Orange is not named for the citrus fruit: the area around the town is nowhere near warm enough to grow oranges! (Somewhat amusingly, Orange is instead noted for its apple orchards.) Rather, it was named for Prince William of Orange, later William I of the Netherlands.
Orange has a population of approximately 40,000 people and is one of the older towns in inland New South Wales. The one square mile village of Orange was established in 1841, and grew quickly due to Australia’s first payable gold discovery in 1851 in nearby Ophir and later due to agricultural output.
The City of Orange municipality is in the centre of the Cabonne Shire. The Cabonne Shire consists of farmland and orchards and calls itself Australia’s Fruit Basket. Orange and the surrounding area are known for quiet getaways and excellent food and wine. Orange calls itself Australia’s Colour City due to its large number of European trees and their autumn colours. Late March and April are the best times to visit to see the colours.
Orange has a mild climate, with very comfortable summers (25℃-35℃/80℉-95℉ during the day), cool autumn and spring weather (15℃-25℃/60℉-80℉ during the day, falling as low as -1℃/30℉ at night) and, for Australia, cold winters with severe frost at times (0℃-10℃/35℉-50℉ during the day, falling to -5℃/20℉ overnight). Because of its elevation (862 meters/2 828 feet) it is one of the few areas of mainland Australia other than the Snowy Mountains that has relatively frequent snow during winter, and it is one of the very few population centres that gets any significant snowfalls.
Orange has several public transport links to Sydney operated by NSW Trainlink Regional (tel 13 22 32). The Dubbo XPT stops in Orange daily in each direction and several bus services meet trains at Lithgow. Train or bus from Sydney usually takes five hours. There are also less frequent NSW Trainlink bus services from Canberra. The Broken Hill Xplorer train stops in Orange on it’s way from Sydney to Broken Hill on Mondays and on the return trip back to Sydney on Tuesdays.
Orange airport is around 15km from town, and has a nice new terminal facility for arriving and departing passengers. A single airline, Regional Express (tel 13 17 13 within Australia or +61 2 6393-5550 outside Australia) operates flights from Sydney to Orange and return. Flight time is approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Charter flights are also available. There is car hire from Avis and Hertz at the airport, but the site isn’t permanently staffed. They will drive a car out to meet you if you book in advance. Drop off is just parking the car and dropping the keys in the box (the two car hire companies share a key-drop box). A taxi into town will cost around $40, so a hire car may be cheaper if you’re just going into town for the day.