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], at an altitude of 862 metres (2,828 ft). Orange had an estimated urban population of 40,493 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 Town Hall (The flag is half mast to give condolences to the death of Elizabeth II in September 2022)
The Orange region is the traditional land of the Wiradjuri people. Known as the people of the three rivers, the Wiradjuri people have inhabited New South Wales for at least 60,000 years.
In 1822 Captain Percy Simpson arrived in 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.
Initial occupation by 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 in the surrounding federal territory.
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
Owing to its altitude, Orange has a temperate oceanic climate (KöppenCfb), with warm summers (though with cool mornings) and cold, wet winters with frequent morning frosts. 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 the only city in Australia to receive annual snowfall (that is, guaranteed snow every year), although far from a regular occurrence on account of its northern latitude. Due to its windward position on the western side of the ranges, Orange experiences significantly wetter winters than the cities in the east, namely Lithgow and Bathurst.
Compared with most population centres in Australia it has colder winters, especially in terms of its daytime maximum temperatures, owing 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. 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, 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.
The climate has enabled the area to be a major apple and pear producer, and a centre for cool-weather wine production.
Climate data for Orange Agricultural Institute (1976–2022); 922 m AMSL; 33.32° S, 149.08° E
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.
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 Australian National Field Days.
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. 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 community located approximately 8 kilometres west of Orange. The community gathers around the local Nashdale Public School and hall.
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.
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.
Borrodell on the Mount
Brangayne of Orange
Cargo Road Winery
Heifer Station Vineyard
Orange Mountain Wines
Printhie / Swift
Sea Saw Wines
Slow Wine Co.
Word of Mouth Wines
Wineries that use Orange region grapes in their wines include Brokenwood Wines (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.
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.
WIN Television produces a half-hour local news bulletin for the Central West, airing each weeknight at 5:30pm. It is produced from its local newsroom in Orange and broadcast from studios in Wollongong.
Southern Cross 10 produces short news updates of 10 News First throughout the day from its Hobart studios.
Subscription television service Foxtel is available in Orange and the surrounding region via satellite.
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 Mullion Range State Conservation Area.Borenore Caves is a series of limestone caves. Duntryleague Golf Club and Clubhouse, Mount Canobolas and Federal Falls in the Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area, Lake Canobolas, Gnoo Blas Motor Racing Circuit, the historic centre of Orange and the Orange Botanic Gardens are also near the town.
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.
Duntryleague; a heritage listed manor
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)
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Orange Court House
Orange Fire Station
Orange Post Office
Orange Public School
Orange Town Hall
Saint Joseph's Church
The former Strand Theatre
Glenroi House (no longer standing, demolished for McDonald's)