We love rural, small towns for their laid-back lifestyle and warm hospitality. Australia is not short of them, too. Despite being a small town, there are plenty of things to do in Mudgee, New South Wales, which is known for its wine production, historic buildings, and vibrant community spirit.
Why, oh why, did we wait 40 years to visit Mudgee? We grew up only 4 hours away, but it wasn’t until our 18-month road trip around Australia that we made the effort to go.
Well, let me just say Mudgee, as wine regions go, you’re a great alternative to the Hunter Valley. In fact, you’re our new favourite town in Country NSW – not just for your quality wine, but also for the heritage buildings, bustling streets, urban parks and country charm.
I know it’s a cliche, but Mudgee is a true hidden gem. It’s one of those towns that you go to for 5 minutes and you’re already a fan. It has that special something that you can’t wait to discover more of.
After being recommended to go to Mudgee many times, we can confirm it won’t be another 40 years before we re-visit.
If you’re not sure what to do in Mudgee, here are some of our favorite attractions and places to visit…
- Things To Do In Mudgee
- 1. Visit Mudgee Wineries
- 2. Visit The Mudgee Brewing Co
- 3. Dinner at Lawson Park Hotel
- 4. Dine at Alby & Esthers Cafe & Wine Bar
- 5. Visit the Mudgee Arts Precinct
- 6. Stay at Riverside Caravan Park
- 7. Explore Wollemi National Park
- 8. Visit Gulgong Gold Mining Town
- 9. Marvel At The Night Skies at Mudgee Observatory
- 10. Swim In Drip Gorge
- 11. Check Out ‘Hands on Rock’ Aboriginal Rock Art
- 12. Attend the Mudgee Wine Month (Seasonal)
- 13. Kayak at Dunns Swamp
- 14. Enjoy a romantic lux glamping experience
- Where to stay in Mudgee
- Final Thoughts
- More New South Wales Travel Tips
Things To Do In Mudgee
1. Visit Mudgee Wineries
The highlight of our visit to Mudgee, was of course, visiting the wineries. The Mudgee Wine Region is not short of wineries to visit.
We soon found out why the Mudgee Wineries are award winning from the variety of wine tasting and wine bars on offer.
Whilst most people are familiar with the previously mentioned Hunter Valley, Mudgee is growing in popularity and we now know why.
Tour the wineries on bikes
One great experience you must do in Mudgee is bike the wineries.
Because they’re close in proximity to each other, and the terrain is generally flat, it makes for a great day out.
Cycling between them put a fun twist on the experience with our kids.
We always love exploring destinations on our bikes, and getting some fresh air whilst taking in the beautiful scenery at a slower pace was great between all the taste testing.
Kalyra got so excited she turned into a speed demon.
Blue Wren Wines
The first stop on our winery day out was Blue Wren Wines for lunch.
We needed to eat before our cycling and wine tasting day out, and we got a tip from one of our readers that The Blue Wren restaurant is one of the best in Mudgee.
With a lovely garden setting and plenty of space for the kids, it was the perfect beginning.
Huntington Estate Wines
If you only have time to taste test one winery, we suggest Huntington Estate.
It’s just a short drive from the centre of town if you’re not biking, and the range and quality of their wines were superb – we bought several bottles.
The friendly owner was on hand to talk us through the taste testing and history of the property, and the kids were kept occupied in the little play area.
We’ll be back. And I would love to experience their annual music festival in the barrel room of the winery.
Robert Oatley Vineyards
Are you familiar with the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht race? Well, Robert Oatley’s super yacht ‘Wild Oats‘ won that race 4 consecutive times. Turns out, Robert Oatley Wines are pretty damn good too.
And how could we not love a winery that had a kids play area amongst the wine barrels giving mummy and daddy time out to sample the wines. We’ll drink to that Robert Oatley.
The final stop on our Mudgee wineries bicycle tour was to Lowe Wines.
The wines here are certified organic, taste great, and I think the setting itself is worth the visit.
Check out these views!
Lowe’s also hosts many events throughout the year, such as fairs and festivals, and has great degustation dinners for special occasions.
Some other boutique wineries that we were recommended by our Facebook community are Di Lusso Estate and Winery, who apparently have great wood fired pizza, bocce and wine. The newer, micro-winery short sheep also came highly recommended, but we didn’t have a chance to visit.
Another small winery we were told to visit is Moothi Estate Wines on the side of a hill just outside of Mudgee. It’s run by a lovely Canadian and his partner.
If you prefer fortified wine, head to the cellar door and vineyard of Pieter van Gent Winery to try Mudgee White Port.
Another newish vineyard (1980s) that’s known for its Cabernet Sauvignon is the Elliot Rocke Estate, which is worth a visit if you prefer red wines.
We were also recommended Robert Stein Winery to dine at their onsite restaurant, Pipeclay Pumphouse, which serves up gourmet dinners with a more luxurious backdrop overlooking the vineyard.
It would be a great place to visit on a romantic date night but perhaps a bit too pricey for a family of four who need a quick bite to eat!
2. Visit The Mudgee Brewing Co
We dropped into the local tourist office on arrival in Mudgee, which we always recommend you do in any new town, and when we found out there was a brewery it put a huge smile on my face.
The timing was perfect, Caz and I were celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than a few craft beer drinks at the family friendly Mudgee Brewery.
We sat outside in the little courtyard whilst inside some live acoustic music entertained.
We do love our craft beers and weren’t disappointed, sorry Australia but your mainstream domestic stuff doesn’t do it for us anymore.
I highly recommend you try the wheat beer and pale ale beer.
3. Dinner at Lawson Park Hotel
We could have stayed at the Brewery for a meal but we got another local tip to eat at the Lawson Park Pub.
Turned out to be a great suggestion for a country pub meal. Kids eat free at the Lawson, you can choose to cook your own steaks on the communal BBQ’s, and it was open plan and family friendly.
The menu was large and reasonably priced with typical meals like your salt & pepper calamari and salmon.
4. Dine at Alby & Esthers Cafe & Wine Bar
If you’re looking for a cafe in Mudgee, we suggest you drop into the Albey & Esthers Cafe & Wine Bar.
Located up a little alley way off Market street, you can either sit in the garden courtyard, or get cozy inside and enjoy one of the homemade cakes, toasties, or pastries and a good cup of coffee.
Open Monday to Saturday from 8am – 4pm and Friday & Saturday evenings from 5pm – 10pm.
5. Visit the Mudgee Arts Precinct
Time to balance all that wine tasting with something a little more cultural.
New to Mudgee attractions is the Mudgee Arts Precinct (opened Nov 21) The facility includes gallery spaces, a cafe and cultural workshops, which provide a place for connecting to local culture and community.
You’ll find permanent exhibitions of Aboriginal art, and rotating exhibits of local and internationally known artists. An outdoor sculpture exhibit is in the riverside park nearby.
6. Stay at Riverside Caravan Park
With our camper trailer in tow we found ourselves a home at Mudgee Riverside Caravan park.
We did get recommended the Big 4 caravan park slightly out of town which has more in-park facilities for the kids, but the best thing about Riverside is its central location.
We could easily walk or bike to Mudgee’s historic town centre, it was shady and of course on the river.
They have self-contained cedar cabins or villas, and if you’re traveling like us plenty of powered-sites for camping and caravans.
7. Explore Wollemi National Park
Nestled just a stone’s throw away from the charming town of Mudgee, lies the breathtaking Wollemi National Park.
This World Heritage-listed natural gem is known for its dramatic landscapes and natural beauty.
You can take short, scenic trails deep into lush forests or go on exhilarating canoeing adventures along winding rivers, or go camping overnight at one of the many campsites.
For those looking to explore the beauty of the Mudgee region without the vineyards, then Wollemi National Park is a must-visit.
It’s also one of the best national parks for wildlife spotting, and is said to be home to wombats, eastern grey kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, broad-headed snakes, regent honeyeaters, several varieties of bird species and 55 species of butterfly.
8. Visit Gulgong Gold Mining Town
Just 30 kilometers from Mudgee is the captivating gold mining town of Gulgong, which offers a chance to step back in time to the 1870s.
One of the main attractions in the town is the Gulgong Gold Experience, which is located on the exact location of the first gold find in Gulgong.
You can explore a replica mining tunnel, complete with informative displays, which gives visitors a glimpse into the hardships and triumphs of the miners who once worked these grounds.
Gulgong is also a cute town that’s worth exploring outside of the gold mining history. It has a picturesque downtown area with heritage buildings, charming cafés, and boutique shops.
9. Marvel At The Night Skies at Mudgee Observatory
If you’re interested in astronomy, then a visit to the Mudgee Observatory is a must. Located away from the lights of the town and Ulan mines, the observatory is in the perfect location to explore the dark skies, providing an unparalleled stargazing experience.
Look for celestial objects through telescopes and binoculars, and learn about the extraordinary universe outside our home on planet Earth from knowledgeable staff and informative exhibits.
Mudgee Observatory is not only for astronomy enthusiasts but for anyone seeking a magical connection with the universe.
10. Swim In Drip Gorge
Located approximately 50 kilometers from Mudgee, the Drip Gorge is a hidden natural gem nestled within the Goulburn River National Park.
The Drip walking track traverses along the Goulburn River and takes you deep into this breathtaking gorge.
The unique feature of the Drip Gorge is the mesmerizing rock formations from which water cascades, creating a serene and picturesque landscape.
Cool off in the rockpools, surrounded by lush ferns and abundant wildlife, or simply enjoy the natural retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life – it’s well worth checking out.
11. Check Out ‘Hands on Rock’ Aboriginal Rock Art
Mudgee isn’t famous for its aboriginal heritage, but that’s not to say it’s not there.
One of the most iconic aboriginal rock art sites in Mudgee is titled “Hands on Rock” which was painted by the Wiradjuri people. It’s so named because it is, as you may have guessed, stencils of hands on a rock.
The Wiradjuri people were semi-nomadic and move according to seasonal food supplies and traditions.
The rock art is located a 30 minute drive outside of the town of Mudgee, and can be accessed by a short 15-minute hike. The trailhead can be found on the left-hand side past the entrance to The Drip – you can find the location on Google Maps here.
12. Attend the Mudgee Wine Month (Seasonal)
The Mudgee Wine Month is a Food and Wine Festival held annually in September that celebrates the region’s finest and most exquisite wines.
During this event, you can indulge in a variety of tastings, food pairings, and discover events from live music to trivia nights.
The festival has been running for over 40 years and provides people with an opportunity to engage with passionate winemakers, sample delicious local produce, and celebrate the regions most well known wines.
13. Kayak at Dunns Swamp
Another nature spot worth visiting, located just 25 kilometers east of Rylstone and Kandos, is Dunns Swamp (also known as Ganguddy).
Set along the tranquil banks of the Cudgegong River in Wollemi National Park, this serene waterway is known for being a picturesque camping and picnic area.
Rent a kayak and explore the waters, or cool off with a swim. You can also explore several bush walks around the swamp and take in the untouched natural beauty.
Despite its name, Dunns Swamp is not a dirty, murky swamp that you are probably thinking of. It was formed in the 1920s as a result of damming the river and is actually a pristine, clean waterway.
14. Enjoy a romantic lux glamping experience
The ultimate romantic getaway lives just outside of Mudgee at Sierra Escape. get close to stunning nature, untouched wildlife, and starry skies.
Elouera, a luxury tiny house at Sierra Escape in Mudgee. Meticulously crafted from a shipping container and offering unparalleled view in the middle of rolling wine country.
Featuring luxury glamping tents, relaxing bathtubs with views, lavish breakfasts on your deck, and delicious wine at your fingertips. This is the Mudgee experience you’ve been looking for.
Note, it’s adults only, and I’m jealous this wasn’t available to me when I was in the region!!
Where to stay in Mudgee
Apart from the places mentioned above, the Mudgee region has a wide range of beautiful and unique glamping stays, campgrounds, holiday rentals and hotels. Here are a few to choose form and use the map below to help find the perfect place and location.
- Located in the heart of Mudgee, Perry Street Hotel offers boutique, self-contained accommodations within a historic 1862 building. See rates and availability.
- Mudgee’s Parkview Hotel lin town features historical architecture and design and seven boutique rooms to choose from. See rates and availability.
- Surrounded by vineyards and offering lovely countryside views, Owl Head Lodge features a selection of cottage and apartment accommodations, close to the historic township of Gulgong. See rates and availability.
There you have it. That should help you to make your first or next trip to Mudgee memorable.
More New South Wales Travel Tips
Need more inspiration for your trip to New South Wales? Check out these other guides…
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Do you have any tips you have for things to do in Mudgee? What you’re most looking forward to experiencing? Let us know in the comments.