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A cellar door in a large corrugated iron warehouse is covered in flowering purple vines and flanked by wine barrels, people are walking to the door
Photograph: Supplied/Lowe Family Wine Co

The best things to do in Mudgee

Time for a weekend away in Mudgee, where it's all about wineries, country cottages, rolling hills and stunning sunsets

Alyx Gorman
Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alyx Gorman
Alannah Le Cross

‘Mudgee’ comes from the Wiradjuri word ‘Moothi’ which means, romantically, ‘Nest in the Hills’. Flying in, you can see the truth to this moniker – Mudgee is a valley surrounded by gently curved peaks. It has a climate several degrees warmer than the surrounding high country, which, along with sandy loam soil, makes the area attractive to viticulturalists.

Wine, and the accompanying fresh produce of a fertile wine country, are the most obvious drawcards of the region. We've even put together a list of the best wineries to visit while you're there. But you’ll also find national parks, heritage villages and artists’ towns in these here hills, alongside some truly excellent accommodation options.

Want more travel inspiration? Here are six places where you can feel like you’re overseas without ever leaving NSW.

A guide to Mudgee


Of course, the wineries are the main drawcard for any self-respecting sipper visiting the Mudgee region – and with more than 35 cellar doors and 44 grape varieties, you’re spoilt for choice. If you love a rich red, Huntington Estate has some gorgeous picks. For charming biodynamic bliss, Lowe Family Wine Co will win your heart. For a smaller family feel complete with a sweet staffy pup who will crawl under your table, Burnbrae's cellar door has it. Check out our guide to the best wineries in Mudgee for a full lay of the land.

With all these options, are you stuck for where to start? We recommend booking in an intimate tasting tour with Mudgee Wine Explorer Tours. This company has hundreds (and we mean hundreds) of five-star reviews and with their 8 committed tour guides, and 10 mini buses raring to go, it's not hard to see why. They offer full day tours where you'll get to pop in and out of around six wineries, plus a pit stop for lunch. The half day tour visits three Mudgee wineries. 

If you’re a beer drinker, this cool climate vino paradise won’t leave you without a frothy one to knock back. Mudgee Brewing Co pours craft brews ranging from the dark and chocolatey Mudgee Mud Imperial Stout to the late-hopped gold lager. If you prefer your brews no-fuss, Burnbrae Wines turned their winemaking expertise to create the crisp, clean 548 Lager available from its cellar door.


If you only eat one fancy meal in Mudgee, it’s a tough call between three of the best local fine dining experiences – two of which reside within wineries, naturally.

At the beautifully biodynamic Lowe Family Wine Co, its on-site hatted restaurant, the Zin House has the most in-demand tables in town. You'll need to book well in advance. The produce is not only seasonal and local, but most of it is sourced right there from the garden – which you're welcome to wander through between your set menu of six courses. Set in a former farmhouse, this restaurant doesn't reset tables, giving you plenty of space to dine at a relaxed pace. Sat atop a hill, the west-facing porch of the terrace gets stunning sunsets – a perfect accompaniment to a Gooree Park wagyu and a smooth, fruity glass of organic zinfandel from the very vines the restaurant overlooks. 

Over at Robert Stein vineyard, a winery that also comes with its own Motorcycle Museum, the Pipeclay Pumphouse is focussed on paddock to plate dining. Here, 50 per cent of the produce is grown and sourced on the property, and the other half is sourced within a 100 kilometer radius. The restaurant a degustation-only model for lunch and dinner, with a six-course set menu that changes every two to three weeks. Get the most out of your two-hour-ish long gastronomical journey by adding on the matched wine pairing for each dish, with a choice of sticking to Robert Stein’s finest or exploring more options from the Mudgee region.

For a dining and cultural encounter unlike any other, the Warakirri Dining Experience at Indigiearth is unforgettable. Pioneered by chef, owner and Ngemba Weilwan woman, Sharon Winsor, you'll enjoy dishes and cocktails created with Australian native ingredients and a fusion of modern techniques. Over the four-hour experience in an outdoor setting, the bush tucker degustation is interspersed with cultural entertainment and storytelling. 

If you're just really in the mood for something simple, Alby and Esthers right in town does all-day jaffles that can undo the results of even the most vigorous wine tasting session. For an unpretentious feed and good coffee in a rustic former butcher shop, the Butcher Shop Café will have you taken care of. Or, for hand-made dumplings, go to the nearby town of Rylstone and visit 29Nine99 Yum Cha + Tea House where owner Na Lan folds each morsel with obsessive care.

If you’re looking for something to fill your empty esky (aside from wine, of course), you’ll wanna have some ice bricks at the ready for a haul from High Valley Cheese Co. Mudgee’s own artisanal cheesemaker can be found on platters of many local wineries, and you can’t walk away from a cheese tasting at their pop-up stall – which shares an address with the cellar door for Gilbert Family Wines – without buying at least a couple of jars of creamy marinated fetta. 


Where to stay

To get the most out of a country getaway, you can’t go past the tranquility of a farm-stay. If you want all the back-to-nature perks without the fuss of traditional camping or the maintenance of your own camper van, Glenayr Farm is a great place to base yourself. There are two private villas for couples and four bell tents equipped with luxury queen beds. You can read our glamping review for more intel. About 30 minutes out of Mudgee (with cellar doors dotted between) Glenayr Farm is also a 320-acre working sheep property, and you might find the woolly residents wandering around, along with wild kangaroos and a couple of gentle cows who are keen for pats. 

Right in the centre of Mudgee, Perry Street Hotel offers stylish boutique accommodation. Despite being in a building that dates back to 1862, the interior is fresh and modern. It's the best of both worlds, and even better, only a 5 minute walk to the local restaurants and cafés. Elsewhere, one of the prettiest farm-stays is Peppertree Hill. With accommodation options ranging from 15-person farmsteads to one-bedroom cottages, this country retreat on a working cattle farm has elegant, modern decor that is far from country-rustic. An eight-minute drive from the centre of Mudgee, it is still remote enough to get glittering, star-filled nights. If you’d prefer your accommodation settled amongst working vineyards rather than grazing fields, the Old Post Office Cottage, a renovated building originating in the early 1920s, can accommodate up to three couples (or a family) five minutes out of Mudgee. 

If you're in the market for a hyper high-end stay that keeps you connected to nature, Sierra Escape's latest accommodation offering is a tiny house complete with floor-to-ceiling windows and a very well-located outdoor bathtub. 

Things to do

Though Mudgee is the centre of the region, there are plenty of small towns worth exploring, all within a half hour’s drive. The 19th-century gold rush town of Gulgong has streets lined with historic buildings, a tiny Pioneers Museum and even the Prince of Wales Opera House, which still hosts the occasional gig to this day.

Live out your fairy fantasies in Ferntree Gully Reserve, which has a number of bushwalking tracks – including some that wind around the rainforest floor, staying cool even on hot days.

Fancy exploring your artistic side? Rosby Wines, which also plays host to the annual festival Sculptures in the Garden (October 12-27) offers workshops and short courses by visiting artists, including life drawing, landscape painting and welding. 

If you'd like to learn more about the region's history, you can join an hour-long stroll with Mudgee Heritage Walking Tours once most weekends, which is run by an enterprising local teenager. 


Getting around

If you’re planning on touring wineries – and you should be – you really shouldn’t be driving. Fortunately, there are other ways to vineyard hop.

Mudgee Tourist Bus is the simplest solution. They offer chauffeur-services for groups of two or more, half-day tours start at $85 per person. They can help you pick the wineries, or you can design your own itinerary.

Think you’re the ultimate baller? Then Mudgee Commercial Helicopters is the way to go – they offer two stop winery tours, including an aerial look-see of Mudgee town and surrounds. 

Getting there

Mudgee is a four hour drive from Sydney, and the journey takes you straight through the Blue Mountains. This makes it perfect for a multi-day road trip. But, if you want to head straight there, small-craft airline Pelican flies direct to Mudgee daily starting from $169 one way. You even get your own check-in counter at the airport.

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