“I’m from Mudgee not Mosman” explains the bumper sticker on a dirty ute. The driver sees me chuckling and smiles. Mudgee is in farming country. Wine country to be exact, but there’s more to the town than great wine and good food.
Walk through the CBD
Walk through Mudgee’s CBD to discover beautifully restored historic buildings. Be drawn to the delightful art deco detail of the Regent Theatre, the pressed metal lining shop awnings and original leadlight windows in shopfronts along Church Street.
Wander down side streets. Gladstone Street offers pretty brick Federation cottages. A kookaburra sculpted from old metal objects makes a feature of a garden gate. Chat to the artist, Peter Brooks, if he’s sitting on the sidewalk taking in the sun.
Mudgee Railway Station
Stroll to the old Railway Station with its delightful architecture. In a side room, browse local arts and crafts and read more about the station history in an alcove in the store.
A Sculpture Walk
Lawson Park is the home of the Mudgee Sculpture walk. Amble along the riverbank to come across various sculptures of different styles and materials. Make sure to find the large metal kangaroo at rest entitled “Jack Thompson (Cleo Centrefold circa 1973)”.
Originally Mudgee’s marketplace, Robertson Park continues that tradition with the Mudgee Farmers Market held there every third Saturday morning. Whether or not your visit coincides with the market, take a stroll through the park to enjoy the gardens, visit the war memorial and the band rotunda which was built in 1903.
On the Outskirts of Mudgee
Even non-wine drinkers will enjoy a drive out of town. On the way, turn into High Valley Cheese to taste their traditionally hand-crafted cheeses. Savour the strong smokey flavor of the smoked cheddar, enjoy the creamy Caelifilla, and take home a jar or two of fetta marinated in different flavours (pesto, chilli, tomato and olive).
A collection of vintage motorcycles lines the wall of a large corrugated iron shed at the Robert Stein Winery Motorcycle Museum. There’s a Triumph Thunderbird and an early version of a French motorised pushbike. The walls are covered in car registration plates grouped according to state of origin. Vintage tins of motor oil provide further interest as does a small glass cabinet displaying war memorabilia.
A Micro Distillery
For a wine alternative, Baker Williams Micro Distillery offers cellar door tastings for a small fee. Try their gin, orancello, coffee and lemon myrtle liqueurs or a butterscotch schnapps.
Look out for kangaroos on the drive out to the Mudgee Observatory on the Old Grattai Road. Watch as John Vetter, who has over 45 years of astronomy experience, wheels a large telescope into position in one of his four telescope domes. Wait while he makes a few adjustments, then step inside to look through the eyepiece, fine-tune the setting and be wowed by Saturn’s rings and other marvels in the night sky.
A Miniature Railway and Honey
Perfect for little ones, the Miniature Railway runs on the second Sunday of every month. Sit astride the purpose-built carriage and be pulled along the 500m track by a miniature engine operated by a miniature rail enthusiast.
A glass viewing window provides a look inside a bee hive at Mudgee Honey Haven. Watch hundreds of bees hard at work making honey for your toast. Discover at a wide selection of honey, honey products a café and not at all honey related, an 18-hole Putt Putt course.
Forty-five minutes by car from Mudgee brings you to “the Drip parking area”. From there a the three kilometre return walk leads to a fascinating geological structure. The Drip is a long and high sandstone rock face towers above with water dripping from cracks into the stream below. Look out for wild flowers, listen to the frogs croaking with the stream bubbling in the background.
Back in Town
Back in town, there are many places to eat. The Butchery Café is an interesting spot if only for the décor. Roth’s Wine Bar makes delicious thin crust pizzas with fresh salads.
By all means enjoy the bountiful wine and food available in Mudgee. But do yourself a favour and explore the less beaten track to find the hidden treasures Mudgee has to offer.
- A map of the Mudgee CBD walk can be found in the front of the Mudgee Region magazine available from the Visitors Centre.
- Meet at the clock tower for a Heritage tour which runs every day from 10-11am
- Find a map of the Mudgee Sculpture Walk here
- Find more on the Vintage Motorcycle Museum here
- Here is the link to Baker Williams Distillery
- The Mudgee Observatory only accepts cash. Phone or email for bookings
- Mudgee Honey Haven is at 2 Hill End Road Mudgee
- More on The Drip can be found here