Regional travel is now allowed within New South Wales! Yay! As of the 1st June, travel to regional NSW for a holiday is permitted. To celebrate I’ve been pulling together some posts on some of my favourite destinations for weekend getaways from Sydney. First up is this post on how Will and I, along with my parents, spent 48 hours in Mudgee.
Mudgee is a brilliant destination to consider if you’re busy planning your (many) weekend getaways from Sydney. Mudgee is roughly a 3 1/2 hour picturesque drive from Sydney via the Blue Mountains. It’s known as one of Australia’s wine towns with many brilliant Mudgee wine tours on offer. The Mudgee wineries are set amongst gorgeous rolling hills and the town itself has preserved its 19th century heritage. Whilst it’s further to drive than other weekend getaways from Sydney, such as the Hunter Valley, 48 hours in Mudgee is plenty of time to explore this regional hot spot and experience the best of the Mudgee wineries.
As well as Mudgee being amongst the best destinations for weekends getaway from Sydney, there are lots of local businesses here that need your support more than ever following the bush fires and ongoing COVD-19 crisis.
Where to stay in Mudgee
When thinking about where to stay in Mudgee, there’s plenty of options including boutique hotels, motels, Mudgee winery accommodation or our trusty favourite, unique AirBnBs. There were so many AirBnbs in Mudgee catering for groups of all sizes and budgets. We ended up selecting the beautiful Wine Lovers Den. This 3 bedroom house, with a complimentary bottle of Mudgee Chardonnay, antebellum-style porch and sprawling garden was just perfect for our 48 hours in Mudgee.
Alternative accommodation options that are worth considering include quintessential Mudgee winery accommodation at Pieter van Gent Winery and Vineyard (one of the oldest Mudgee wineries), a farm stay at Peppertree Hill or for something completely different, check out Bubble Tent Australia.
Things to do in Mudgee
There are so many things to do in Mudgee. With so many well-known and delicious Mudgee wineries, you should definitely book onto one of the many Mudgee wine tours. You can book for a guided driven full-day or half-day tour with many of the reputable Mudgee wine tour providers, fitting well into your 48 hours in Mudgee. Check out Mudgee Wine & Country Tours, Mudgee VIP Wine Tours, Tour Mudgee Now and Then, and Mudgee Explorer Tours, who we opted to book our Mudgee wine tour with. The host of our accommodation, Amanda, had recommended Mudgee Explore Tours to us as they had, in her opinion, more of a younger/party/hens crowd, which ironically suited my parents very well! She also recommended Mudgee VIP Wine Tours if we were looking for a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere.
Alternatively this new 2 day tour offered by Runaway Tours combines 7 Mudgee wineries, historic Rylstone and a visit to the Blue Mountains and the Blue Sisters over 2 days with a flexible itinerary.
During our Mudgee wine tour, we visited 6 different wineries, two of which made it onto my list of all-time favourite boutique wineries in Australia. Mudgee wineries produce robust red wines, but have also gained a reputation for particularly decent Chardonnay. I found Mudgee wineries to be typically smaller, family-run, playing with interesting varietals in a more creative way than some of the larger vineyards we’ve visited in the Hunter Valley. Whilst we probably like Hunter Valley wines slightly better, we enjoyed the experience of visiting Mudgee wineries much more. I can’t wait to go back and try out more vineyards.
Learn more about Mudgee wineries;Halliday Wine Companion 2019: The bestselling and definitive guide to Australian wine
Wine Trails – Australia & New Zealand (Lonely Planet)
If you’d prefer to see the Mudgee wineries at your own pace, you can organise a self-guided Mudgee wine tour. Pick up a ticket for the Mudgee Hopper (available Saturdays only). This hop on, hop off bus has three different routes covering a range of Mudgee wineries, so you can create your own perfect Mudgee wine tour itinerary. If you’re looking to treat yourself, you can book a special Mudgee wine tour through Commercial Helicopter Tours Mudgee. This company offers more than tours of Mudgee wineries; they also offer sight-seeing tours over the Cudgegong Valley and Lake Windamere as well as country pub tours.
Apart from visiting the Mudgee wineries, there are plenty of other things to do in Mudgee. You can start the day with a sunrise balloon flight over the stunning region, followed by breakfast, with Balloon Aloft. After doing something similar in Alice Springs, I highly recommend looking into this in Mudgee if you have the budget. There’s plenty of nature and bush walking to explore nearby. You can check out Windamere dam and the Cudgegong Valley, Ferntree Gully and Hands on Rock. You can also enjoy the various country markets if you time your 48 hours in Mudgee right. I’d also recommend checking out some of the gorgeous galleries and studios showcasing local artists.
Check out the Visit Mudgee Region tourism website for even more information and things to do in Mudgee.
Where to eat in Mudgee
As well as the fantastic Mudgee wineries, this region is home to some absolutely delicious foodie options. Whether you fancy hearty pub grub or fine dining, you’re bound to find something to suit. Whenever I’m planning our weekend getaways from Sydney I always plan around food, and Mudgee does not disappoint.
During your Mudgee wine tour, plenty of Mudgee wineries offer lunch options usually including cheese and meat platters. These are best enjoyed with a view over the vines. Back in town, there’s the cute Alby & Esthers coffee house and wine bar, a great spot for brunch. For fine dining, there’s The Zin House, well-known for its Long Lunch/Dinner on the organic & biodynamic Lowe Family Wine estate. There’s also chef Andy Crestani’s paddock to plate Pipeclay Pumphouse located in the picturesque Robert Stein Winery. We actually visited Pipeclay Pumphouse for breakfast on the Sunday, which I highly recommend. Personally after a full day of exploring Mudgee wineries, I didn’t fancy a heavy dinner. Will opted for the hearty Farmer’s Breakfast; eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausage, tomato and homemade baked beans. I chose the famous bacon and eggs with homemade gnocchi which was fabulous.
As we didn’t fancy a heavy dinner after wine tasting, we instead ventured into town on the Saturday night. We grabbed a drink at the Lawson hotel which was in full swing after the country races. We then checked out Roth’s Wine Bar, well-known for wood-fired pizzas, light tapas and live music. Other options we were recommended included the Lawson and Eltons, which is a bit pricier than the other options.
For an alternative foodie option duirng your 48 hours in Mudgee, check out the Little Cooking School. Located on the outskirts of Mudgee, you can book a cooking class including a 3-course lunch paired with local wines. You can also stay here, so it’s worth checking out for accommodation options.
Why choose Mudgee when planning weekend getaways Sydney
Mudgee is a beautiful, relaxing destination and one of my favourite weekend getaways from Sydney to date. The Mudgee wineries are interesting and creative, the scenery is stunning, the town itself full of charm and the local produce delicious. There are plenty of different things to do in Mudgee that will suit all interests. I felt like this was one of the most unique weekend getaways from Sydney we’ve had, a chance to explore further afield to a region not too many of my friends have visited yet. It’s certainly worth the slightly longer drive to spent 48 hours in Mudgee; you won’t be disappointed.