Your Ultimate Guide to Mudgee
17th June 2020
Just over 250km Northwest of Sydney you will find the countryside town of Mudgee. This New South Wales town is actually the second oldest settlement west of the Blue Mountains, established in 1838. Architecture from the 1860s still standing in the town today gives Mudgee a quaint and historic feel. Packed with colonial buildings and filled with heritage, the town is also famous for its surrounding wineries.
Nestled within a valley and encapsulated by rounded green hills, Mudgee has a climate a little warmer than its surrounding peaks. It is no wonder then, that the word ‘Mudgee’ comes from the word ‘Moothi’ in the local Wiradjuri language, meaning ‘Nest in the hills’. As a result of its idyllic microclimate, Mudgee and its peaceful backdrop have attracted an abundance of viticulturists. More than 40 charming family-owned cellar doors in the region will tempt anyone with a taste for wine.
Whilst the natural landscapes of Mudgee are ideal for wineries, they also cater for a great deal of outdoor activities. Magnificent national parks and world heritage listed bushland nearby make Mudgee perfect for those with an outdoorsy trip in mind. Cycling, canoeing, hiking, horse riding and many more actives can be enjoyed in close proximity to the culturally rich countryside town.
Small but with endless attractions, Mudgee could be the location for your upcoming weekend escape. In fact, at only 3.5 hours away by car, this rural region is ideally located for a trip from Sydney. It’s not too close and it’s certainly not too far. Whether you’re after a cosy weekend away with your partner or an active family getaway, you’ll find endless things to do in Mudgee.
Things to do in Mudgee
Visit some Mudgee wineries
Visiting some of the many wineries in Mudgee is a totally worthwhile experience. Over 40 Mudgee cellar doors with their own story, brand and trademark are on offer across the the region. Choose from the vast selection and carve out your perfect wine tasting day. If you’re not fussy, just take a drive and see where you end up. The wineries in Mudgee region are sprinkled in all directions from the town, so you won’t ever be far from the vines. Take a look at a few of our suggestions.
In 1838, Johann Stein brought with him to Australia a cutting of Rhine Riesling. Today, the Mudgee winery offers dry through to semi-sweet whites and complex tasty reds. Set within the undulating Mudgee landscape, Robert Stein winery has sensational views, a stylish restaurant and cosy cellar door. Drop by to experience picturesque Mudgee winery scenes, a quintessential landscape and a range of delectable wines.
Boutique wines and low-impact viticulture is the theme at Rosby Wines. Fantastic red wines here are made with an emphasis on the local and to an excellent quality. Rosby Wines vineyard is managed using low-yield crops, planted, pruned and picked by hand. Swing by this most unique of Mudgee wineries, to catch a glimpse of the beautiful and wholesome ‘Rosby way of life’.
Low Family Wine Co was founded in 2000 by David Lowe and today produces small batches of organic wines. Head to the cellar door here for an intimate tasting experience. Explore the gorgeous grounds and stroll through cork trees and biodynamic farmlands, taking in the countryside air. You’ll also find rescue donkeys and a peacock wandering through the grounds too.
Logan winery is certainly one worth visiting. Striking modern architecture perched upon a hill – comprised of glass and flooded with light – offers uninterrupted views over the Mudgee landscape and sweeping vineyards. Wines here are unique, deviating from the winemakers script and sold in kegs. Playful labels and a creative attitude are put on show at Logan Wines. Drop by for a taste of their full range, or grab a cheese plate and a bottle for a lazy lunch with a view.
Take a hike
Mudgee is pretty and the surrounding topography is stunning. Naturally, during your visit you should take a hike or at least a stroll and get your dose of nature and countryside air. On your way to Mudgee from Sydney, stop off at Wollemi National Park. Offering a dramatic setting for hiking, the park is the largest wilderness area in New South Wales. Canyons, towering cliffs, thick forests and wild meandering rivers make this spot quite extraordinary.
Hike Castle Rocks in the Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve and witness amazing scenic views dotted with lookout points. The sandstone pagodas along your way add a whole other layer of striking beauty to the hike. Pop over to Avisford Nature Reserve from your accommodation in Mudgee for a stroll through the Australian hills. It’s very close to Mudgee and packed with wildlife. Steep slopes with forests and narrow rocky canyons describe the stunning landscape here.
See the area by bike
Cycling in Mudgee is incredibly popular – especially mountain biking. Specifically designed dirt trails west of the little town are easy to access. Take a look at bike trails here. If you’re more of a road cyclist, or if you’re just up for a roll through the countryside, there are options for that too. There’s no better way to see Mudgee than by bike, breezing through the open countryside and fresh air. Around the town itself, you can cycle beside the river from Lawson Park to Walkers Oval on a circular trail.
Alternatively, The Rocky Waterhole loop is a 25km ride which whizzes through river flats and open farmland with excellent views across the Mudgee valley. With wineries scattered all around Mudgee, you’re bound to be tempted by a few on your way. Hire a bike at Countryfit Bicycle Hire for the ultimate Mudgee experience.
Visit a local market in Mudgee
Mudgee is host to some excellent local markets. These happen on Saturdays and provide locals and visitors alike with a great option for things to do in Mudgee over a weekend. The first Saturday of the month brings the church markets, packed with everything from local produce, cakes, cheeses and arts and crafts. The second Saturday brings Lawson Park Markets near the Cudgegong River. Here you can find jams and chutneys as well as a whole load of local arts and crafts.
Visit on the third Saturday of the month and you’ll be lucky enough to visit the farmers market where you’ll find just about any kind of produce and food items you could want. Grab yourself an egg roll and a coffee and wander around past the abundant stalls. The market operates under very strict guidelines, ensuring that all produce sold is made (grown, reared, caught, pickled, baked, brewed, smoked or processed) by the stallholders themselves. The Mudgee Farmers Market is wonderfully wholesome and very authentic. Finally, on the last Saturday of the month, catch the Gulgong Markets where you’ll experience some local music, funky crafts and delicious food stalls. When it comes to things to do in Mudgee, visiting a market should absolutely be on your list.
Go to a local gallery
If you’re visiting in winter and you’ve had some bad luck weather-wise there’s no need to fear. There are things to do in Mudgee in the rain. The Mudgee Region is home to some awesome artists, which is unsurprising given the gorgeous setting. Jewellery, textiles, sculptures, metal work, photography and paintings are just some of the artworks you’ll find in the area. Local wineries often host local art work too, so keep your eyes peeled during a lunch at one of the Mudgee wineries.
Visit Catherine Skyes to catch a glimpse of some stunningly creative pottery and crafted homewares. Drop into Arts & Crafts Mudgee at the old railway station to find paintings and jewellery, ceramics and apparel as well as much more. With four rooms, this quaint little shop and gallery is as good as an indoor crafts market. Tie in a coffee with your trip to an art gallery and visit Artisan on Lewis. The fun and quirky food and arts business is set within a charming historic building. An art space in the building showcases local crafts and handmade products.
Take the kids on a tiny train
At some point during your weekend escape to Mudgee trip, it will be the kids’ turn. Mudgee Miniature Railways is open on Sundays and offers the opportunity to ride a tiny train. The organisation is a non-profit society created to fully build and operate a miniature railway for passengers, so to promote hobby engineering. Keep an eye on their website for opening times.
Have a go at gold fossicking
Only 37km from your accommodation in Mudgee, you can find an area popular for golf fossicking. The discovery of gold in the Mudgee region historically brought great wealth to the area and so trying your hand at this unique and quirky activity will get you to really soak up the history of Mudgee. Pop by the local visitor centre in Mudgee and rent some tools for the whole family, before setting off on your adventure to find treasure. Go for gold; you might be lucky!
Visit a Mudgee winery with a twist
There are plenty of wineries in Mudgee to choose from, but Gooree Park is renowned as being a little unique. When it comes to things to do in Mudgee, a visit here should be on your list. Simultaneously known as the largest vineyard in the district as well as a world-class thoroughbred horse stud, it’s well worth a trip. The gorgeous property is traditional and stately, with lofty trees and white post fences. Taste some delectable reds and white, or bring along your picnic and sit beneath the trees with a bottle from the cellar door. Gaze across the fields scattered with majestic thoroughbred horses and relax all afternoon.
Just north of Mudgee, you can find Putta Bucca; a famous birdwatching destination. Parrots and owls, fowls and water birds are commonly found in this beautifully wild environment. Bring your camera and binoculars and admire the nature of New South Wales in this public reserve teeming with wildlife, birds and an array of flora and fauna.
Stroll through the town of Mudgee
Spend a morning exploring Mudgee and everything that the charming town has to offer. Colonial buildings, a quaint church and an old post office make the sweet New South Wales town very endearing. Stop by a cafe and pick up a coffee to wander the streets with.
Drop into a brewery in Mudgee
For craft beer, local food, live music and a vibrant local atmosphere, visit Mudgee Brewing Company. The brewing itself takes place in a rustic 100-year old wool store made of red bricks. Refreshing pale ales and creatively crafted beers are produced at this local Mudgee brewery. A surprising and rich history of local beer making is integral to your experience at Mudgee Brewing Company. Pop in to taste some local beers at this Mudgee brewery for the ultimate Mudgee experience.
Experiences in Mudgee
Go kayaking or canoeing
Kayaking during your trip to Mudgee will bring a whole new level of enjoyment to your weekend escape. Get a little closer to nature and head to Southern Cross Kayaking, a businesses offering guided tours through the spectacular Wollemi landscape. Natural and cultural insight will be provided along the way. Learn a little about the Wiradjuri people as well as the first European settlement in the region as you glide across the water through wild and dramatic landscapes.
Take part in a cooking class
Informal, relaxed and creative, your time at The little Cooking School will be totally inspiring. Join a casual cooking class, suited to all different levels, and cook delicious meals with the best of regional produce. Finish your class by enjoying the product of a days work with local wines to match.
Cafes and restaurants in Mudgee
When it comes to restaurants in Mudgee, Zin House is a favourite and rightfully so. The Mudgee restaurant is elegant and chic, serving delicious food with locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Set within the grounds of Lowe Vineyard, at the opt of a hill with gorgeous countryside views, this place is truly special. Grab a seat on the terrace and start with a fruity glass of organic zinfandel. Otherwise, Elton’s eating and drinking is also a fantastic choice. This hip yet elegant eatery set within a colonial building offers sharing plates and craft beer. When it comes to restaurants in Mudgee, keep things simple yet wholesome and tasty and pay a visit to Elton’s.
At Parklands Resort, visit The Vine Restaurant offering a scrumptious breakfasts and dinner. Enjoy a menu comprised of fresh local produce and local Mudgee wines on the stunning outdoor deck, whilst overlooking the landscaped gardens of the gorgeous Mudgee Hills.
Cafes in Mudgee are plenty. Your coffee needs will be taken care of at any time of the day. Go for something simple yet wholesome at Alby and Esthers, a cafe offering a $10 jaffle all day long. Sit nestled in an adorable courtyard kept cosy with green wall-climbing plants. Coffee, kombucha, cocktails and excellent local wines go perfectly with the hearty and fresh all-day menu.
Additionally, conjuring up mouthwatering quiches, tarts and gorgeously wholesome meals, Outside The Square is a socially and environmentally responsible cafe supporting local fair trade. Great coffee as well as cakes and indulgent breakfasts and lunches are served here with pride.
Book your trip to Mudgee
At just over three hours away from Sydney and absolutely packed with potential for things to do, Mudgee might just be your ideal weekend escape. Looking for hotels in Mudgee? Take a look at our recommendation. Get your choice of accommodation in Mudgee just right.
Parklands Resort and Conference Centre is all about relaxation and comfort. Placed within 30 acres of gorgeously manicured gardens, the resort is the best of hotels in Mudgee for an idyllic weekend in the countryside. Found just on the edge of town, Parklands Resort makes for the ideal base for exploring the rural wine region. An indoor pool, space and sauna add another layer of luxury to your experience.
Grab yourself a cosy room at Parklands Resort in Mudgee this winter and spend a weekend exploring the region.
Book a room at Parklands Resort.