Australia Day celebrations are set to go ahead - almost - as normal in 2021. Festivities will kick off at Cook Park on January 26 with awards, a citizenship ceremony and a market featuring local arts and crafts. There will be live music, performances and food stalls, so you'll be able to have a picnic in the park. Don't forget to pack the rug. It will run from 8am to 1pm. Visitors are asked to enter from Summer Street.
Orange's F.O.O.D (Food of Orange District) week will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year (COVID willing). Australia's longest running regional food festival is a 10-day community event celebrating Orange's food and wine - from farmers to chefs and restaurants. Among this year's signature events are Shining the Light on Local Producers, the Sampson Street Lunch, a 30th anniversary dinner, Taste Local on the Lawn and a Sunday producers market and brunch. Orange F.O.O.D, April 9-18. Various venues. Tickets available at orangefoodweek.com.au.
As the weather heats up, think about a day out for a picnic and dip. A few places you can go for a paddle in the wild include Flat Rock (near O'Connell, off Mutton Falls Road at the Fish River) or Clarence Dam (or Dam Cliffs) - a free swimming hole that is both deep and cool (Chifley Road, east of Lithgow). Grove Creek, a hour's drive south of Bathurst, is worth the drive after recent rain, but make sure you swim away from Grove Creek Falls. Wallaby Rocks on the Turon River west of the village of Sofala is lovely, but doesn't have facilities so you'll need to pack for that. On our doorstep is the Macquarie River . Try Hereford Street bridge and the Bridge Street bridge and further up towards Eglinton if you're looking for a place to cool off.
Dubbo park run will celebrate its 250th event on January 23 with a green theme - green being the shirt colour for the 250 milestone. So if you're planning on running, dig out that green outfit (perhaps channeling a little bit of Ireland in the process). As usual, the run will start at 8am. If you want to join in, head to Sandy Beach Park, Dubbo