RoadTrip2021: Orange and more historic towns

May 6, 2021 | 3 Comments

Like Mudgee, Orange is another regional centre that is very popular with Sydneysiders. Once again it’s due to food and wine plus a number of historic towns nearby. I spent three nights in Orange which allowed me to do a few bit of sightseeing – and sketching of course.


The first town that I visited was Molong (after going on the Wellington Cave tour). I would say this had a classic small town main street including a pub on the corner. (Sorry this photo is blurry – it was the only one that I took!)


I got another coffee (my fourth for the day – that’s a record!) and sketched the pub from my cafe table. Very relaxing!



Once in Orange, the first thing I did was to visit the Visitor Information Centre and pick up lots and lots of brochures. This is the pile – unbelievable!


I happened to notice on one of them that there was a courthouse by James Barnet (again!!!) just up the road, so of course I had to sketch it.

As I started this day in Dubbo, this made the third James Barnet sketch for the day. BTW I have started referring to him as JimmyB!


So many Palladian references in JimmyB’s buildings! I enjoyed doing this one as the colour scheme is so different from the usual!


Here is the full spread with map and a sketch from my motel room (there was a football match on in Orange and hardly any accommodation available so an old-style motel it had to be). Ah! The poplars are so nice at the moment.


Monday had been devoted to spending time in Orange but I decided to visit some little towns instead (more about that shortly). So the only other Orange sketching I did was on Monday afternoon and it was another JimmyB building! The Post Office with lots of lovely classical details!

I managed to get a park right outside but it was only for 30 minutes. It started to rain but I noticed a cafe opposite, so I set myself the challenge of doing the sketch in 25 minutes! 


At the 15-20 minute mark.


This is how much I managed to do in the time frame! It is totally crazy to attempt this complex building in only 30 minutes and to draw it that large. But if I hadn’t set myself the challenge I doubt that I would have attempted it. Tracking down James Barnet’s buildings is a nice mini project to do this trip and it gives me a reason to seek out some of the grander buildings in the towns I will visit.


Final spread with a few additional details (context) and sky added.


The main street was nice but nothing special…


However the highlight of Orange for me was simply all the tree-lined streets in autumn colours.


There were lots of different trees as well – and just for the record there was a brochure about this topic!



As mentioned above I used my “Orange day’ to explore some of the lovely historic towns surrounding it. Up first was Millthorpe. This was a very interesting town with lots of lovely buildings and fancy shops/cafes.


I made the decision not to explore it in full or to sketch too much. (Leave it for another trip!)


But here is another photo I took as I left town.

The next town was Blayney – but I didn’t stop or even take a photo there. Another ‘next time’ location!



Carcoar was the town I had intended to spend most of my time at and it did not disappoint. (Well, apart from the fact that there was no cafe open! I was glad I had had a good breakfast in Millthorpe!)


The sun wasn’t in the right position for the main street… so I kept walking.


A lovely timber bridge (thinking of my friend Amie here.)


A lovely building – lighting not perfect for this – maybe I will come back?


I found something else to sketch.


And then went back to the main street and did two sketches. BTW here is another JimmyB courthouse (on the corner) but I didn’t realise at the time. Otherwise I would have done a more elaborate sketch of it.


A nice view of the town – for next time!


Other towns

I also stopped at Forest Reefs – it was just a pub on a corner, but one that was rather sketchable. And then went back to Millthorpe for my afternoon coffee. I was talking to lots of people while doing this sketch


Here is a photo – the rain was coming!


The small town of Spring Hill with a few historic buildings but nothing special in terms of its main street.


And finally the town of Lucknow with a few historic mines. Definitely want to spend time here next time!

In summary, I was really impressed by Orange and its surrounding area and highly recommend it as a destination!


  • Barbara McCafferty Weeks says:

    I love the addition of maps through out your entries! I usually draw one at the beginning of a trip but next time I’m going to follow your lead and add more!

  • Jame C says:

    Loving the feel of this trip and your sketches! And those gorgeous autumn leaves! Amazing! That JimmyB was one busy architect back in the day! His courthouses really do give their own flare to the towns, don’t they?

  • Kate Burroughs says:

    I love you tracking down all the James Barnet buildings. I wonder if he is one of those architects who had lots of people working for him, doing the designs but he was the supervisor who got his name on everything? All the fall foliage is beautiful to see as well.

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