Join us in the wild, wild Central West of New South Wales for three days of food, live music, art deco cinema, craft beer and local wines – and one of the best Australian country pub lock-in experiences of your life!
We’ll be following in the footsteps of one of our region’s most famous locals, the legendary Australian bushranger Ben Hall. In 1863 the infamous Ben Hall and Johnny Gilbert rode into the small goldfields village of Canowindra on horseback with their bushranger gang, rounded up the entire village into the local pub as ‘hostages’ and LOCKED THEM IN FOR THREE DAYS. This admirable bushranger episode in Australia’s pioneering and goldrush-era (1850s-1870s) is the inspiration for our Roaring Days food & wine adventure through the historic villages and country pubs of the Orange wine region.
This ALL-INCLUSIVE 3-day packaged food and wine adventure is hosted by Kelly from Silver Compass Tours – a local whose family has lived in the Orange wine region since the 1840s, and who is not afraid of telling a tall story (or two). And yes, her ancestors were panning for gold in the region’s rivers during this very time.
The Bushranger’s Bullet Train departs Sydney Central Station, Country Platform at 7.12am.
Arriving in Orange at 12pm, after checking into our charismatic and centrally-located 4-star hotel, The Oriana Orange we will kick-off proceedings with a casual welcome lunch. Our Australian adventure commences in the early afternoon with a visit to the beautiful Borenore Caves for a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony with Milan Dhiiyaan. This provides us with a warm welcome and safe passage through traditional Wiradjuri land on our four-day journey.
We’ll then take a drive through scenic bush countryside to the historic village of Manildra, to the heritage Amusu Theatre 1930s art-deco cinema. It still has all its original wooden seats and a fantastic ‘picture theatre’ atmosphere.We will have a Bush Tucka BBQ with our friends from Indigenous Cultural Adventures featuring Emu San Choy Bow, Kangaroo Skewers marinated in salt bush & mountain pepperberry with chorizo & bush tomato relish, and Crocodile skewers with sweet chili & lemon myrtle dip. Followed by our private screening of ‘The Legend of Ben Hall’ movie and a handmade artisanal gelato choc top. Local wine, craft beer, soft drinks and lollies also available for purchase on the night.
We will start as we mean to go on with a Sparkling Sunday breakfast. Make sure you order your eggs sunny side up because we’re going to have a cracker of a day! We’re then off to Canowindra for our 3-hour ‘Roaring Days’ Bushranger Gang Food & Wine Adventure (valued at $180 per person)- this includes a short walking tour of Canowindra to point out some of the Gang’s main points of interest (pubs and banks), a trip out to the Gang’s stage coach lookout at Bald Hill (conveniently located above Wallington Wines biodynamic vineyard, so we’ll drop in for a wine-tasting), then onto the Gang’s hide out at Croote Cottage in Gooloogong and a pub lunch at the historic Gooloogong Hotel, followed by a visit to the Escort Rock at Eugowra which was the scene of one of the Gang’s most daring gold heists. We’ll make it back to Canowindra just in time to be locked into the Royal Hotel as Ben Hall, Johnny Gilbert, John O’Meally, John Vane and Mickey Burke 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 food, live music, craft beer and local wines.
On Monday we’ll be rambling through the historic gold-rush era village of Carcoar, stopping along the way at the Old Errowanbang Woolshed for a look-through this architectural masterpiece and for scones & billy tea. In Carcoar we’ll take a walk through the village and pause for a 3-course lunch in a heritage dining venue. Following lunch we will return to Orange Railway Station for your return departure to Sydney at 4pm.
Train departs from the Country Platform of Sydney Central Station at 7.12am on Saturday 3 October and arrives in Orange at 12pm. Returns to Sydney on Monday 5 October, arriving at 9pm. You are very welcome to join the train at Strathfield, Parramatta or Penrith stations or even at Katoomba, just let us know in advance.
Starting from $1,247 per person or an additional $197 to secure your own room if you’re a Fabulous Single. We have limited availability of rooms with 2x King Single Beds for Friends who would like to share their room, so you’ll need to jump in quick if you’re interested.
Please read our Booking Terms and Conditions carefully before purchase, particularly with regard to Cancellations & Refunds and the terms of NSW Trains. There are no pensioner discounts available, we are required to secure the entire private train carriage at Adult fare. Our packages are also not suitable for anyone under 18.
Return fare on The Bushrangers Bullet Train (a private train carriage on the XPT) with 2 nights’ accommodation at the charismatic and centrally-located boutique Oriana, Orange, breakfast inclusive. PLUS: onboard Prosecco Piccolo & Pastries breakfast; onboard food & wine tasting; welcome lunch including 1 glass of wine; bus transfer to Borenore Caves for Welcome to Country smoking ceremony; bus transfer to Manildra for Bush Tucka BBQ and ticket to cinema screening of ‘The Legend of Ben Hall’ at AMUSU Theatre in Manildra, including artisanal gelato choctop on Saturday 3 October with return transfer to Orange; bus transfer to Canowindra and ticket to ‘Roaring Days’ Bushranger Gang Food and Wine Adventure on Sunday 4 October, which includes a 3-hour guided bushranger food & wine tour in Canowindra with wine-tasting, pub lunch at historic Gooloogong Hotel; ticket to the Ben Hall Bash & BBQ with a 4-hour pub lock-in at the Royal Hotel in Canowindra plus live music, Smoking Brother’s BBQ, with return transfer; bus transfer and day trip to historic villages of Carcoar on Monday 5 June – includes tour of Old Errowanbang Woolshed & Devonshire Tea plus historic walking tour and 2-course lunch; return transfer to Orange Railway Station; all guided tours, wine-tastings, most meals, and all events are included. All transfers, transport, drivers, guides and local host.
You can fly direct from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to Orange. It’s just a 45 minute to 1 hour flight. We have flight packages available, Contact Us for more details.
It’s the start of glorious winter – blue sunny days and chilly. A great excuse to wrap up in coats, scarves and gloves. It will be around 12 degrees Celsius during the day, dropping down to 2 degrees at night.
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The legendary Australian bushranger, Ben Hall (1837-1865). The son of ex-convicts, Ben Hall was a fairly humble farmer until his wife left him in the middle of the 1861 drought which had left his land in tatters. Fatefully for him, he met the notorious Frank Christie (alias Gardiner) soon after and joined his bushranging gang in 1862. He was dead just three years later.
PHOTO CREDIT (ABOVE): Henry Lawson (1867-1922). State Library of NSW, NSW Government. Henry Lawson is one of Australia’s most renowned bush poets, the son of miners he was born in Grenfell which is only a stone’s throw from Canowindra where much of our bushranger gang food and wine adventure is based. Australia’s other most renowned bush poet, Banjo A.B. Paterson (1864-1941) was born to wealthy graziers in the Orange region.
Copyright © 2019/2020 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 Train, the Bushranger Gang Food and Wine Adventure and the Ben Hall Bash & BBQ experience packages are the intellectual property of Silver Compass Tours, and may not be reproduced or copied in any format without prior written permission.
*All of our itineraries are subject to change and spontaneity. It makes life more fun!
By booking a ticket it is considered you have accepted our Terms and Conditions. This tour package is not suitable for anyone aged under 18.