Australia

Looking for a cheap family getaway these school holidays?

FANCY some family time away but your festive spending has left the purse string just a little tight? Relax. No really, relax. The Central West has a host of family-friendly campsites and cabins that are just bursting with knowledgeable locals who will ensure you have a great time away. READ ALSO: Heatwave to sweep across Central West in final week of 2018 Weve scoured the region to find free camping grounds, tourist parks that have just received a million-dollar makeover and everything in between. What are you waiting for, pack the kids and the car and head off up the road for a great family trip. Listed below, in alphabetical order, are some of the amazing places we just know youre keen to explore these school holidays. AS Australias oldest inland settlement, Bathurst has a lot to offer families looking for a great getaway. From colonial buildings to grand old homes, shady parks, museums and of course Mount Panorama. Historic sites and architecture are very much a part of this city, but so are trendy cafes and restaurants. Visit the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, the National Motor Racing Museum or the house of former Australian Prime Minister and Bathurst man Ben Chifley which is aptly named Chifley Home. While youre in town, why not take a drive around the world-famous Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit, but just remember – when the race is not on its an everyday road and rules do apply, including: a 60km/h speed limit and two-way traffic. Things to see and do Places to go camping GREEN parks, friendly locals and great country hospitality awaits you in Blayney. The Blayney region is well known for its picturesque country landscapes, four seasons and historic villages including: Millthopre, Carcoar, Newbridge, Mandurama, Lyndhurst and Kings Plains. Pick up some local produce at the Blayney Farmers Markets (held the 3rd Sunday of the month) or check out Pym Street Markets on Saturday, January 5. Things to see and do Places to go camping KEEN to see some of Australias most dazzling natural attractions? Then take a drive up to the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains. Check out dramatic view over the deep valleys, visit the Three Sisters, take a bushwalk or stroll through villages and do a little shopping. Things to see and do Places to go camping THIS village has a colourful Irish heritage, wide open landscapes and a long pastoral tradition. Located on the Boorowa River, make sure you pay a visit to this charming village for oodles of country charm. Things to see and do Places to go camping STROLL along the streets where bushranger Ben Hall once walked in Canowindra. This village, which sits on the banks of the Belubula River, is full of colonial history and heritage streetscapes Check out fossils of bizarre fish with crocodile-like jaws and armour in the intriguing Age of Fishes Museum. Things to do Places to go camping DELVE into history, explore extensive waterways or stroll through the Japanese Garden – Cowra has a lot to offer families during a holiday. Find out about the historic Cowra Breakout, drink local wine, sample and buy locally-grown produce or pick up fine crafts. Things to see and do Places to go camping THE world famous Taronga Western Plains Zoo is on the must do list for many travellers, but theres a lot more to Dubbo than just a zoo. Enjoy museums, galleries and markets, and visit vineyards for wine tasting. Dont miss the chance to check out local produce, boutiques, take a stroll along the river or a walking track. Things to see and do Places to go camping THIS picturesque historic town is set on the banks of the Lachlan River. Forbes a mix of museums, exclusive boutique stores, along with cafes and restaurants. Find out about the notorious bushranger Ben Hall who was involved in one of Australias biggest gold robberies near Forbes during the gold rush days. Things to see and do Places to go camping LOCATED at the base of the Blue Mountains, Lithgow is a great base for families to explore. Lithgow is known for its industrial heritage, but theres also the chance to explore nearby historic villages, the Capertee Valley or check out spectacular lookouts. Things to see and do Places to go camping MUDGEE may be the perfect escape for wine tasting, but theres also delicious food and outdoor adventures to be had. This is a town that is rich with pastoral history and colonial gold rush heritage. Grab a bike or stroll down tree-lined streets to go exploring. Places to go camping LOCATED in the Blue Mountains, Oberon is steeped in history, spectacular scenery and it is a great place to get outside and explore the great outdoors. Visit Jenolan Caves, Kanangra Walls and other nearby national parks. Things to see and do Places to go camping KNOWN as Australias Colour City, Orange can boast to having beautiful parks and gardens, decadent eateries and lots of family fun. Known for its local produce and cool climate wines with around 80 vineyards, there are many great tastes in Orange. Take a drive alongside vineyards and orchards towards Lake Canobolas for a day by the water. Things to see and do Places to go camping THE home of the Parkes Elvis Festival in early January each year, this event draws tens of thousands of people to town. This year the festival will run from January 9-13 and even if you havent planned to stay in town it is worth a day trip. If youre not into Elvis, theres still plenty to see and do in Parkes. Things to see and do Places to go camping LOCATED near the junction of the Macquarie and Bell rivers, Wellington has a good dose of country charm. Great for families who are keen to get outdoors, Wellington offers hiking through a 2000 hectare reserve, lakes to paddle in and glorious gardens. Things to see and do Places to go camping THRIVING villages, food and wine, a diverse range of boutiques and well-known retailers – welcome to Young. Surrounded by orchards, wineries, olive groves and wheat fields, Young has a host of activities on offer for all members of the family. Explore Youngs gold rush or Wiradjuri history, take a self-guided walk along the Shamrock Trail or stroll through the Chinese garden. Things to see and do Places to go camping

FANCY some family time away but your festive spending has left the purse string just a little tight?

Relax. No really, relax.

The Central West has a host of family-friendly campsites and cabins that are just bursting with knowledgeable locals who will ensure you have a great time away.

Weve scoured the region to find free camping grounds, tourist parks that have just received a million-dollar makeover and everything in between.

What are you waiting for, pack the kids and the car and head off up the road for a great family trip.

Listed below, in alphabetical order, are some of the amazing places we just know youre keen to explore these school holidays.

WORLD-FAMOUS: Take a drive around the world-famous Mount Panorama, just remember, normal road rules do apply. Photo: FILE

AS Australias oldest inland settlement, Bathurst has a lot to offer families looking for a great getaway.

From colonial buildings to grand old homes, shady parks, museums and of course Mount Panorama.

Historic sites and architecture are very much a part of this city, but so are trendy cafes and restaurants.

Visit the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, the National Motor Racing Museum or the house of former Australian Prime Minister and Bathurst man Ben Chifley which is aptly named Chifley Home.

While youre in town, why not take a drive around the world-famous Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit, but just remember – when the race is not on its an everyday road and rules do apply, including: a 60km/h speed limit and two-way traffic.

Things to see and do

  • Abercrombie Caves
  • Bathurst Goldfields
  • Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
  • Chifley Home
  • History Hill
  • Mount Panorama
  • National Motor Racing Museum
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum
  • Take a drive to Hill End
  • Visit a local cool climate vineyard for wine tasting

Places to go camping

PLACES TO STAY: Blayney Tourist Park. Photo: Traveller photo submitted by tivamp on Trip Advisor

PLACES TO STAY: Blayney Tourist Park. Photo: Traveller photo submitted by tivamp on Trip Advisor

GREEN parks, friendly locals and great country hospitality awaits you in Blayney.

The Blayney region is well known for its picturesque country landscapes, four seasons and historic villages including: Millthopre, Carcoar, Newbridge, Mandurama, Lyndhurst and Kings Plains.

Pick up some local produce at the Blayney Farmers Markets (held the 3rd Sunday of the month) or check out Pym Street Markets on Saturday, January 5.

Things to see and do

  • Golden Memories Museum (Millthorpe)
  • Heritage Park (Blayney)
  • Grab a tourist map from the visitor information centre

Places to go camping

Blue Mountains

PLACES TO STAY: Jenolan Caravan Park. Photo: Traveller photo submitted by JenolanCP via Trip Advisor

PLACES TO STAY: Jenolan Caravan Park. Photo: Traveller photo submitted by JenolanCP via Trip Advisor

KEEN to see some of Australias most dazzling natural attractions? Then take a drive up to the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains.

Check out dramatic view over the deep valleys, visit the Three Sisters, take a bushwalk or stroll through villages and do a little shopping.

Things to see and do

  • Kanangra Boyd National Park
  • Echo Point and The Three Sisters
  • Wentworth Falls
  • Govetts Leap
  • Echo Point
  • Cahills Lookout
  • Scenic World tourist attraction in Katoomba

Places to go camping

Boorowa Caravan Park. Video: JOHN TOWNSEND

THIS village has a colourful Irish heritage, wide open landscapes and a long pastoral tradition.

Located on the Boorowa River, make sure you pay a visit to this charming village for oodles of country charm.

Things to see and do

  • Boorowa Historical Museum
  • Boorowa Courthouse holds a cafe and information centre
  • Boorowa Underbridge is a must for rail enthusiasts
  • Visit the Historical Museum
  • Check out the octagonal war memorial
  • Boorowa Town Pool

Places to go camping

Canowindra

PLACES TO STAY: Canowindra Caravan Park. Photo: CABONNE COUNCIL

PLACES TO STAY: Canowindra Caravan Park. Photo: CABONNE COUNCIL

STROLL along the streets where bushranger Ben Hall once walked in Canowindra.

This village, which sits on the banks of the Belubula River, is full of colonial history and heritage streetscapes

Check out fossils of bizarre fish with crocodile-like jaws and armour in the intriguing Age of Fishes Museum.

Things to do

  • Ages of Fishes Museum
  • Canowindra Historical Museum
  • Finns Store
  • Royal Canowindra Hotel
  • Jump aboard a tour with Blind Freddys Bushranger Tours
  • Go wine tasting

Places to go camping

PLACES TO STAY: Reflections Holiday Parks Wyangala Waters. Photo: VISIT NSW

PLACES TO STAY: Reflections Holiday Parks Wyangala Waters. Photo: VISIT NSW

DELVE into history, explore extensive waterways or stroll through the Japanese Garden – Cowra has a lot to offer families during a holiday.

Find out about the historic Cowra Breakout, drink local wine, sample and buy locally-grown produce or pick up fine crafts.

Things to see and do

  • Japanese Gardens and Cultural Centre
  • POW Campsite
  • Japanese and Australian War Cemeteries
  • Cowra Heritage Walk
  • Conimbla National Park
  • Cowra Regional Art Gallery
  • Lachlan Valley Railway

Places to go camping

PLACES TO STAY: Billabong Camp. Photo: ORLANDER RUMING

PLACES TO STAY: Billabong Camp. Photo: ORLANDER RUMING

THE world famous Taronga Western Plains Zoo is on the must do list for many travellers, but theres a lot more to Dubbo than just a zoo.

Enjoy museums, galleries and markets, and visit vineyards for wine tasting.

Dont miss the chance to check out local produce, boutiques, take a stroll along the river or a walking track.

Things to see and do

  • Taronga Western Plains Zoo
  • Western Plains Cultural Centre
  • Old Dubbo Gaol
  • Farmers Markets
  • Cellar doors
  • Dubbo Aquatic Leisure Centre
  • Dubbo Observatory
  • Royal Flying Doctor Base Visitor Information Centre
  • Dubbo Tenpin Bowl
  • Dubbo Regional Botanic Gardens
  • Aladdin's Cave Bottlehouse

Places to go camping

PLACES TO STAY: BIG4 Forbes Holiday Park. Photo: BIG4

PLACES TO STAY: BIG4 Forbes Holiday Park. Photo: BIG4

THIS picturesque historic town is set on the banks of the Lachlan River.

Forbes a mix of museums, exclusive boutique stores, along with cafes and restaurants.

Find out about the notorious bushranger Ben Hall who was involved in one of Australias biggest gold robberies near Forbes during the gold rush days.

Things to see and do

  • McFeeters Motor Museum
  • Forbes Historical Society Museum
  • Forbes Heritage Walk
  • Lake Forbes
  • Lachlan River
  • Dogman and Rabbitgirl pyramid sculpture

Places to go camping

PLACES TO VISIT: Lithgow Blast Furnace. Photo: FILE

PLACES TO VISIT: Lithgow Blast Furnace. Photo: FILE

LOCATED at the base of the Blue Mountains, Lithgow is a great base for families to explore.

Lithgow is known for its industrial heritage, but theres also the chance to explore nearby historic villages, the Capertee Valley or check out spectacular lookouts.

Things to see and do

  • Bushwalking
  • Horse riding
  • Blast Furnace Park
  • Eskbank House and Museum
  • Glen Davis Ruins Tour
  • Hartley historic site
  • Small Arms Factory Museum
  • State Mine Heritage Park
  • Turon Technology Museum

Places to go camping

PLACES TO VISIT: Go wine tasting in Mudgee. Photo: FILE

PLACES TO VISIT: Go wine tasting in Mudgee. Photo: FILE

MUDGEE may be the perfect escape for wine tasting, but theres also delicious food and outdoor adventures to be had.

This is a town that is rich with pastoral history and colonial gold rush heritage.

Grab a bike or stroll down tree-lined streets to go exploring.

Things to see and do[hhmc]

  • Go wine tasting
  • Dunns Swamp
  • Ferntree Gully Reserve
  • Gulgong Gold Experience
  • Gulgong Pioneer Museum
  • Mudgee Brewing Company
  • Mudgee Observatory
  • Wollemi National Park

Places to go camping

PLACES TO VISIT: See spectacular cave formations at Jenolan Caves. Photo: FILE

PLACES TO VISIT: See spectacular cave formations at Jenolan Caves. Photo: FILE

LOCATED in the Blue Mountains, Oberon is steeped in history, spectacular scenery and it is a great place to get outside and explore the great outdoors.

Visit Jenolan Caves, Kanangra Walls and other nearby national parks.

Things to see and do

  • Jenolan Caves
  • Kanangara Walls
  • Taste locally-produced food and wine
  • Lake Oberon
  • Mayfield Garden
  • Gairloch Garden
  • Hillandale Garden and Nursery

Places to go camping

PLACES TO VISIT: Lake Canobolas can be found just a short drive from Orange. Photo: FILE

PLACES TO VISIT: Lake Canobolas can be found just a short drive from Orange. Photo: FILE

KNOWN as Australias Colour City, Orange can boast to having beautiful parks and gardens, decadent eateries and lots of family fun.

Known for its local produce and cool climate wines with around 80 vineyards, there are many great tastes in Orange.

Take a drive alongside vineyards and orchards towards Lake Canobolas for a day by the water.

Things to see and do

  • Go wine tasting
  • Orange heritage trail
  • Orange Regional Museum
  • Lake Canobolas Reserve​
  • Borenore Caves
  • Take a drive to the top of Mount Canobolas, or why not go bushwalking
  • Banjo Paterson Memorial Park
  • Visit Emmaville Cottage, a place strongly connected with poet Banjo Paterson
  • Go for a heritage walk or drive (visit the tourism information centre for more information)

Places to go camping

MUST-DO FESTIVALS: The 2019 Parkes Elvis Festival will run from January 9-13. Photo: FILE

MUST-DO FESTIVALS: The 2019 Parkes Elvis Festival will run from January 9-13. Photo: FILE

THE home of the Parkes Elvis Festival in early January each year, this event draws tens of thousands of people to town.

This year the festival will run from January 9-13 and even if you havent planned to stay in town it is worth a day trip.

If youre not into Elvis, theres still plenty to see and do in Parkes.

Things to see and do

  • Parkes Elvis Festival, January 9-13
  • CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope (also known as The Dish)
  • Henry Parkes Centre
  • Memorial Hill
  • Bushmans Hill
  • Public Art Trail
  • Peak Hill Open Cut Experience
  • Parkes Aviation Museum
  • Big Fish Fossil Hunt
  • Wiradjuri Amphitheatre

Places to go camping

  • Parkes Showground
  • Parkes Overnighter Caravan Park
  • Double D Caravan Park
  • Bumberry Dam
  • Trundle Showground

Wellington

PLACES TO VISIT: Wellington Caves. Photo: FILE

PLACES TO VISIT: Wellington Caves. Photo: FILE

LOCATED near the junction of the Macquarie and Bell rivers, Wellington has a good dose of country charm.

Great for families who are keen to get outdoors, Wellington offers hiking through a 2000 hectare reserve, lakes to paddle in and glorious gardens.

Things to see and do

  • Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mine
  • Cathedral Cave
  • Lake Burrendong
  • Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum
  • Mount Arthur Reserve

Places to go camping

PLACES TO STAY: Young Caravan Tourist Park. Photo: Traveler photo submitted by Young S, via Trip Advisor

PLACES TO STAY: Young Caravan Tourist Park. Photo: Traveler photo submitted by Young S, via Trip Advisor

THRIVING villages, food and wine, a diverse range of boutiques and well-known retailers – welcome to Young.

Surrounded by orchards, wineries, olive groves and wheat fields, Young has a host of activities on offer for all members of the family.

Explore Youngs gold rush or Wiradjuri history, take a self-guided walk along the Shamrock Trail or stroll through the Chinese garden.

Things to see and do

  • Patricks Catholic Church
  • Shamrock Trail self-guided tour
  • Lambing Flat Folk Museum.
  • Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Gardens
  • Hilltops Region Wine Cellar

Places to go camping

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Nyngan Observer

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