September 1, 2022

Southern Villages Trail

10 minute read.


Spring in in the air and the countryside is looking lush after plenty of recent rainfall.

A Sunday drive to the traditional pastoral lands to the south of Bathurst makes the perfect day trip. The Bathurst region’s southern Villages of O’Connell, Rockley and Perthville are full of hidden gems for lovers of local food, wine, history and adventure.

Start at the Bathurst Visitor Information Centre.
1 Kendall Avenue, Bathurst

The friendly staff at Bathurst Visitor Information Centre have maps, travel tips and guides to all things Bathurst and region before you set off on your village trail.

Bathurst Grange Distillery
3249 O’Connell Road, Brewongle

This family-run distillery sits on a heritage farmstead estate, The Grange, established in 1823 and reported to have been visited by Charles Darwin on his crossing of the Blue Mountains.

Visit the purpose-built tasting room to sample Bathurst Grange Distillery‘s fresh and distinct range of gins with contemporary infusions like rose petals from the homestead garden. Bathurst Grange Distillery has also recently expanded their repertoire into whiskey making, the first batches currently reaching maturity in oak casks.

Stop in O’Connell
25 minutes’ drive from Bathurst along O’Connell Road.

You will know you have arrived in O’Connell when you pass by the rows of Desert Ash trees lining the road, which were planted at the end of World War I to commemorate local servicemen and women.

The O’Connell Avenue Cafe and Store does a great locally roasted coffee, home made slices and enormous bacon and egg rolls to fill up your tummies for the day.

Soon to reopen as a destination pub is the O’Connell Hotel across the road, watch this space.

Renzaglia Wines
38 Bosworth Falls Road, O’Connell

Named Halliday’s Dark Horse Vineyard for 2022, Renzaglia Wines has been creating award winning, cool-climate wines for over 2 decades from their Bella Luna Vineyard in O’Connell, and their Mount Panorama/ Wahluu Estate vineyard right in the middle of the famous namesake race track.

A tasting at the Bella Luna cellar door is a must, where you will meet Mark, Sandy or Sam, the talented makers of Renzaglia Wines who will take you through the tasting notes, growing practices and explain the unique climate factors that all combine to create their unique drops.

Mayfield Garden
530 Mayfield Road, Oberon

Mayfield Garden in spring is one of the must-see attractions in the State. The Southern-Hemisphere’s largest privately owned cool climate garden has 65-hectares all yours to explore from 24th September until 23rd October during their Spring Festival. Discover features such as the box-hedge maze, water garden, obelisk and more.

There is also an on site cafe using farm to table produce grown right from the garden, and nursery to take home a small piece of your Mayfield experience.

Drive to Rockley
40 minutes’ drive from Mayfield Garden via Dog Rocks.

Rockley is a National Trust listed Village dating back to the early years of European settlement in Australia. Mining of gold and copper brought prosperity to the town, which can be seen in the impressive surviving examples of Victorian era architecture throughout the village.

One such example is the Rockley Mill and Stables Museum, a three storey former grain mill housing old milling machinery, clothes, police records and an array of other interesting period artefacts. Open weekends for a gold coin donation upon entry.

The Olive Robin is a new gifting and homewares store where you’re sure to find a keepsake or two on your visit to Rockley.

Rockley Artisans Market is held on the second Sunday of each month, featuring stalls from local producers and artisans bringing a lively atmosphere to the village.

Rockley Gardens and Art trail is an annual special event in the village, held 12 – 13 November 2022, showcasing the homes, studios and gardens of the village’s local residents and raising much-needed funds for the ongoing restoration of the Rockley School of the Arts heritage building.

The Rockley Pub
2 Budden Street, Rockley

Recently reopened under Australia Celebrity Chef, Matt Moran, who has long had a connection to the region through his family farm. The Rockley Pub has quickly become a destination hotel bringing foodies and fans from all over.

Enjoy lunch or dinner from Thursday to Sunday. The mouthwatering seasonal menu will have you spoilt for choice, and you definitely won’t want to skip dessert!

Matt Moran at the Rockley Pub

Vale Creek Wines, Perthville
438 Cow Flat Road

Vale Creek Wines specialises in Italian varietals like Sangiovese, Barbera and Dolcetto made to be enjoyed with family, friends and food.

You can visit the cellar door for a tasting accompanied by a lunch platter at Perthville by appointment and keep an eye out for their regular Jazz evenings.

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