Australia: Mudgee NSW

Mudgee is simply wonderful. To say I was completely taken by surprise at what’s on offer in this big country town is an understatement. Two hours from Scone, Mudgee is rightly proud of its historic buildings, its fine wine and its proximity to heritage listed small towns.

For a while now, Mudgee has been a weekend country retreat for people from Sydney and Newcastle. Covid travel restrictions though, have spawned a whole new domestic market with travellers from around the nation calling into Mudgee, often extending their stay when they realise its breadth of sights.

The town centre is buoyant, particularly buoyant. Shops do a brisk trade, cafes churn out coffee by the mug load and restaurants are full. Even taking school holidays into account, locals tell us their town usually sports this vibe. Given the tough gig businesses have been dealt – think covid, floods and bushfires, it’s gratifying to see them thriving.

Mudgee seems to have shunned some aspects of modernism and embraced its 19th century buildings with gusto as these pics attest.

Town Hall
Catholic Church
wearwhite2unite at the PO
Fabulous architecture on this corner – hotel and Civic Theatre
Three Tails Brewery – one for the carnivores –  seriously good smoked meats and craft beers

Rich soil, high elevation and a mix of cold and humid temps combine to make the Mudgee area a desirable and sought after wine area. Cheers to the wineries we visited for being places where we tasted good wines, ate good food and soaked up the sun’s rays.

Bunnamagoo Winery – a gift to Semillon wine lovers
What the heck if I add some very nice Italian reds to the Aussie mix? At Di Lusso winery and loving it
Petersons on one fine day
Vinifera Winery – hubby’s on the H2O, the wine taster’s on the Tempranillo
Came here for the excellent butterscotch schnapps

In and around the Mudgee, there are some interesting towns worth visiting.

On the way from Scone to Mudgee, we made a pitstop at Merriwa.
Merriwa’s wool challenge is a blast from its Scottish past where a team of 8 including a blade shearer, 7 spinners and knitters and a sheep are given 8 hrs from whoa to go to produce a garment.

Gulgong, indigenous for gully, is a heritage listed town steeped in 1800s gold rush history.  Visitors today can delight in seeing buildings with original verandahs and iron lacework. There’s a lot to see. A visit is highly recommended.

On the left is the Prince of Wales Hotel and can you believe it- the town’s Opera House where Dame Nellie Melba performed.
Horse trough on the left
Writer Henry Lawson grew up near Gulgong and the town pays tribute to him.

Dunedoo is a town with a rather amusing Aussie colloquial name. The name, however, is indigenous for ‘swan’. The hotel is a popular stop for travellers.

Serving up sumo wrestler size lunches at Dunedoo
Winx magic. The horse’s regular jockey Hugh Bowman hails from Dunedoo.

We stayed at Riverside Caravan Park. It’s in town; a very convenient location.

To experience Mudgee without putting in hours behind the wheel, fly into Sydney, then book a Pelican flight to Mudgee.

It’s a universal truth that nothing beats travel in your own country. Our first visit to this very attractive town and region has left us hankering for more. We’ll be back.

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