5 Fun and Unique Things To Do in Mudgee

When have you ever had a trip go perfectly without any hick ups? This is our newest story… Having embarked on many potential 4WD only tracks previously in poor old Percy our camper van, we didn’t expect a couple of unnoticed dips in the road to be of concern.

Boy were we wrong.

After almost taking flight from one of these unexpected bumps, Dylan looked out the window and noticed the awning hanging halfway down the van.

This was a problem.

After stopping and assessing the damage, we realised the locking screws had come loose and the bounce sent the awning flying. Luckily one screw remained, enough to stop the awning from meeting an untimely demise.

Awning hagning on by one bracket after nearly flying off the roof of our van
cable ties holding our awning to the roof of our van after nearly bouncing off.

But good old Percy prevailed with not even a scratch, and all was temporarily fixed with a couple of trusty cable ties.

The only problem, no awning for the trip!

It would take a lot more than that to deter us. Lucky we were heading towards the middle of NSW where the rain sadly avoids.

Mudgee. An overlooked town that has so many hidden treasures. From wineries to mountain biking to ancient caves, there are so many fun things to do in Mudgee.

The positives of being an overlooked town however, is the happy local family vibe you receive when walking through the streets. Something that seems to diminish elsewhere with the increase of popularity.

If that isn’t enough reason to visit, read on to be persuaded…

Explore The Town Of Mudgee

Have you ever driven into a town and instantly fell in love? We have. With the Cudgegong River meandering through the centre, the historical colonial buildings, cute cafes, hidden bars and boutique stores, it would be extremely hard not to.

The Town of Mudgee, exploring the town is one of the best things to do in Mudgee.

After taking a little tour of Mudgee’s quaint streets, we found Lawson Park. A lush and shaded picnic area on the banks of the Cudgegong River, perfect for dinner.

Having entered through gates, we figured we wouldn’t last the night there. As we were cleaning up after dinner, around 9 pm, a security guard turned up – we were sure we would be issued our first warning – however the lovely chap informed us he was locking up for the night and asked where we planned to sleep.

Dylan tried his hand at honesty, informing the guard we weren’t sure yet. To our surprise he offered to lock us in for the night, ensuring we would receive no trouble as there weren’t any signs stating this to be illegal. This was our first taste of the small town friendliness.

Only one thing to remember, they also lock the toilets at this time so make sure to go beforehand!

Cudgegong River running through the heart of Lawson Park in Mudgee

Australian country towns love their pubs! No matter how small they are, there will always be more than one.

In Mudgee’s case, there are seven.

The Lawson Park Hotel was our choice for dinner and drinks and we weren’t disappointed. This pub is known for their homemade charcuterie and amazing cuts of beef, which you can choose to cook yourself if you so desire.

They also offer a taste of the delicious local wines – what better way to pick which wineries to visit than a cheeky little pre-sample!?

Lawson Park Hotel, a great local pub and one of the best things to do in Mudgee

The other thing you’ll find in every country town is an old style bakery offering fresh rolls made to order, all the old school treats and the ‘best pies in Australia’… this award must be given out to everyone. However in this instance, the Mudgee Bakery deserves it.

Mudgee Bakery, best pies in Australia. One of the great things to do in Mudgee

If pubs and bakeries aren’t quite your style, Alby & Esthers surely will be. A picturesque cafe and cocktail bar situated through an alleyway, a morning or evening could be well spent here. Especially due to the very reasonable price of $12 a cocktail and the delicious coffee.

entrance to Alby Esthers, the perfect place for a coffee in mudgee
enjoying a delicious iced coffee at Alby Esthers, awesome things to do in mudgee

Cycle Through Mudgee’s Famous Wineries

There’s no shortage on wineries to choose from in the surrounding Mudgee region, and many sign posts to point you in the right directions. We like to do things slightly differently and cycling through seemed like a great idea. Especially due to the fact that the area is quite flat.

What a win!

mountain biking through the grape vines in mudgee vineyards. Best things to do in mudgee

Our suggestion would be to head north-east out of town and follow Henry Lawson Dr, cutting across to your right whenever you feel its time to turn around and take Ulan Rd back towards Mudgee.

This way you have the potential to visit over 15 wineries… cycling after this many tastings would be an outstanding feat! One which we could never master!

A little bonus tip for you, wear a helmet! Not only is it a legal necessity, but if you’re planning this trip in spring it could save your noggin from the terrifying magpies swooping you as well.

Unfortunately we cannot provide a hilarious photo of Candace riding for her life as there was no time for stopping. 

Biking at Petersons House, One of the most perfect things to do in Mudgee

If you’re mad mountain bikers like us, you’ll already have a bike handy. But if that is something you can live without, you’re not welcome here… Only kidding, we welcome everybody.

You can rent a bike for $40 at Countryfit Health and Fitness on Short St in the centre of town.

If you’re having trouble deciding which few wineries to pick, here is a little overview of our top 3:

Vinifera Wines – A small family owned and operated business since 1994, with a stunning view of their grapevines and the country side. This was exactly what we were looking for!

This lovely couple had a wide range of red and white, our favourites being the Rose and Tempranillo. We could have continued sipping and chatting all afternoon.

Keep an eye out for their event page as they often have some sort of live music or event on a Saturday afternoon.

Biking in the grape vines at Vinifera vineyard in Mudgee, unique things to do in Mudgee

Petersons Winery – WOW! It’s not often you go to a tasting and absolutely love every wine you taste. That was the case here. With a small cottage style building looking out onto the 150 acres of vines they own and distribute to their four different cellar doors, this is no small company.

Peterson’s are famous for their reds, and for good reason. We surprised ourselves by loving their Sparkling Shiraz the best. And of course, Dylan being of Italian descent, he couldn’t go past their Vermentino Arneis – Fiano.


Sampling the wines in Petersons House Mudgee, best things to do in Mudgee

Lowe Wines – Situated on top of a hill, this winery is by far the prettiest. And of course the wines are incredible as well. We again found our favourite in the Rose and Sparkling Rose which is not our usual go to.

The perks of trying before you buy!

After tasting the fine wines on offer, choose a glass or a bottle to go with their delicious cheese or charcuterie boards, head outside and enjoy while overlooking the stunning view of their gardens and the rolling hills in the distance.

You might need to walk the wine off afterwards which can be done happily through their vineyards and gardens. Don’t forget to say hello to their many pets.

Lowe Winery view enjoing a cheese board, perfect things to do in mudgee of an afternoon

Ride Mudgee Mountain Bike Trails

Hopefully you’re not feeling too sorry for yourself after the shenanigans from above, as its time to use that mountain bike for real.

Located close to the centre of town, you’ll find the Mudgee Common MTB Park. Newly refurbished, this small park is perfect for all levels. There are plenty of cross country style trails throughout the base of the hill as well as four outstandingly fun downhill tracks further up.

jumping the creek gap in Mudgee mountain bike trails, an awesome thing to do in Mudgee

If you’re up for a huge challenge, try and tackle Ant Hill.

A double black diamond run with the only access being to trudge your way up the side of the dreaded mountain. The only plus is the ability to scout before sending it down… although this could deter the fainter of hearts.

And trust us, you’ll need to know what you’re doing to conquer this beast!

pushing mountain bikes up the final stages of ant hill.

The Drip Gorge

When you think of inland Australia, you think of dry, hot days. And you wouldn’t be wrong! 

The Drip Gorge is the perfect respite for one of those scorchers. Not only is it a beautiful half hour walk, the majority of the trail is covered by overhanging sandstone rock which creates a most unique experience as you make way further into the Gorge.

swimming at the Drip Gorge, A great break from the hot climate in mudgee

If this isn’t enough to keep you cool, you’re in luck! The Goulburn River runs adjacent to this track through its entirety, making a cheeky swim possible at any point.

sandstone cave on the hike to the drip gorge, great things to do in Mudgee

Unless you’re like us and get distracted by cool little caves and – well – anything, you’ll be at the Drip in no time.

Here the climate cools even more as you wander underneath the damp sandstone. Water collects in the monstrous rock wall after rainfall and gets stored inside. As a result, water continuously seeps through the rock, dripping into the pools below, hence the name.

The colours through the Gorge are incredible, so green and vibrant from the moist environment.

exploring the Drip Gorge, one of the great things to do in Mudgee

The whole area makes for the perfect picnic spot. One little tip is to have shoes handy while wandering along. If you know much about Australia, you know its not only the animals that are out to get you, our trees and shrubs and plants all like to attack as well.

So unless you enjoy spiky needles puncturing your foot, keep those shoes close!! 

Having a picnic in the Drip Gorge, one of the beautiful things to do in Mudgee

This Gorge is also equiped with a lovely picnic area near the car park equipped with a toilet block. And if we’ve learnt anything from this small town, we believe you would have no worries sleeping there either.

Wellington Caves

Yes, we know this isn’t technically Mudgee but its close enough. However, even though it’s only an hour west, we do recommend staying at Ponto’s Reserve the night before.

Just 15 minutes north of the caves, you’ll find Ponto’s reserve to be a vastly picturesque free camp site situated on the Macquarie River. Offering toilets, a dump station and beautiful scenery for a swim, we wish that we had more time to spend there.

But the best part about it is nobody really knows of this location, making it a quiet and relaxing campsite all year round. Just be sure to bring either a fly net or loads of repellent as the horse flies have grouped in the millions and are relentless.

Camping at Ponto Reserve, One of the best campsites in the Mudgee region

Another way to stay cool during the summer heat… go underground! You may be wondering if we even like summer at all?! We can’t decided ourselves.

Wellington Caves offer three different tours; the Cathedral Cave, the Gaden Cave and the Phosphate Mine.

Only one runs at a time and being on a slightly tight schedule, we picked the first tour of the day. Cathedral Cave was the winner and we aren’t sorry about it.

It was spectacular.

Inside Cathedral Cave, one of the very unique things to do in mudgee

The cool dank air and the sheer white walls set an eery scene. These caves were formed 400 million years ago from the rising and lowering water levels of an inland sea, giving them a unique look of horizontal layers.

The name Cathedral comes from the large formation in the middle of the cave which looks just like a church altar. Interestingly they cater for weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies down here… would you be keen!?

The Altar inside Wellington Caves, An eerie place still used for marriage

Unfortunately we didn’t have time for any of the other caves. But if we were to come back, the Phosphate Mine would be at the top of our list. This was a functioning mine during Word War 1 and closed in 1918. The tour takes you through the old mine shafts as well as showing fossils from the first ever mammal remains found in Australia.

You can book online at Wellington Caves for the tours, all $20, or buy at the front desk. We had no problem purchasing on the day, however this was during the week before summer. It all depends on how much of a risk taker you are!

Vanlife camping at Ponto Reserve, One of the best campsites in the Mudgee region

There you have it, five reasons why Mudgee should be on your list of places to visit in Australia. We could have given many more but thats for you to discover, what will be your favourite things to do in Mudgee? Tell us in the comments below.

Until next time fellow travel lovers.