A Tasty Australian Bushranger Adventure - 'The Roaring Days'
Join the Ben Hall Bash on the Bushranger’s Bullet [train].
Friday 7 to Monday 10 June 2019.
Train departs Sydney Central Station, Country Platform at 7.12am on Friday 7 June. Arrives back Monday 10 June at 9pm. A self-drive package will also be available.
CALLING ALL FUN-LOVING FOOD & WINE ADVENTURERS AND EXPLORERS!
Join us over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June for a completely unique curated and hosted food & wine tour experience to the cool-climate wine region of Orange in the wild, wild Central West of New South Wales, Australia : and for one of the best pub lock-ins you may ever get to experience.
We have created a special food and wine trail through the historic goldrush-era villages of Canowindra, Millthorpe and Carcoar for this tour, with a bonus bushranger twist. This is the gold-stealing hunting ground of one of Australia’s most revered bushrangers, the legendary Ben Hall.
THE LEGEND OF BEN HALL & HIS BUSHRANGER GANG:
In 1863 the infamous Frank Gardiner, Johnny Gilbert & Ben Hall bushranger gang rode into the small goldfields village of Canowindra on horseback, rounded up the entire village into the local pub and LOCKED THEM IN FOR THREE DAYS. They’d just robbed a bank in Bathurst and inexplicably decided to spend it all on a knees-up. LEGENDS! The local ‘hostages’ were not unhappy at all at this remarkable turn of events (the local policeman was, he got tied up in the stables at the back of the pub the entire time).
We are going to recreate this epic 1863 takeover of the local pub in the historic village of Canowindra. While the original Robinson’s Inn no longer exists, we will be locking ourselves into the Royal Hotel, built in 1910 on the exact spot of the original pub.
Our food and wine bushranger extravanganza features following in Ben Hall’s footsteps for a day around Canowindra (where the gang regularly held up Cobb & Co coaches and hid out with the loot). We will be eating and drinking along the way at various stops and then returning for our pub lock-in for a food, wine & live music bash with Ben Hall and his gang. The tour package also includes an additional day exploring the goldrush-era villages of Millthorpe and Carcoar, which are packed full of cellar doors, cafes, boutiques and good old-fashioned country pubs serving up local craft beers, cider and cool-climate wine.
More details on tour highlights and what’s included in your package below ⬇️
⬆️ This is actually the main street of Millthorpe pictured above, but the goldrush-era villages of Canowindra and Carcoar echo the same wild, wild central west goldrush style.
Our 4-day packaged tour experience will kick-off on Friday night with a private screening of ‘The Legend of Ben Hall’ directed by Matthew Holmes at the 1930s art-deco Amusu Theatre in the village of Manildra, followed by dinner and a wine-tasting in an historic woolshed.
On Saturday we will have a guided bushrangers tour with local historian Craig Lawler, starting with a walking tour of Canowindra and then visiting the bushranger gang’s nearby Bald Hill lookout (now conveniently just above a vineyard, so we’ll be stopping at the cellar door for a wine-tasting), then onto Croote Cottage in Goolagong where they hid from the law (we’ll have a 2-course lunch in the garden instead), and finally to Eugowra Rocks – scene of one of their most daring escapades in 1862 holding up a stage coach and robbing it of £14,000 in cash and gold, making it the biggest robbery in Australia’s history at the time. We’ll make it back to Canowindra just in time to be locked into the pub as Frank Gardiner, Johnny Gilbert and Ben Hall roll into town by horseback. The first shout is on them, and these colourful raconteurs will prop up the bar with us for an evening of music, food, as well as local craft beer, cider and wine.
Sunday we will be visiting the historic goldrush villages of Millthorpe and Carcoar, for a day of boutique and antiques shopping, a traditional pioneer’s Devonshire Tea (is that a splash of gin in your teacup?), a country pub lunch and a wine tasting at a local cellar door. You’ll have a free evening for dinner with your travelling companions.
To slow down the pace, we are giving you a free day to explore Orange on your own on Monday morning, with a group farewell lunch before the train departs for Sydney at 4pm.
This is a group tour for around 40 fun-loving food & wine adventurers and explorers. Bring your friends, make new ones.
Tour package details below ⬇️
Your package will include return train fare on The Bushrangers Bullet (a private train carriage on the XPT) with 3 nights’ accommodation at a charismatic and centrally-located boutique hotel in Orange, breakfast inclusive each day. All guided tours, wine-tastings, most meals (except a free evening on Sunday night) and all events are also included. Return transfers by bus from Orange to Manildra, Canowindra, Millthorpe and Carcoar as well as all tour transfers each day.
The train journey is an event in itself. While it’s essentially a five-hour trip from Sydney to Orange, it will go past in the blink of an eye. We have onboard food and wine tastings with local vignerons and producers to keep you entertained, and there’s nothing quite like gazing out the plate glass window of a train rattling over the Blue Mountains with a glass of cool-climate wine in your hand. Trust us.
We will also have a self-drive ticket option and a very special one-day ticket for locals and visitors who’d like to join us on Saturday 8 June for our bushranger day and pub lock-in only. Discounts will be available for bookings of groups of 6 or more friends. Package details available early 2019.
Note from Kelly, Silver Compass Tours:
I’m really excited about this new food and wine tour experience of ours to the Orange region and surrounding districts – I’ve been busting to bring to life our local historic goldrush villages and bushranger history, I just haven’t been sure how to make it seriously fun. Imagine my delight when I discovered the story about local ‘gentleman bushranger’ Ben Hall and his gang ‘holding up’ one of our local pubs in the nearby village of Canowindra in 1863. The gang rolled in from Bathurst after a successful hold-up there, and hustled everyone in the village into Robinson’s Inn as ‘hostages’ where they hosted a three-day jubilant spree of drinking, dancing and games. These guys knew how to party – they ended up spending the entire loot they’d just robbed. I have to confess, it’s this part I love the most. They were proving a point that they weren’t just wild bandits or outlaws. They were true gentlemen of the people. Not entirely true, they were completely out for themselves – but the townsfolk of Canowindra still love them to this very day.
⬆️ Photo of Robinson’s Inn courtesy of Canowindra Historical Society.
“The night too quickly passes
And we are growing old,
So let us fill our glasses
And toast the Days of Gold;
When finds of wondrous treasure
Set all the South ablaze,
And you and I were faithful mates
All through the roaring days.”
Henry Lawson,The Roaring Days, 1889. With thanks to NSW Gold Trails
Copyright © 2018/2019 Silver Compass Tours, Australia. All rights reserved. All itinerary concepts and content for the trademarked ‘The Roaring Days’ Food & Wine Trail with a Bushranger Twist, The Bushranger’s Bullet and the Ben Hall Bash & Bushranger Adventure experience packages are the intellectual property of Silver Compass Tours, and may not be reproduced or copied in any format without prior written permission.