Orange is a city in the Central Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia. It is 254 km (158 mi) west of the state capital, Sydney [206 km (128 mi) on a great circle],[3] at an altitude of 862 metres (2,828 ft). Orange had an estimated urban population of 40,493[1] as of June 2018 making the city a significant regional centre. A significant nearby landmark is Mount Canobolas with a peak elevation of 1,395 m (4,577 ft) AHD  and commanding views of the district. Orange is situated within the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri Nation.

Orange is the birthplace of poets Banjo Paterson and Kenneth Slessor, although Paterson lived in Orange for only a short time as an infant. Walter W. Stone, book publisher (Wentworth Books) and passionate supporter of Australian literature, was also born in Orange. The first Australian Touring Car Championship, known today as V8 Supercar Championship Series, was held at the Gnoo Blas Motor Racing Circuit in 1960.[4]


Summer Street in 1929
Orange Town Hall

The Orange region is the traditional land of the Wiradjuri people.[5] Known as the people of the three rivers, the Wiradjuri people have inhabited New South Wales for at least 60,000 years.[6]

In 1822 Captain Percy Simpson marched into the Wellington District and established a convict settlement which was called "Blackman's Swamp" after James Blackman; Simpson had employed James Blackman as a guide because he had already accompanied an earlier explorer, John Oxley into that region.[7]

In the late 1820s, the surveyor J. B. Richards worked on a survey of the Macquarie River below Bathurst and also of the road to Wellington. On a plan dated 1829, he indicated a village reserve, in the parish of Orange. Sir Thomas Mitchell named the parish Orange, as he had been an associate of the Prince of Orange in the Peninsular War, when both were aides-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington, whose title was bestowed on the valley to the west by Oxley.[8]

Initial occupation by British graziers began in late 1829, and tiny settlements eventually turned into larger towns as properties came into connection with the road. In 1844, the surveyor Davidson was sent to check on encroachments onto the land reserved for a village, and to advise on the location for a township. His choices were Frederick's Valley, Pretty Plains, or Blackman's Swamp.

Blackman's Swamp was chosen, and it was proclaimed a village and named Orange by Major Thomas Mitchell in 1846 in honour of Prince William of Orange. At nearby Ophir, a significant gold find in Australia was made in 1851, resulting in a sporadic population movement which is known as the Australian gold rush. Additional gold finds in nearby areas led to the establishment of Orange as a central trading centre for the gold.

The growth of Orange continued as the conditions were well suited for agriculture, and in 1860 it was proclaimed a municipality. The railway from Sydney reached Orange in 1877. In 1946, 100 years after it was first being established as a village, Orange was proclaimed as a minor city.

Orange was proposed as a site for Australia's national capital city, prior to the selection of Canberra. The new capital city would have adjoined the town of Orange, which would have been included the surrounding federal territory.[9][10]


Community Health Centre on Kite Street

According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 37,182 people in the Orange urban centre.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 6.6% of the population.
  • 83.2% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 1.6%, India 1.0%, New Zealand 0.9%, Philippines 0.5% and China 0.4%.
  • 87.3% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Malayalam 0.7%, Mandarin 0.4%, Italian 0.3% and Nepali 0.3%.
  • The most common responses for religion were Catholic 30.1%, No Religion 22.0% and Anglican 20.2%.
  • Of the employed people in Orange (Urban Centres and Localities), 6.2% worked in hospitals (except psychiatric hospitals). Other major industries of employment included gold ore mining 4.2%, state government administration 3.4%, other social assistance services 3.2% and supermarket and grocery stores 2.5%.

Geography and climate

Snow covered fields in Orange during an early snowfall event

Owing to its altitude, Orange has a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb), with warm summers (though with cool mornings) and cold, wet winters with frequent morning frosts and light to moderate, sometimes heavy snowfalls. The city is relatively wet for an inland location owing to orographic effects from Mount Canobolas, especially during the cooler months when snow falls; Orange is amongst the few cities in Australia to receive regular snowfall, and is likewise the snowiest city in Australia (not counting smaller towns such as Oberon). Due to its windward position that straddles the Great Dividing Range, Orange experiences wetter winters than the cities in the east such as Lithgow and Bathurst.

Compared with most population centres in Australia it has colder winters, especially in terms of its daytime maximum temperatures, owing chiefly to its westerly exposure. In summer, the average (and absolute) maximum temperatures are also lower than in most inland centres, on account of its elevation.[11] Owing to its inland location, the humidity is low in the summer months with the dewpoint typically around 10 °C. Having 99.8 clear days annually,[12] it is still cloudier than the coastal areas of Sydney and Wollongong (104 and 107 clear days, respectively), with a marked lack of sunshine in winter compared to summer.[13][14]

The climate has enabled the area to be a major apple and pear producer, and more recently a centre for cool-weather wine production.[15]

Climate data for Orange Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.6
Average high °C (°F) 26.0
Average low °C (°F) 12.2
Record low °C (°F) 1.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 84.0
Average rainy days 8.7 8.2 7.2 7.2 10.1 12.4 13.7 13.5 11.6 10.8 10.3 9.0 122.7
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 44 49 51 55 63 70 70 65 61 56 53 45 57
Source: [12]
Climate data for Orange Agricultural Institute
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.3
Average high °C (°F) 26.5
Average low °C (°F) 13.3
Record low °C (°F) 1.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 87.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 8.3 7.4 7.7 7.4 10.2 12.9 14.6 13.4 10.7 9.4 9.7 8.1 119.8
Source 1: [16]
Source 2: [17]


Former Department of Lands building

Orange is a well-known fruit growing district, and produces apples, pears, and many stone fruits such as cherries, peaches, apricots, and plums; oranges are not grown in the area, since its climate is too cool. In recent years, a large number of vineyards have been planted in the area for rapidly expanding wine production. The growth of this wine industry, coupled with the further development of Orange as a gourmet food capital, has ensured Orange's status as a prominent tourism destination.

Other large industries include:

  • Cadia gold mine is a large open cut gold and copper mine located about 20 kilometres south of Orange. The mine has been developed throughout the 1990s and is a major employer in the region with an expected lifespan of several decades. Cadia is the second largest open-cut mine in Australia, following the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Large mineral deposits are also being uncovered from the more recently developed Ridgeway underground mine which is adjacent to the Cadia Mine.
  • An Electrolux white goods factory, closed in 2017.

Orange is also the location of the headquarters of the New South Wales Department of Industry (Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries).


Primary and public schools

The following primary schools are not within the city limits of Orange but are located within the rural fringe of Orange:

Secondary schools

Tertiary education

  • A campus of Charles Sturt University is located on the outskirts of northern Orange.
  • A large campus of TAFE is also located in Orange.
  • Orange Regional Conservatorium


St John's Uniting Church, Kite Street


Bowen Terrace
Cook Park

The following are listed as the suburbs within Orange City Council, according to the New South Wales Division of Local Government:[18]

  • Ammerdown: a residential locality to the north west of Orange on the Mitchell Highway.
  • Bletchington: containing mostly residential areas with one school, it is one of the largest residential areas, and it is often split into North Orange and Bletchington. Within the suburb are the Orange Botanic Gardens, the Orange Adventure Playground, and the Waratah Sports Ground.
  • Bloomfield: containing farmland, Bloomfield Golf Course, Riverside Mental Institution and Orange Health Service (a major regional hospital) along with the Gosling Creek Reservoir and the Gosling Creek nature reserve.
  • Borenore: a locality, 15 km (9 mi) west of Orange, comprising primarily farmland. Also the site of the .[19]
  • Bowen: containing residential, predominantly public housing, industrial, commercial, Kinross Woloroi School, and government offices, this suburb also has the main road out of Orange to Sydney. It also contains the Orange Showground and the Orange Cemetery.
  • Calare: the suburb is located to the west of the CBD. It is mostly a residential area, and contains Calare Public School and Orange High School, and Wentworth Golf Course. It is also commonly split into Calare, Bel-Air and Wentworth Estate and has The Quarry and Towac Park Racecourse. It houses most New Areas of Orange
  • Canobolas: this mainly farming and recreation area, contains the Mount Canobolas State recreation area and Mount Canobolas.
  • Clifton Grove: containing farmland and large residential blocks, some parts of the estate are down stream from the Suma Park Reservoir and the area also contains the Kinross State Forest.
  • Clover Hill: a residential suburb to the north of the CBD.
  • Glenroi: a mainly residential area with areas of public housing, along with the Electrolux white goods manufacturing plant. It also contains industrial land in areas surrounding the factory, as well as a more recent industrial area known as Leewood Estate.
  • Huntley: a locality south of Orange.
  • Lucknow: a small village approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) east of Orange.[20] It is a historic mining town with small residential, small industrial and commercial with most being farmland.
  • March: a locality north of Orange.
  • Millthorpe: a village south east of Orange. The area constituting a suburb of Orange is constituted of farmland lying to the north west of the village.
  • Narrambla: a mainly industrial and farming land area.
  • Nashdale: a small but vibrant community located approximately 8 kilometres west of Orange. The community gathers around the local Nashdale Public School and hall. Rich producer of local food and wine.
  • Orange: the suburb comprises the central business district of the city, which contains an original grid street plan. The main street of Orange is Summer Street. The CBD can be defined as being the area of the city bounded by Hill, March, Peisley, and Moulder Streets.
  • Orange East: beginning on the eastern side of the railway line, Orange East is mostly residential, but contains some light businesses, especially on Summer, Byng, and William Streets.
  • Orange South: directly to the south of the CBD, beginning past Moulder Street this area contains Wade Park and the Orange Base Hospital.
  • Shadforth: a locality to the east of Orange bypassed by the Mitchell Highway that contains Shadforth Quarry.
  • Spring Hill: a village to the south-east of Orange.
  • Spring Terrace: a locality and small village located south of Orange, centred on the local primary school.
  • Springside: a locality to the south of Orange.
  • Suma Park: a lightly populated residential area on the eastern outskirts of Orange. It contains Suma Park Reservoir, Orange's main water supply.
  • Summer Hill: a lightly populated residential, industrial, and farmland area on the south eastern outskirts of Orange on the Mitchell Highway.
  • Warrendine: a mostly residential area and contains James Sheahan Catholic High School and industrial land. It also has small school farmland and Jack Brabham Park.


Cadia-Ridgeway Mine is a large open cut gold and copper mine located about 20 kilometres south of Orange, the mine has been developed throughout the 1990s employing several thousand employees with an expected lifespan of several decades. Cadia is the second largest open cut mine in Australia after the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie. Large mineral deposits are also being uncovered from the more recently developed Ridgeway underground mine which is adjacent to the Cadia Mine.


The Orange wine region is defined as the area above 600m in the local government areas of Orange, Cabonne and Blayney and can be usefully described as a circle around Orange. The Orange region is good for grape growing and winemaking due to a combination of geology, soils, climate and temperature. Together these factors combine to produce grapes and wine of distinct flavours and colour. The climate perhaps plays the biggest part in giving Orange some distinct natural advantages – the cool temperatures during most of the growing season coupled with dry autumn conditions are ideal for grape growing.[21]


Wineries that use Orange region grapes in their wines include (Hunter Valley based), Logan (Mudgee), Tamburlaine (Hunter Valley), Gartelmann (Hunter Valley), Windowrie (Central Ranges), Eloquesta Wines (Mudgee) and Lowe Wines (Mudgee). In 2007, South Australian based Penfolds winery released the 2007 Penfolds Bin 311 Orange Region Chardonnay.[22]


Orange is served by several radio stations, including 105.1 2GZFM, 105.9 Star FM, FM107.5 Orange Community Radio, 103.5 Rhema FM, HIT Country 88 FM and 2EL 1089AM – a commercial station that gets most of its programming from 2SM in Sydney. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) also broadcasts from four radio stations in Orange including ABC Local Radio (2CR) on 549AM and three national networks – ABC Classic FM on 102.7 FM, ABC Radio National on 104.3 FM, and Triple J on 101.9 FM.

The city receives five network television stations – Prime7 (a Seven Network affiliate), WIN TV (a Nine Network affiliate), Southern Cross 10 (a Network 10 affiliate), ABC TV and SBS.

Of the three main commercial networks:

  • Prime7 News produces a half-hour local news bulletin for the Central West, airing each weeknight at 6pm. It is produced from local newsrooms in Orange and Dubbo and broadcast from studios in Canberra.
  • Southern Cross Ten airs short updates of 10 News First from its Hobart studios.
  • WIN Television aired a half-hour local bulletin until the closure of its Orange newsroom in June 2019.[23][24] The station now produces short news updates throughout the day from its Wollongong studios.

Subscription television service Foxtel is available in Orange and the surrounding region via satellite.

The local newspapers are the Central Western Daily, the Midstate Observer and Orange City Life.

Clubs and entertainment

Royal Hotel

The Orange Solstice Swim Club was founded in 2017, by local resident Harley J Smith. The club meets every Summer and Winter solstice, to swim in one of the local swimming holes such as Gosling creek and Lake Canobolas. The winter festivity includes a warming soup after a chilling dip. The club is looking to branch into the Equinox celebrations also. [25]


Sir Henry Parkes Arts Centre

Orange has many attractions. There are bush walking trails in Orange including; Spring Glade Walking Track, Cook Park Heritage Walk, Summits Walking Tracks, Nangar National Park and .[26] Borenore Caves is a series of limestone caves. Duntryleague Golf Club and Clubhouse, Mount Canobolas and Federal Falls in the , Lake Canobolas, Gnoo Blas Motor Racing Circuit, the historic centre of Orange and the are also near the town.



Orange is situated on the Mitchell Highway, linking the city to Molong, Wellington, Dubbo and Bourke to the north west, and to Bathurst to the east and from there to Sydney via the Great Western Highway (260 km or 160 mi). Due west are Parkes (100 km or 62 mi) and Forbes (125 km or 78 mi), which is midway along the Newell Highway, running from Brisbane, Queensland to Melbourne, Victoria. In 2007 a bypass road, known as the northern distributor road, was opened for use after decades of planning.

Public transport

Orange Buslines operate a number of routes within the city and a service to the neighbouring city of Bathurst. Newman's Bus Service operates route two on weekdays to Blayney. Australia Wide Coaches operate a daily coach service to Sydney.

NSW TrainLink operate several coach services with connecting train services from Lithgow to Sydney, as well as a less frequent coach service to Cootamundra for connection to Melbourne.


Orange is also serviced by a regional-class airport, Orange Airport, located approximately 15 km to the south of the city, in an area known as Huntley.


Orange has two railway stations. The main station, on the Main Western Line to Bourke, was opened in 1877[27] and is served by the daily NSW TrainLink Central West XPT service between Sydney and Dubbo and the weekly Outback Xplorer service between Sydney and Broken Hill. A smaller station, opened in 1970,[28] known as Orange East Fork, lies on the branch line to Broken Hill was served by the weekly Indian Pacific service to Perth but due to low passenger numbers using this station (16 for the entire year 2017) this "bare bones" station is no longer used and the Indian-Pacific no longer stopping between Mt. Victoria and Broken Hill.[29]

Notable residents



  • James Dalton (1834–1919), an early Australian merchant, pastoralist, and Roman Catholic lay leader, a key figure in the early development of Orange and district[31]

Film and television

Food and hospitality


  • Janet Carr, physiotherapist and academic, raised in Orange[33]
  • Anna Windsor (born 1976), Multi Olympian and Commonwealth Games swimmer. Medical Doctor based in Orange.

Music and creative arts






  • Orange City Bowling Club
  • Orange Ex-Services Club
  • Orange Rifle Club
  • [49]
  • Waratah Sports Club
  • DuntryLeague Golf Club
  • Wentworth Golf Club[50]

Heritage listings

Orange has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Water resources

Orange has several water sources used for domestic consumption, both currently in use and formerly used. Currently Suma Park Dam and Spring Creek Reservoir are used for domestic water consumption. Two other dams, Lake Canobolas and Gosling Creek Reservoir, were previously used for domestic water consumption; however, they are now used for recreational purposes. The city is currently on Level 2 water restrictions, following good rain (Sept 2020). Orange City Council is undertaking a number of strategies to supplement its supply, including stormwater harvesting.

The first batch of harvested stormwater was released into Suma Park Dam on 21 April 2009. The harvested stormwater was tested by Analytical Laboratory Services, an independent laboratory based in Sydney. ALS tested for 90 potential pollutants. The tests revealed that the water quality met all targets. The first batch contained 14 megalitres. It is believed to be an Australian first for harvesting stormwater for potable use. The hardware is in place, operating rules have been developed and environmental factors and impacts on downstream users have been considered. A three-month trial will ensure all these elements are working together to ensure high water quality and environmental standards are met.

There are several phases involved in the commissioning period. The hardware, which includes three separate pumping stations, creek flow monitoring points and advanced electronics including fibre optic cables, will undergo further operating tests. The other elements of the scheme include a weir on Blackmans Swamp Creek, which creates a 3 megalitre pool and the site for the first pump station, a 200 megalitre dam and two 17 megalitre batching ponds. The pumps on the creek transfer stormwater to the 200 megalitre dam at a rate of up to 450 litres per second and are designed to rapidly extract peak storm flows from the creek. The operating rules require that a base flow immediately downstream in the creek must be maintained. The creek flow monitoring points ensure these standards are met. The monitoring station also measures when harvesting can commence. The trigger is flows passing the monitor in Blackmans Swamp Creek exceeding 1000 litres per second.

The local mine, Cadia-Ridgeway Mine, uses the city's treated effluent to supplement its water supply.

Orange is currently planning to implement a pipeline from the Macquarie river to boost the town water supply. This is hotly debated, and researchers believe that it will endanger threatened wetland areas.[60]

Duntryleague; a heritage listed manor

Historic buildings

  • Anson House
  • Australia Cinema
  • Bowen Terrace
  • Centrepoint Arcade Building
  • Cook Park Greenhouses and caretakers houses
  • Dalton Bros Buildings (Myer Building: facade only remains)
  • Hotel Canobolas (a fine example of Art-Deco style, erected 1939)
  • Hotel Orange
  • Holy Trinity Anglican Church
  • Memorial Hall
  • Metropolitan Hotel
  • Orange Court House
  • Orange Fire Station
  • Orange Post Office
  • Orange Public School
  • Orange Town Hall
  • Royal Hotel
  • Saint Joseph's Church
  • Scout Hall
  • The former Strand Theatre
  • Wyoming Court

Historic houses

  • Strathroy Manor
  • Duntryleague House
  • Kangaroobie Mansion
  • Croagh Patrick
  • Woloroi House
  • Galbally
  • Killenny
  • Mena
  • Ammerdown House
  • Glenroi House (no longer standing, demolished for McDonald's)

Sister cities

Orange is a sister city to:[61]

See also


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  2. ^ "Climate statistics for Orange Post Office". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Australian Government. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
  3. ^ "Great Circle Distance between ORANGE and SYDNEY". Geosciences Australia website. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  4. ^ Graham Howard & Stewart Wilson (1986). "1960: Let the race begin". Australian Touring Car Championship, 25 Fabulous Years. Gordon, NSW: R&T Publishing. pp. 14–26. ISBN 0-9590378-2-9.
  5. ^ "Our Heritage". Orange City Council. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  6. ^ "About Us". Wiradjuri Condoblin Corporation. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  7. ^ Greaves, Bernard. "Blackman, James (1792–1868)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  8. ^ "PLACE NAMES". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 13 May 1964. p. 61. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
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  10. ^ "Sketch map showing proposed Federal Territory and capital site at Orange [cartographic material] : Parishes of Boreenore, Orange, March, and Towac, County of Wellington ; Parish of Canobolas, County of Ashburnham ; Parishes of Orange, Clinton, Anson, Huntley, Beneree, Waldegrave and Clarendon, County of Bathurst, New South Wales 1900". Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Orange Region Terroir". Wines of Orange.
  12. ^ a b "Climate statistics for Orange Airport". Bureau of Meteorology. Commonwealth of Australia. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  13. ^ "Bureau of Meteorology – Summary statistics WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  15. ^ "Orange Wine Region". Retrieved 25 January 2014.
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  20. ^ "Lucknow". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 12 May 2011. Edit this at Wikidata
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  28. ^ "Orange East Fork Platform". Retrieved 7 April 2008.
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  30. ^ Cetinski, Danielle (25 May 2017). "Architect's famous tower acclaimed at Canadian awards". Central Western Daily.
  31. ^ Rutledge, Martha. "Dalton, James (1834–1919)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  32. ^ Byrnes, Holly (8 August 2011). "Kate Bracks of Orange in NSW wins MasterChef in 2011". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
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  34. ^ Hume, Anika (16 November 2011). "The Wiggles come to Mudgee". Mudgee Guardian. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  35. ^ Stephens, Tony (19 July 2004). "Would-be Queen Susan dies uncrowned". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
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External links