The Buzz Of Mudgee

With fine wines, great food and a fun array of things to do, Mudgee is a hive of activity for visitors
By Helen Hayes

Find your fine drop

Winemaking in the Mudgee region dates back to 1858, and it now has over 35 cellar doors. In the early days, the region concentrated on shiraz and cabernet sauvignon before developing a lovely chardonnay, but now has branched out with a range of 44 varietals. With so many good wineries to visit, here are five of the standout favourites to consider.

Logan Wines shines with its striking glass Tasting Room on top of a hill with jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains, bush and vines. Winemaker Peter Logan presents modern, fresh Australian wines with the balance of old-world varieties, including Ridge of Tears, Weemala and Apple Tree Flat.

At Lowe Wines, grapes are grown according to organic and biodynamic farming principles. The Cellar Door is at the winery’s Tinja property, where you can go for a stroll through the trees and say hi to the free-range chickens, rescue donkeys and peacock.

At Rosby, you’ll find a wonderful blend of wine and art. Rosby has an art gallery and runs workshops. Also, don’t miss their renowned Sculptures in the Garden exhibition, which will take place from October 9 to 24 this year.

Rev-up and visit the Robert Stein Winery where you can taste the award-winning reds, whites and fortified wines perfected over 40 years, as well as visiting the on-site Motorcycle Museum.

For horses of a different kind, drop into Gooree Park, the largest vineyard in the Mudgee region and home to one of the country’s leading thoroughbred breeding studs. Wine and horses? Sure thing! At Gooree Park, you can also take a private chauffeured tour around the stud before enjoying your wine tasting.

Rosby Wines
You can take in the scenery on a motorbike near Rosby Wines.

Now plate up

Located at Robert Stein Winery, Pipeclay Pumphouse is one of many great dining experiences in Mudgee. Chef Andy Crestani prepares a menu using homegrown or local produce, delivering high-quality food in a casual, country setting. Do book ahead.

The Zin House at Lowe Wines is another top-shelf restaurant with delectable dishes prepared by head chef Nathaniel Destefano. The chefs use mostly organic produce sourced from the gardens, orchards and farm.

A trip to Mudgee must include a visit to Indigiearth, a café and shop showcasing Australian native products sourced from the desert to the sea. For something really special, book in for the wonderful five-course degustation at Warakirri Dining by Indigiearth. Over four hours, you will be treated to magnificent native food prepared in a fusion of modern techniques and traditional methods, complemented by authentic cultural entertainment, storytelling and music.

One of the local favourites for great coffee and something to eat is Alby & Esthers, tucked in a cobblestone laneway near the Clock Tower. The historic building, circa 1873, just adds to the ambiance. Another local fave is The Coffee House at Parkview where you can enjoy your coffee or tea with a lovely selection from the seasonal menu.

For something a bit more hands-on, book in for a class at the Little Cooking School. This culinary creative space will see you unleashing your inner chef, learning new techniques, sharing ideas and then tucking into a three-course menu of the dishes you’ve created – along with matching local wines.

Sights not to miss

Enjoy moseying around the heritage streetscapes on the banks of the Cudgegong River. Join Mudgee Heritage Walking Tours to see historic gold such as the Memorial Clock Tower and St Mary’s Church. Gulgong, a short drive north, is another gem with 130 heritage-listed buildings. Check out The Prince of Wales Opera House (Australia’s oldest operating opera house), the Gulgong Pioneer Museum, the Henry Lawson Centre and the fascinating Holtermann Museum, which opened in 2019.

One of the most popular places to buzz into is the Mudgee Honey Haven, a honey factory and gift shop. This is a Mudgee staple, where you can see the live beehives, taste the purity and sweetness of the honeys, as well as sampling mead and preserves. All the honey products are made with 100 per cent Australian honey from their Mudgee apiaries with no added preservatives or colours. You can stock up on Mudgee, Yellowbox, Red Gum, Orange Blossom and Bush honeys, which are all produced here, plus Australian Manuka varieties. Apart from the live beehives where the kids can see the bees at work, there is a fab 18-hole mini putt-putt course on-site. Finish up with a coffee or a meal at their café.

For action, try hot air ballooning with Balloon Aloft, go for a paddle on Ganguddy-Dunns Swamp with a guide from Southern Cross Kayaking, and finish the day with a star-studded visit to Mudgee Observatory.

Sierra Escape Mudgee
You’ll love stargazing around the firepit when eco-glamping at Sierra Escape.
Sunrise over Mudgee
Sunrise over the town’s heritage streetscape.

Bedding down

Sierra Escape
has the most beautiful eco-glamping tents that come with outdoor bathtubs, wood fireplaces and astonishing views.

Blue Wren Farmhouse 
is a five-bedroom country house giving guests front-row access to the vineyard and stunning valley views.

Evanslea Luxury Boutique Accommodation
offers four gorgeous cottages with historic Evanslea House for larger families or groups.

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