Mudgee…why oh why did we wait 40 years to visit? And we grew up only 4 hours away.
You’ve been calling us for so long and we’ve been ignoring you, instead heading to that other wine region in NSW, the Hunter Valley.
Well, let me just say Mudgee, you’re a great alternative to the Hunter Valley, in fact, you’re our new favourite town in Country NSW, and not just for your quality wine – we also fell in love with your heritage buildings, wide streets, parks and country charm.
I know it’s a cliche, but Mudgee is a true hidden gem.
It’s one of those towns that you know after 5 minutes that you’re a fan. It has that special something that you can’t wait to discover more of.
After being recommended many times to Mudgee, it won’t be another 40 years before we re-visit. I’m now putting Mudgee up there with Jervis Bay as our top new destinations in NSW from our Australia road trip so far.
5 Things to Do in Mudgee
1. Mudgee Wineries
The highlight of our visit to Mudgee, was of course, the wineries.
We soon found out why the Mudgee Wineries are award winning. Whilst most people are familiar with the previously mentioned Hunter Valley, Mudgee is growing in popularity and we now know why.
Biking the Wineries
One great experience you must do in Mudgee is bike the wineries. Because they’re close in proximity to each other, and the terrain is generally flat, it makes for a great day out. Cycling between them put a fun twist on the experience with our kids.
We always love exploring destinations on our bikes, and getting some fresh air whilst taking in the beautiful scenery at a slower pace was great between all the taste testing. Kalyra got so excited she turned into a speed demon.
Blue Wren Wines
The first stop on our winery day out was Blue Wren Wines for lunch.
We needed to eat before our cycling and wine tasting day out, and we got a tip from one of our readers that The Blue Wren restaurant is one of the best in Mudgee.
Starting with traditional dukkah spices, olive, balsamic dip & Turkish bread and a fine glass of Cab Sav, we then tucked into a nice piece of Barramundi with vine cherry tomatoes, eschalots & polenta log. The kids were kept happy with the homemade chicken strips and chips.
With a lovely garden setting and plenty of space for the kids, it was the perfect beginning.
Huntington Estate Wines
If you only have time to taste test one winery, we suggest Huntington Estate.
It’s just a short drive from the centre of town if you’re not biking, and the range and quality of their wines were superb – we bought several bottles.
The friendly owner was on hand to talk us through the taste testing and history of the property, and the kids were kept occupied in the little play area.
We’ll be back. And I would love to experience their annual music festival in the barrel room of the winery.
Robert Oatley Vineyards
Are you familiar with the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht race? Well, Robert Oatley’s super yacht ‘Wild Oats‘ won that race 4 consecutive times. Turns out, Robert Oatley Wines are pretty damn good too.
They’re also known for their Day on the Green.
And how could we not love a winery that had a kids play area amongst the wine barrels giving mummy and daddy time out to sample the wines. We’ll drink to that Robert Oatley.
The final stop on our Mudgee wineries bicycle tour was to Lowe Wines.
The wines here are certified organic, taste great, and I think the setting itself is worth the visit. Check out these views.
2. The Mudgee Brewery
We dropped into the local tourist office on arrival in Mudgee, which we always recommend you do in any new town, and finding out there was a brewery put a smile on my face.
The timing was perfect, Caz and I were celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than a few drinks at the family friendly Mudgee brewery.
We sat outside in the little courtyard whilst inside some live acoustic music entertained. We do love our craft beers and weren’t disappointed, sorry Australia but your mainstream domestic stuff doesn’t do it for us anymore.
I highly recommend you try the ‘wheat‘ and ‘pale ale‘.
3. Dinner at Lawson Park Hotel
We could have stayed at the Brewery for a meal but we got another local tip to eat at the Lawson Park Pub.
Turned out to be a great suggestion for a country pub meal. Kids eat free at the Lawson, you can choose to cook your own steaks on the communal BBQ’s, and it was open plan and family friendly. The menu was large and reasonably priced with typical meals like your salt & pepper calamari and salmon.
4. Albey & Esthers Cafe & Wine Bar
If you’re looking for a cafe in Mudgee, we suggest you drop into the Albey & Esthers Cafe & Wine Bar.
Located up a little alley way off Market street, you can either sit in the garden courtyard, or get cozy inside and enjoy one of the homemade cakes, toasties, or pastries and a good cup of coffee.
Open Monday to Saturday from 8am – 4pm and Friday & Saturday evenings from 5pm – 10pm.
5. Stay at Riverside Caravan Park
With our camper trailer in tow we found ourselves a home at Mudgee Riverside Caravan park.
We did get recommended another park slightly out of town which has more in-park facilities for the kids, but the best thing about Riverside is its central location.
We could easily walk or bike to Mudgee’s historic town centre, it was shady and of course on the river. They have self-contained cedar cabins or villas, and if you’re traveling like us plenty of powered-sites for camping and caravans.
Tips from our Facebook Fans
Below are some insider tips left by fans on our Facebook page:
Nicky Way Says:
Di Lusso Winery have great wood fired pizza, bocce and wine. Check out the newer little Micro-Winery short sheep. Consider The Tannery for great country accommodation in the heart of Mudgee. One of my favourites and where we had our farewell was Moothi Estate Wines on the side of a hill just outside of Mudgee run by a lovely Canadian and his partner. Lowe’s and Logan’s were my other favourite wineries. Lowe’s host the readers festival and Logan’s have great degustation dinners.
Trish Barry says:
Logan Wines, Lowe Wines, Robert Stein, Skimstone.
Charmaine Wan says:
Logan Wines. Elliot Rocke Estate. Pieter van Gent.
Kerri Tom says:
Mudgee white port is worth a go.
Carolanne Clement says:
Buy yourselves some Mudgee mead (spiced or unspiced) & keep it for cold winter nights!
Now It’s Your Turn
There you have it. That should help you to make your first or next trip to Mudgee memorable.
Tell us in the comments below any tips you have for things to do in Mudgee, or what you’re most looking forward to experiencing?
We visited Mudgee as part of our partnership with Destination NSW