The Orange Region is quite distinct from the Great Dividing Range to the east and rises some 500 meters above the surrounding tablelands.
Mount Canobolas, the base of which is situated approximately 15kms from the Orange CBD, lifted and developed above the old sedimentary landforms of the Lachlan Fold Belt. The Mount Canobolas volcano was at the younger southern end of the volcanic boomerang that extended from Queensland to Oberon that includes the Warrumbungles. At least three separate eruptions occurred 11-13 million years ago above the northwest tending Canobolas divide. This divide and now Mount Canobolas separate the northerly draining Macquarie River catchment form the southerly draining Lachlan River system.
The first eruption formed a large shield volcano which spread magma over the older sediments of the region that include limestone, shales, slate, older volcanics and greywacke. Fluid basalt lava later covered a large area from Borenore to Millthorpe at mostly 850-1000m elevation. The last eruption produced slower moving trachyte lava which formed the steep sided domes at high elevation such as Young Man Canobolas, Old Man Canobolas and Towac peak.
Subsequent weathering of this volcanic area has produced a steep to undulating landscape dissected by many headwater creeks and streams. The base geology is closely linked to the elevation as are the soil types derived from such material. Sediments from older Lachlan Fold Belt rocks become visible below about 850m. Limestone rocks and caves (Borenore Caves) can be seen on the western side at lower elevation (600-700m) as a result of the coral/shell deposits at ancient shore lines.
The high elevation of the region provides a cool climate and the sloping country provides an escape from cold air.
Growing fruit in the region Apples just ain’t apples. The Orange regions climate, soil, geology & topography make up a distinct and unique growing environment for apples. Our growers would argue that it’s the best growing conditions for apples anywhere in Australia.
Growing on the slopes of extinct volcano Mt Canobolas, in cool temperatures with a long slow ripening period and plentiful natural rainfall ensures apples of intense natural flavour and colour.
Food & Wine Culture
Orange is now synonymous for producing great food and wine. Our region boasts a great array of fine dining restaurants and award winning wineries. You can experience everything from ‘paddock to plate’, starting with the producer and farm gate through to boutique production of value added products and renowned dining experiences.
Our wines, like our apples, are produced with patience and restraint to ensure balance and finesse. The Orange area continues to attract some of Australia’s great winemakers – reinforcing the belief of visionaries before them.
Check the Orange360 website for more information and for lists of all our producers, products, wineries & restaurants.