• Paul Ewart

How to Plan a Perfect Wine Weekender in Mudgee, NSW


Wine meets amazing views in the beautiful NSW region of Mudgee, Australia


Award-winning wines, world heritage-listed wilderness, and only a few hours drive from Sydney - it's little wonder that the NSW town of Mudgee has serious tourist appeal


With its idyllic rolling hills, postcard-perfect heritage buildings, beautiful wineries and masses of country charm, Mudgee is the perfect weekender year-round. But with the recent lifting of travel restrictions in NSW, there really is no better time to plan a getaway to experience its charms firsthand.


Glamping accommodation, Sierra Escape, in Mudgee, NSW, Australia


STAY


For something truly special skip town and check into Mudgee’s first glamping experience, Sierra Escape. The newly opened 280-acre eco retreat is camping, but not as you know it.

Plush canvas tents house king size beds and freestanding baths, alongside every amenity you’d expect in a hotel. Toast marshmallows over an open campfire and go to sleep and wake-up to killer views of the surrounding rolling hills and ridges and native birdsong.


Back in town, the more affordable - though by no means less charming - Tannery is an 1850s cottage featuring every hallmark of a quintessential Australian country cottage. Open wood-burning fire, claw-foot bath and a covered verandah on which to read the papers whilst sipping whatever you fancy. Bliss.


Lastly, a great option for groups is Trelawney Farm. Set on 25-acres and within a stone’s throw of several wineries, the self-catering Victorian farmhouse sleeps up to 12 and is kitted out with library, kids room, outdoor bath and pizza oven.

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Rolling vineyards in the picturesque wine region of Mudgee, NSW


EAT AND DRINK


With a history stretching back 150-years, Mudgee and winemaking go hand-in-hand. Given that there’s more than 40 cellar doors, you’ll struggle to even scratch the surface of the award-winning wines just waiting to be sampled - but you can give it a good go! Full-bodied reds, chardonnay and organic wines are the area's specialties, but whatever your preference there’s a drop for you.


Burnbrae is one of the oldest and as such is a must-visit. The range of organic and preservative-free vino at Lowe Wines are both tasty and infinitely more hangover-friendly. And Australia's oldest certified organic vineyard, Botobolar has a convenient cellar door right in the heart of town.


If you want to cram as many of the region’s drops as possible into one weekend, then taking to the skies might be the answer. Commercial Helicopters offers tailored journeys allowing you to winery-hop in style.


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Feeling indulgent? Opt for the 10-course degustation at Pipeclay Pumphouse, Mudgee


With good wine comes good food. Thankfully, in Mudgee there are enough drool-worthy cafes and restaurants to keep even the most demanding of gourmands satisfied. For a hearty brekky to galvanise your body for a day of boozing, head to Alby & Esthers on Market Street. This bolthole ticks serious boxes: yummy breakfast classics, great coffee and a perfect al fresco location under a canopy of vines.


When it comes to dinner there are more options than you can shake a stick at. On night one, make a beeline for Pipeclay Pumphouse where the paddock to plate philosophy reigns supreme. Feeling particularly peckish, or just very indulgent? Look no further than the 10-course degustation with matching wines. Satisfaction guaranteed.


On night two, finish your evening with casual dinner at the oldest wine bar in NSW. Serving up locally produced vino since the 1920s, Roth’s Wine Bar dishes up tempting tapas plates and wood fired pizzas. Renowned for its live music on weekends, this is easily the most happening spot in town.


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World Heritage-listed wilderness in the protected Wollemi National Park, Mudgee, NSW


PLAY


To attempt to offset your massive calorie intake (see above) make tracks and explore some of the surrounding World Heritage-listed wilderness. The protected Wollemi National Park plays home to unique rainforest and beautiful hiking spots, including the Ferntree Gully, which is as pretty as it sounds.


While bushwalking has its appeal, a great option for sightseeing with kids is to explore the great outdoors on two wheels. Cycling in Mudgee is perfect as the terrain is pretty flat and there are plenty of easy rides around the town. Ride Mudgee have bikes for hire catering to every preference.


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Try your hand at fossicking for gold in Mudgee and you'll potentially strike it rich


History buffs will love Mudgee’s Colonial Inn Museum. Packed with artefacts across several buildings, you can easily while away a few hours envisaging life in the prospecting days of yore. Speaking of, drive a short distance north and you’ll hit the gold mining town of Gulgong and its130 heritage-listed buildings. The Gulgong Pioneers Museum is well worth a visit, but to really experience the gold rush, head to Bushlands Tourist Park to try a spot of fossicking for yourself. The general store hires out all the equipment you’ll need to potentially strike it rich.


If your panning efforts don’t yield a nugget or two, don’t be disheartened. Great Mudgee souvenirs can still be had at the famous monthly markets (held on the third Saturday of the month) including freshly made produce, preserves, jewellery and handicrafts. Make sure to stock up so that you can take a little piece of Mudgee home with you.


For more tips on planning your own visit to Mudgee see visitmudgeeregion.com.au

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