I know I am terribly biased, but I love my home town of Mudgee. Yes, it is only small and, Yes, it is a solid three and a half or four hour drive from Sydney, but when you get here it is a feast for the senses, especially the tastebuds.
We have around 40 wineries, breweries and distilleries in the countryside surrounding the town, however in this post I am encouraging you to park the car, pocket the keys and explore Mudgee itself. Being small, everything is in easy walking distance.
So, here is an easy 48 hour plan of attack…
Do: Arrive in the Mudgee CBD in the afternoon and take a gentle stroll along the Cudgegong River to check out the Sculpture Walk. This is the perfect way to blow out the cobwebs at the end of the working week as well as stretch the legs after a long car ride. The path hugs the edge of the river and is made of a high quality surface, suitable for baby strollers, wheelchairs, scooters etc. There are 14 sculptures along the walk and each year it grows a little more as a result of the Sculpture in the Garden event. After each Sculpture Event, Mid-Western Regional Council selects a few interesting pieces to add to the display. Some of the pieces will you amaze you and/or have you scratching your head! The walk is around 2 km long, over mostly flat or gently undulating terrain.
Eat: stroll back into Market Street and settle onto one of the stools at Eltons and watch the world go by. Enjoy an interesting selection of boutique beers on tap as you graze on their tasty tapas menu.
Stay: Mudgee newest hotel is The Perry Street Hotel and it features 13 luxury suites. This is a pretty special place as it is housed in the historic Mechanics Institute building (1862). Every long term resident of Mudgee seems to have a story to tell about their experiences in this place, especially dances and balls held there, how they fell in love with their future husband/wife etc. It has now graciously settled into its new role as a super-comfortable luxury escape.
Do: shake off any city shackles and head to the Mudgee Common for a gentle introduction to the Australian bush. The Common is located right on the edge of the town and is the perfect place for walking, bird watching or spotting kangaroos and other native fauna. The Common connects to the protected Avisford Nature Reserve too if you feel like an extended walk through some more rugged country.
Eat: You will have worked up a good appetite after your hike, so head back to Market Street for the full range of cafes for delicious breakfast.
Do: Markets are held on the first, second and third Saturday mornings of each month in the grounds of the St Johns Anglican Church, St Mary’s Catholic Church or Lawson Park. The Farmers’ Market (third Saturday) is a great way to sample a whole range of local delicacies and build your own picnic lunch.
Art: If you enjoy Aboriginal art, check out the display at the Mudgee Library. Mid-Western Regional Council was lucky to have a large Aboriginal Art collection bequeathed to the Council and it features a diverse range of dot, and other, paintings. The exhibition changes regularly and there are some stunning pieces tucked away between the book stacks.
Eat: if you are ready for another little stroll and want to enjoy some great food and wine, take the path northwards across the bridge, over the Cudgegong River and amble the easy 1.8km out to Cellar by Gilbert. Kick back with delectable cider, red and white wines in the garden area or snuggle up in front of the roaring open fire. Their seasonal menu features delicious, rustic food that showcases local produce and pairs perfectly with their wines.
Do: When you can summon the energy or inclination, wander back into Mudgee and visit the Gooree Cellar & Pantry. More delicious wine to taste and fill your esky with tender Wagyu beef, zesty garlic, and plenty of other fresh, seasonal produce.
Eat: for a genuine country pub experience pull up a bench at the Lawson Park Hotel. The pub is famous for its steaks and you can cook them just how you like them.
Eat: After a decadently slow start to Sunday, roll into the Mudgee Brewery for pancakes or the Brewer’s Breakfast amongst the copper vats. This building is a fabulous old building honouring its wool store origins. Sit in the sun out the front, in the shade in the courtyard or in front of the fire and taste their brews of course!
Do: A selection of interesting shops on the main street open on Sundays, although we are not as geared up for Sunday retail like larger cities. Or, head to the Mudgee Museum for a trip down memory lane. The volunteer-run museum is chock-a-block full of local memorabilia and the downright quirky.
Eat: before climbing back in the car again, fuel up on freshly made sour dough bread and free range eggs sprinkled with spicy homemade dukkha at the Artisan Café. Enjoy the backyard dining (dogs are welcome) amongst the trees and rustic sculptures, or inside surrounded by vibrant art and clever craft.
It’s time to head home now and hopefully you have enjoyed the fresh country air, gentle countryside and delicious local food and wine. Both you and your car are rested and restored, and ready for ‘normal’ life once more.
I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the World.
Do you want to see what is happening in Mudgee right now? Check out this Livecam.
When will you visit Mudgee?
What: Stay at The Perry Street Hotel for an easy walk into the Mudgee CBD. Suites feature kitchenettes and room rates start from $200.00 per night.
Where: Mudgee is approximately 270km north-west of Sydney, over the Blue Mountains and into Paradise.
When: There is never a bad time to be in Mudgee. We are a popular destination all year ‘round except for perhaps in the middle of Summer.
Why: Unwind, eat, drink and stretch your legs in fresh country air surrounded by historic architecture.
Who: Everyone – the more the merrier.
Related Posts: If you feel like strolling further afield, than have a look at my post about walks around the Mudgee region.
Related Blogs: For more Mudgee gorgeousness, check out this post from a family who cycled and sampled their way around Mudgee.
Read About it: Interested in reading about some early Mudgee history? Then have a look at Jimmy Governor – Blood on the Tracks by Maurie Garland. Jimmy Governor was an Aboriginal man who grew up near Mudgee and ended up as the focus of Australia’s greatest manhunt. Find it at Book Depository.
#mudgeeregion, #paradise , #foodandwine