Mount Canobolas, formed through volcanic activity millions of years ago, looms 1395 metres above sea level and is the dominant geographic feature of the Orange district. The height of the mountain produces a strong rainfall effect with water flowing in all directions from the summit. The mountain is a watershed: water falling on the eastern side flows into Towac Creek and from the western side enters Boree Creek.
The name Canobolas is derived from the Wiradjuri word meaning 'two shoulders'. It was a significant water reserve not only for local Aboriginal people but after white settlement for travelling stock. Snow often dusts the peak in winter. Locals say there is a permanent cloud over the mountain.
Water feeds from Towac Creek into Lake Canobolas, once known as Meadow Creek, Orange's first water supply. The lake is one of Orange's major attractions, popular year-round for excursions and only a few kilometres from the city. There is no better place to enjoy Orange's changing seasonal colours than the lake, with Mount Canobolas looming not far away. There are many orchards in the fertile area surrounding the lake as well as a number of wineries.