Orange,a town of leafy parks and trees is the centre of a huge apple and pear growing industry. The soils in the area are very fertile as result of lava flows, from the extinct volcano of Mount Canobolas, which have broken down over the millenniums. Nearby at Ophir was the first goldfield to be exploited with a sizable strike in 1851 , now a flora and fauna reserve whilst on the outskirts of town is one of the finest private mineral collections in the country at the Gallery of Minerals. Parkes was named following the visit of Sir Henry Parkes in 1815-96 who was one of the major contributor's in the heading-up of the Australian Federation. The original settlement went by the name of Brushmans. Memorial Hill, Nth Parkes is a great place to view the township from. There are tourist drives that give easy self guided tours, taking around 90 mins. Walking around Parkes will include the oldest house in Parkes, Historical Museum, Gold mine site, Motor Museum,and much more. 23 Km north, the giant saucer Telescope Information Centre. An excellent educational aid that will explain all there is to know.
Sofala Nestling in the lovely hills of the Turon River valley is Sofala, the oldest gold town in Australia. Settled only 3 weeks after the first official gold strike at Ophir, Sofala swelled to a peak population 40 000. Today it has contracted to a rustic village of around 100 people. The surrounding district is primarily superfine wool farms. Each farm has many relics and remnants of the goldrush. Boasting 7km of the original Cobb & Co coach road to Hill End, O'Reilly's extensive underground mines, Chinamans creek alluvial diggings, water races, old shanty huts & a wealth of unspoiled history to explore.
Wellington lying on the edge of Bell River, Wellington is renowned for its tourist attractions, setting and lifestyle. The Wellington Caves attract over 40 000 visitors a year. The Cathedral cave contains a 15m stalagmite which is thought to be the largest in the word, and in Bone Cave (only open to scientists) fossils millions of years old have been found. 27km to the south-east of town is Lake Burrendong which has a volume of water 3.5times that of Sydney Harbour.