Mudgee may have lost a hidden-gem status it once held, yet still this Central West NSW destination sneaks under the guard of many.
It’s a massive oversight.
Sensational scenery, absorbing history, and first-class food and wine are among its treats.
Want to know more? This great guide will introduce you to the best things to do in Mudgee.
Where: 265km northwest of Sydney.
Population: 12,410 (as of 2018).
Located along: The Cudgegong River.
Joint winner: In the Best-kept Secret category at the Australian Traveller magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards in 2014. And eighth place in Tripadvisor's 2021 Top Emerging Destinations award.
This glorious area boasts a grape-growing history dating to 1858. Today, its cluster of 30-plus wineries, including some of the state’s best cellar doors, makes this an irresistible weekend destination from Sydney.
Robust reds led by shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, as well as chardonnay, are key varieties in this cool-climate district.
Head to Logan for the view, Short Sheep for the small family-run experience, Huntington Estate for the range, The Cellar by Gilbert for the alfresco platters, Robert Stein for the addition of a motorcycle museum, and Lowe for the overall experience.
There are many top-notch dining options in Mudgee, and these are just a few worth noting.
Pipeclay Pumphouse: Fine dining and excellent service within the grounds of Robert Stein winery. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Zin House: Gorgeous setting and delectable food sourced locally. Offers memorable and select dining ‘experiences’.
Eltons Eating + Drinking: More casual but no less rewarding. Vibrant atmosphere with tacos and tapas dominating the menu. Great craft beer and wine list, too.
The Ori Kitchen: Delicious pub grub with a family-friendly atmosphere.
Mudgee Brewing Co: Beautiful brews meet tasty tucker in a space with a vibrant ambience. Core beers feature alongside seasonal releases.
Mudgee abounds with tangible history evident through its collection of striking structures such as its distinctive post office, eye-catching clocktower, and grand town hall. Wander around town for free or team up with Mudgee Heritage Walking Tours for a fascinating hour-long excursion each Saturday morning at a reasonable price.
Or pack a picnic and head to Lawson Park with its delightful riverside setting, playground, and markets on the second Saturday of each month. Robertson Park is another solid choice.
There’s a rich history to absorb at Colonial Inn Museum, which delves into the area’s past via a humongous collection of items covering various themes. Highly recommended on a sunny day, too.
This quartet offers ample fun if you’re looking for things to do in Mudgee for families:
Mudgee Honey Haven: The buzzing attraction has a mammoth range of honey to taste alongside a live bee exhibit, mini-golf, and an onsite café.
Mudgee Water Park: This exciting new feature includes tipping buckets, a water slide, spray cannons, and other thrilling elements for a small admission fee.
Mudgee Miniature Railway: All aboard for family fun on the second Sunday of every month.
Mudgee Observatory: Excellent viewing opportunities of the night sky about a 20min drive from town. Daytime sessions available, too.
A handful of incredibly engrossing heritage towns make for excellent day trips from Mudgee. Be enchanted by their timeless streetscapes and wonderful attractions.
Gulgong is particularly striking, located 30km north of Mudgee. This instantly captivating old gold-mining town features a whopping 100-plus National Trust-listed buildings along with Australia’s oldest-operating opera house.
Don’t miss the Henry Lawson Centre while here. It comprehensively retraces the life of the iconic writer and poet.
Heading southeast for 55km, Rylstone exudes more of that rustic charm with its time-honoured streetscape as well as a burgeoning foodie scene. Neighbouring Kandos is another recommended stop. Both towns are nestled near World Heritage-listed Wollemi National Park.
It’s not a proper Mudgee guide without highlighting a couple of key events. While the town is an alluring destination year round, it’s certainly at its vibrant best for the Mudgee Wine + Food Festival.
This action-packed event features plenty of palate-pleasing goodness alongside live entertainment and is next slated for 10 September-4 October 2021.
Or stop by for Sculptures in the Garden, a leading annual art event hosted at Rosby Wines in mid-October.
This Classic holiday park offers the best of both worlds – proximity to the town centre and yet spacious, tranquil grounds that feel far removed from it.
To go with its inviting cabin range and powered caravan and camping sites is a fine assortment of facilities that include a swimming pool and undercover BBQ area alongside a jumping pillow and playground for kids.
Isn’t it time you had a Mudgee escape? Book your next break with BIG4 now.