Beyond the Blue Mountains lies an inland gem. Skip-town for a long weekend of fine wine, food and drink.
The name Mudgee is derived from a Wiradjuri term. It means “nest in the hills”. It fits. A three-and-a-half-hour drive across the Blue Mountains from Sydney, Mudgee is nestled into hinterland in the central west of NSW. Once known mostly for coal-mining, Mudgee has become a busy agri- and cultural hub for wine makers, farmers, restaurateurs, brewers, artists and their hungry and thirsty patrons.
The region sprawls across 9000 square kilometres, and most of that space is dedicated to vineyards and farms. Competition for tourist dollars can be fierce, but local business owners will happily share a list of recommended locations to eat, drink and visit.
Welcome to Mudgee Region
It’s all about local produce. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a plate or taste in Mudgee that isn’t sourced from the region.
From market stalls and cellar doors to the town’s own brewing company, Mudgee has drinks covered.
The town can keep you happily occupied, but there’s plenty waiting for you on its leafy fringes.
Not quite a hike, not quite a walk in the park, The Drip is a good introduction to the natural beauty surrounding the region. Forty minutes north of Mudgee, The Drip – or The Great Dripping Wall – is a large sandstone formation down which water runs to form pools below. Surrounded by beautiful, mossy-green and floral-yellow hues, the 2.4-kilometre track running through the area also features several Brett Whiteley murals from the ’90s. Wear appropriate shoes as there are off-track bush-walking areas worth exploring, too.
Dunns Swamp is just under an hour-and-a-half east of Mudgee. On the fringes of Wollemi National Park on the Cudgegong River, it’s an excellent spot for setting up camp and exploring the area’s stunning natural waterways and surrounding bush walks. Wallabies, wombats and gliders roam the area, and the 30-minute drive on gravel roads from Rylstone provides an endless scroll of beautiful green scenery.
Mudgee Farmers Market
The Mudgee Farmers Market happens every third Saturday of the month, come rain, hail or shine. It collects stallholders from across the region, and is the perfect opportunity for short-stay visitors to experience a cross-section of some of the best local producers and their wares.
Whether a luxury sanctuary with 360-degress views, a repurposed 1800s Mechanics Institute or a community-minded motel, there are plenty of ways to rest your head.
A wine and food lover's big day out
Between meals, get the blood flowing with an easy hike at the natural sandstone wonder of The Drip, 40 minutes out of town, then seek out some live music at Mudgee Brewing Co.
Baker Williams Distillery
(02) 6372 9332
Baker Williams Distillery
The passion and dedication of Baker Williams’s owners shine through at this cellar door, as well as in the personalised tasting. You’ll find a solid selection of interesting spirits and liqueurs, including its specialised butterscotch schnapps.