Orange is a city in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. It is west of the state capital, Sydney [ on a great circle], at an altitude of . Orange has an estimated population of 39,329 and the city is a major provincial centre. Its key industries include agriculture and mining. A significant nearby landmark is Mount Canobolas. With a peak elevation of it gives commanding views of the district.
Orange is the birthplace of poets Banjo Paterson and Kenneth Slessor, although Paterson lived in Orange for only a short time as an infant. Walter W. Stone, book publisher (Wentworth Books) and passionate supporter of Australian literature, was also born in Orange. The first Australian Touring Car Championship, known today as V8 Supercar Championship Series, was held at the Gnoo Blas circuit in 1960.
In 1822 Captain Percy Simpson marched into the Wellington District and established a convict settlement which was called "Blackman's Swamp" after James Blackman; Simpson had employed James Blackman as a guide because he had already accompanied an earlier explorer, John Oxley into that region.
In the late 1820s, the surveyor J. B. Richards worked on a survey of the Macquarie River below Bathurst and also of the road to Wellington. On a plan dated 1829, he indicated a village reserve, in the parish of Orange. Sir Thomas Mitchell named the parish Orange, as he had been an associate of the Prince of Orange in the Peninsular War, when both were aides-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington, whose title was bestowed on the valley to the west by Oxley.
Legal occupation by graziers began late in 1829, and tiny settlements grew up on the properties and in connection with the road. In 1844, the surveyor Davidson was sent to check on encroachments onto the land reserved for a village, and to advise on the location for a township. His choices were Frederick's Valley, Pretty Plains, or Blackman's Swamp.
Blackman's Swamp was chosen, and it was proclaimed a village and named Orange by Major Thomas Mitchell in 1846 in honour of Prince William of Orange. At nearby Ophir, the first useful discovery of gold in Australia was made in 1851, and this led to the Australian gold rush. Later discoveries of gold in nearby areas led to the establishment of Orange as a central trading centre for the gold. This is contrary to the popular belief that gold was first discovered close to the nearby regional town of Bathurst.
The growth of Orange continued as the conditions were well suited for agriculture, and in 1860 it was proclaimed a municipality. The railway from Sydney reached Orange in 1877. In 1946, 100 years after it was first being established as a village, Orange was proclaimed as a minor city.