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Accommodation and food - western NSW

At my desk
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Accommodation and food – western NSW

We’re heading on a road trip through western NSW and are after advice on decent accommodation and restaurants/ cafes.

Accommodation- ideally we’d like somewhere with a bit of character. Doesn’t have to be spotless; a rambling, bit-of-peeling-paint old pub/house would be great. And it doesn’t have to be hostel cheap- we have the budget for private rooms (though not 5* hotels).

Food- While I realise outback NSW isn’t the world leader in cuisine, we like to eat places where the cooking options extend beyond the fryer, and the flavouring options beyond MSG.

Places we’re staying:

* Orange, Windera or Molong

* Cobar

* Menindee (we’ll probably be camping and will have cooking equipment, but I’ve heard there is a pub there. Is this true? What’s it like?

* Broken Hill or Silverton

* Mungo National Park (anyone stayed at the Shearers Quarters? Is it better to camp? I assume you have to take your own food in- correct?)

* Narrandera

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Accommodation and food – western NSW

Not sure what country you're from ("at my desk" doesn't tell us much!)..or who "we" are (couple or family?), or when you'll be travelling, so I'll just give you some general info...

Accomodation get some ideas from www.wotif.com.au if you're not travelling in holiday times or over long w/ends you can possibly "wing it" & not book ahead...most of theses towns will have Visitor Information Centres (google to check)..bookings can be made there..there are some nice B&B's in the Orange area..

Food- often the local RSL club offers good, basic food...sometimes the pubs also are pretty reasonable.

Not sure if you've seen these links



NE Victoria...
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2. Re: Accommodation and food – western NSW

Well, it's been a little while since I've been out there and things may have changed, but we used to head out west every year or so - we love it out there. I can comment on a few things.

Loads of interesting places to stay and eat in at Orange - I'd probably stay there over Molong, although the latter is a nice little place. Have a look at www.orange.nsw.gov.au/index.cfm… and see if anything appeals. By Windera, do you mean Canowindra? We stopped there at Christmas to do some wine tasting, there were some good looking cafes that had sprung up in recent times, we were pleasantly surprised.

For Cobar, things are a little more limited. There are some pubs along the lines that you describe (one used to be billed as having the longest verandah in NSW or suchlike) and a range of motels; all much of a muchness, the Crossroads is off the Barrier Highway and is a bit quieter than the rest.

Menindee - there are two pubs, you're probably thinking of Maidens Hotel, which is where Burke and Wills passed through. We've stayed at the pub a couple of times, but this is quite a long time ago now - about 12 years; it was pretty basic but had bags of character. I heard that they've had a fire there since we were last there, so they may have upgraded it a little. We've also camped at the weir nearby; I'd probably choose one of the Kinchega campsites over that.

The Hill - well, we love Mario's Palace Hotel and have stayed there a few times. Complete time warp and faded, Victorian meets 50s retro. I see that it's on the market, so I'd stay there now - before it changes (as it will do, no doubt). There's quite a good review of it on TA. We've also stayed in a couple of miners' cottages, well worth doing (but Mario's is unique).

Mungo and Narrandera are too far back in my travel history for me to be of any use to you whatsoever!

Hope this is of some use.


Sunny Queensland...
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3. Re: Accommodation and food – western NSW

Between Cobar and Broken hill consider the detour to White Cliffs.There you can stay underground-the motel is basic-only 1 room with an ensuite.$99 a night,3 course dinner $35-communal table.breakfast expensive though for what you get.A bit more upmarket PJs B&B.

On the road to White Cliffs to Wilcannia we saw the most eagles I have ever seen in a day including one flying down a young kangaroo.Spectacular sunrises and sunsets and the night stars are magnificent.It is an opal mining community but not a great place for buying as fairly limited selection.

Silverton-to eat I reccomend the Silverton cafe-cheap but tasty home cooking.I like the slow roasted salt bush mutton.Their Drovers stew takes me back to my mothers cooking in the 50s.

Broken hill-cant help on accommodation as I get put up in a private home.For the best meal in Broken Hill it has to be the Broken Earth restaurant on top of the Line of Lode.I reccommend the entree Bush Food Platter.It should be shared or had as a main course as it is large.3 courses for 2 without alcohol approx $100.Service can be slow and reccomended to book for dinner.The Astra and Southern Cross hotels have good food but expensive and not as good as Broken Earth.The clubs have good standard food but getting pricey now.The best would be the Musos and the Demo.The Sturt club is a bit older and I felt not up to the other 2.The Legion has very cheap lunches but the patrons are nearly all over 70.

The Tydvil pub has really good food at reasonable prices-great character and no pokies.No meals Sunday through tuesdays.The pub on the corner of Argent and Oxide streets has counter meals and is the bikie pub if you want something different-I didnt try it.The Cafe Alfresco is reasonable for a snack but their pasta dishes were substandard.For coffee Thom,Dick and Harrys is the in place.

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4. Re: Accommodation and food – western NSW

You will be overwhelmed with eating choices in Orange.

We were in Cobar a few years ago and ate at a restaurant on the left side of the main street (heading west). It was very good - cook your own steak, good salad and excellent lemon tart. Other than that it was ordinary-looking pubs.From memory, it had timber framed (cedar) glass doors and was really the only restaurant-looking place in town, so you should find it. The mining museum in Cobar was excellent.

If you are looking for character places to stay, perhaps you should consider a diversion to White Cliffs, where you can stay underground at PJs. Not cheap, but truly unique. We never did find the door at the White Cliffs pub - had the distinct feeling that non-locals were not welcome. But had an excellent steak sandwich at the general store andPJs did dinner too, although expensive when travelling with kids.

Road is sealed from Cobar to White Cliffs and a beautiful (if very lonely and remote) run is from White Cliffs to B. Hill via Mootawintjee. Ideally you would have a 4wd and even then, after any rain , the road is impassable. In the dry though the road is decent enough for 2wd - but you would need to do your homework on this.

Broken Hill - there are lots of cute miner's cottages - we stayed in Ruby's, which was just lovely. Food-wise in BH - we ate at home most of the time. There are lots of clubs, but the dining areas are mainly fluoro lit and in some cases, very close to the pokies. No pub took our fancy either. BH is about the only place we have been where we thought we would be happier eating at home.

If you are driving Cobar direct to BH via Wilcannia, just be careful if refuelling in Wilcannia. Lock the car doors at all times (and the caravan doors and windows if towing one).

There is certainly a pub at Menindee (Maidens, with a rich history) but haven't bee there.

On the way home, you could try Stefano's at the Grand Hotel in Mildura. Yum!

Have fun!

At my desk
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5. Re: Accommodation and food – western NSW

thanks heaps for your replies. I'll have a think about white cliffs but it may be out... unless we skip Menindee.

Tragically, Mario's is no more. It closed around May of last year.

NE Victoria...
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6. Re: Accommodation and food – western NSW

Oh NOOOO!! That's such sad news about Mario's. Probably not a huge surprise - I suppose it had to happen eventually, Mario wasn't getting any younger.

I remember happy breakfasts in the 50s dining room with Mario serving coffee and eggs, one of our nicest memories. We really loved it there, I'm so glad we had the chance to experience the place a few times over the years.

Thanks for letting me know.

7. Re: Accommodation and food – western NSW

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