The Millthorpe Motel provides a comfortable alternative right in town and is not a motel in the traditional sense.

The Millthorpe Motel provides a comfortable alternative right in town and is not a motel in the traditional sense.

 Central West, NSW

26 Victoria Street, Millthorpe

Phone: (02) 6366 3653

Email: reception@millthorpemotel.com.au

Web: millthorpemotel.com.au

The location Millthorpe is a rural village 20 minutes outside Orange, which means it's quiet and sleepy but also within easy reach of Orange's wineries, restaurants and other attractions. Its charm lies in its original state. From the dear little bluestone schoolhouse to the old pubs with their wide verandahs, it's like walking onto a film set for "old country town", except that in this one you can get excellent coffee and surprisingly good food.

The place There are plenty of accommodation choices in Millthorpe, from cottages to B&Bs, but the area can get booked up, particularly when there are events in Orange. The Millthorpe Motel provides a comfortable alternative right in town and is not a motel in the traditional sense. Yes, there are car spaces outside the door and the view is hardly scenic, but the rooms are luxuriously fitted out with contemporary furnishings; not a polyester sheet or floral bedspread in sight and no neon sign on the blink. The Loft Apartment has a sitting room with sofa bed, kitchenette and bathroom downstairs and a master bedroom with king-size bed upstairs in the loft.

The experience There's enough happening in Millthorpe itself to keep the visitor occupied for a lazy day by the time you've had a leisurely breakfast, taken a stroll around town to admire the architecture and the cute houses, checked out the homeware stores and extricated your husband from the display of historic farm machinery at the local museum. As well as Orange, within easy drive of Millthorpe are other historic towns like Carcoar, now classified by the National Trust and well worth a visit. And there's plenty of lovely countryside nearby for touring and picnicking.

Don't miss Tonic Restaurant (02 6366 3811), in the main street, is more evidence that Australian country towns don't have to be culinary backwaters. The food is terrific and based on a seasonal menu. La Boucherie cafe (6366 3656) is the old butchery, as its name suggests, now converted into a bookshop and cafe serving very good coffee, cakes and light meals. The Commercial pub (02 6366 3999) also offers lunch and dinner. The Millthorpe Museum (02 6366 3980) has lots of interesting things and, of course, Orange is just a short drive away.   

Need to know

Cost: From $155 a night.

Where: 245km (about 3.5 hours' drive) west of Sydney.

Children: Yes.

Pets: Only guide dogs.

Wheelchair access: Yes.