa via Frogmore. This is a good road and wonderful scenery which we all enjoyed. Lunch at Boorowa and people made their own way home. A perfect weekend thanks to the weather and the way we were looked after at all the places we visited.