Canowindra is less than an hour’s drive from Parkes and has a lot to offer for those looking for new experiences and adventures.
BALLOON JOY FLIGHTS
Is a balloon flight on your bucket list? Canowindra is the balloon capital of Australia and the historic home of hot air ballooning because the atmospheric wind conditions are the most favourable for all year hot air ballooning. Balloon Joy Flights is a small family-owned company run by Graham, Jan and Anton Kerr offering you the opportunity to experience the magic of hot air ballooning. The company has been a commercial balloon flight operator since 1988. Canowindra also hosts the Cabonne Community Glow every year and will again take place on 1st May this year with hot air balloons lighting up the night sky. www.balloonjoyflights.com.au
If you are easily charmed by the character of old buildings, then Eddy’s is the place to stay in Canowindra. Offering group accommodation in an authentically restored 100-year-old historic convent building, Eddy’s cater for 2 – 32 people with 10 bedrooms (four with ensuite bathrooms) and reverse cycle air-conditioning in each room. There is a large commercial kitchen available opening onto a large semi-enclosed deck with BBQ area. You are also able to host your own party with a large dining room and plenty of entertaining space. Eddy’s is the ideal base for small to larger groups looking for accommodation for a wedding or hen party, a cycling club, or a conference. www.eddysofcanowindra.com.au
THE BLUE BOWERBIRD
The Blue Bowerbird is a unique online gift store with a bricks and mortar shop located in Canowindra. The shop offers a large range of unique gift wares ranging from animal related items to man cave products and much more. Over the years the owners have build a strong relationship with their suppliers and can access unique products, and are constantly searching and adding to their collection. The Blue Bowerbird can ship Australia wide and internationally. www.thebluebowerbird.com.au
CANOWINDRA INTERNATIONAL BALLOON CHALLENGE
Every April since 2010 Canowindra bursts at the seams as in excess of 5,000 people come to see the spectacle of Australia’s largest hot air balloon festival. This year’s festival takes place from 24th April to 2nd May. A highlight of the week’s events is the Small Acres Cyder KeyGrab on Sunday, 2nd May, where over a dozen hot air balloonists take off from out of town and head back into the sports oval and try and grab the key off the pole to try and win the prize. The signature event of the festivalis the Cabonne Community Glow, which kicks off from 3pm @ the Tom Clyburn Oval on Saturday, 1st May.
COVID travel restrictions have forces us in a nice way to explore what is great in our region, and in the Central West we are very fortunate to have an abundance of new experiences on offer. Historic Canowindra, set on the banks of the beautiful Belubula River, is famous for its crooked main street that follows the route of an old bullock track. The town’s fascinating colonial history, includes the famous story of the whole town being bailed up in a pub for three days by bushranger Ben Hall and his gang in 1863. In 1955, a rock bed full of thousands of rare Devonian fossils was uncovered by chance near Canowindra. It contained fossils of bizarre fish with crushing jaws and armour from 360 million years ago, long before dinosaurs roamed the planet. Many of these are now on display at the intriguing Ages of Fishes Museum.
THE OLD VIC INN
A magnificent heritage listed building located in the picturesque historic main street of Canowindra, the Old Vic Inn is a destination within itself. The Old Vic Inn provides the perfect base to explore the region’s ample attractions where you can meander through the engaging township, taste the abundant country hospitality, or just sit back on the veranda and drink in the charm! The family run inn features old world charm, ensuite rooms, lounge areas, dining and bar facilities providing the perfect venue for family getaways, conferences, weekends away and special occasions. www.oldvicinn.com.au
Owners of Perennialle Plants, Nerida and Chris Cuddy, have refurbished a historic building dating back to 1909 in Canowindra and will be opening a brand new store today.
They have taken care to restore elements of the building to reflect its original design that will house their high quality garden tools, gift ware, rustic items, wrought iron ware, natural brushes and designer home-wares – all sourced for their beauty and practicality.
Nerida, a schoolteacher and musician said in an ABC story the new shop offered possibilities of setting up flexible, creative areas in the storefront and the adjoining shed for community events.
For her, a highlight is a grand piano, on loan from some locals, that sits in the front display room. “It lives in our building, so that was the cherry on top for me,” she said.
“We hope musical people will come and play and just add to the atmosphere and enjoyment of this place.”
The couple also run a unique nursery, which will take another couple of weeks to relocate to the new premises. The rare collection of frost and drought tolerant shrubs and perennials, sourced from around the world and grown in Canowindra, will add to the charm of the new main street location. Perennialle Plants is an online nursery too with plants and garden tools on mail order at www.perennialle.com.au Plants are carefully packaged and posted weekly.