Planning a weekend trip from Sydney? Look no further than Mudgee!
I love Mudgee. I love it so much that it makes me sad I haven’t visited before now. I’ve always known about Mudgee, but for some reason haven’t really given it much thought. Whenever I want to spend a weekend in a wine region, I generally just drive the 2.5 hours up the coast to the Hunter Valley. Mudgee is only an additional hour further (down the coast), but for some reason I have never really considered going…until now.
A colleague raved about the amazing time she had in the Mudgee reason, and it peaked my curiosity. Once I got the idea in my head that I wanted to visit, I basically talked about it off-and-on for months. Eventually, John decided to book us a mini-trip to Mudgee for my birthday weekend (most likely so that I would stop talking about it!)
What’s so great about Mudgee?
The short answer: everything! I’ve been obsessed with the Hunter Valley for years (seriously, I have numerous posts on the region), but I have to say that my heart has been stolen by another NSW wine region. Mudgee has charm. It still has a small wine village feel to it. It’s quaint, and it hasn’t yet been totally taken over by commercialism. It’s cheaper than the Hunter, and the wine is as good, if not better. It also has more variety than the Hunter Valley. I highly recommend checking this region out!
Getting to Mudgee from Sydney
Mudgee is about 3.5 hours south-west of Sydney, through the Blue Mountains. My advice is to avoid travelling on Friday afternoon/evening, as traffic on the Great Western Highway is absurd that time of day. If you hate traffic as much as we do, get up super early on Saturday to start your road trip. I’m a morning person, so we were up and on the road around 6am, and the drive was cruuuuuuisey! Totally worth the early start.
What to do in Mudgee
Wiiiiiiine. I honestly don’t know what to do if you’re not a wine lover. I’m sure there’s plenty…but this article is geared towards the wine obsessed!
One option (a really good option) is to go on a wine tour with Mudgee Wine & Country Tours. We booked a tour on our first day, and were really happy we did. We were picked up around 10am in a minibus, and started our tour to six wineries, lunch and a distillery! If you’re looking for a good wine tour operator in Mudgee, I’d absolutely recommend going with these guys. Terry, our driver, was friendly and knowledgeable, and the group size was small enough that it didn’t feel chaotic. We were happy with every single winery on the list, the lunch venue was great, and the distillery was a welcome surprise. It’s a great way to take in a number of wineries in a single day, without worrying about the driving part!
Another option is to select some wineries, and visit on your accord. We did this on our second day! I had a handful of recommendations from friends that I wanted to check out, so we mapped it out and made a few stops. The nice part about driving yourself around is that you’re on your own time. Feel like a cheese and wine picnic in a vineyard? Go for it! The drawback? Someone has to limit their wine intake in order to drive.
Where to stay in Mudgee
We booked last minute, so our accommodation choices were extremely limited. We were lucky to find an Airbnb available during our dates, Dewhurst Studio, which turned out to be a great choice! Dewhurst Studio is a self-contained apartment a couple of kilometres from town. The host, Lois, was welcoming and accommodating from the moment we booked until the time we left. She was very quick to respond on email, and ensured we had all the required information to make our experience seamless. We were greeted on arrival, and discovered that she had included a selection of food for breakfast the next morning…oh, and a bottle of wine!
The neighbourhood is peaceful, and there is a cute little outdoor sitting area perfect for enjoying a glass of wine in the sun. It’s a great place to stay, and definitely good value for money.
If you’re looking for a good lunch spot, definitely check out The Wineglass. The service is good, the food is great and it has a fun, lively atmosphere. It also has both indoor and outdoor seating areas, so you can choose based on your mood (or the weather!)
A great spot for breakfast is Market Street Cafe. It’s a cute spot right on the main street, so you can’t really miss it. The coffee is good, and the portion sizes are huge! We were both a bit hangry when we went for breakfast, and still could barely finish the meals!
As you can tell, I love this place! Stay tuned for my review of the wineries I visited!
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