On a beautiful overcast day, we drove through stretching green fields and I noticed my breath naturally slow down. Around 40 minutes from Orange NSW is a beautiful little town called Carcoar. I’d seen it on Instagram, I had seen the beauty in its simplicity, the old-world romantic charm – many of the buildings look as they would have done in the early 1800s. Whilst we’ve all spent so much time at home, I think many of us have had a chance to revaluate our values and what we need more of in our lives. For me – I am looking for the simple pleasures of spending more time with my husband and our two young boys, aged 1 and 4. Time to reconnect and treasure the small moments.
So with vegemite-smeared faces, we entered the Stoke museum – run by a volunteer who lives across the road and pops over when a car turns up. There are free maps available here to explain what all of the buildings are (or were) in the village. Sitting in a valley, surrounded by big green rolling hills, there are some beautiful Georgian and Victorian era houses with the most gorgeous cottage style gardens, rambling flowers from sidewalks and the streets are lined with uneven sandstone – it’s truly a beautiful place to wander around.
The town itself can be explored on foot, which I loved. We started at the museum looking at everything from old prams, cash registers, train pieces and horse carts, to chicken feather pluckers – the look on my four year old’s face was one of confusion mixed with shock. We took our picnic lunch over the bridge and sat by the creek listening to the running water downstream (from the Belabula river) whilst a man and his dog took photographs of the water and the bridge. After lunch we meandered up to the main street and had coffee from the village grocer, checked out the famous Tomolly store and then made our way back to the car, past the old pub, bank and post office. An echidna was shuffling up the street, going about his day. Whilst wandering back we spotted a new boutique restaurant on the corner ‘Antica’ (a one hat restaurant) in which their website mentions they serve food & stories in an intimate setting for 20 guests, definitely one to try next time!