Mudgee, Australia

Less than four hours' drive from Sydney, Mudgee (meaning 'nest in the hills' in the local Wiradjuri Aboriginal language) is rich in heritage, culture and culinary delights. The area's main drawcard is its 40-odd fantastic wineries, most of which are open for year-round tastings. Though you could easily spend a weekend talking vintages and viscosity, there's plenty to explore beyond the cellar doors. Take a trip to historic gold-rush towns Gulgong and Hargraves; pack a picnic and head to one of the region's four view-blessed national parks; visit a local olive oil or cheese producer; or simply stroll the charming streets of Mudgee township, where delis, caf├ęs and wine-toting restaurants are as prolific as grapes on a vine.

When to go

With its four-season climate (January brings the hottest temperatures, July the coolest), there's never a bad time to visit Mudgee. Book in March to get hands-on (and feet-on) wine-making experience at the annual Footcrush Feast at Robert Stein Winery & Vineyard (www.robertstein.com.au), where a vineyard tour leads to traditional hand-plunging and foot-crushing, and a well-deserved dinner. Gourmands should swing by in September for the month-long Mudgee Wine and Food Festival (www.mudgeewine.com.au).

  • Best-price guarantee

    Found your stay cheaper? We’ll match the price and give you a $75 voucher

  • Smith Extra on arrival

    Enjoy extras such as a picnic lunch, champagne or spa treatments, on the house

Getting there

  • Planes

    Mudgee Airport is six kilometres from the township, and is serviced by Aeropelican (www.aeropelican.com.au) from Sydney (a one-hour flight).
  • Trains

    Mudgee Station is in the town centre, with connections from Sydney's Central Station on CountryLink (13 22 32; www.countrylink.info).
  • Automobiles

    The best way to explore the region's historic towns, national parks and wineries is by car. Mudgee is three-and-a-half hours' drive from Sydney, along the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains or take the Bells Line of Road via Lithgow. From Canberra, it's a five-hour journey via the scenic Tablelands Way (www.tablelandsway.com.au), passing through Goulburn, Crookwell and Oberon to Bathurst, then Wattle Flat, Sofala and Mudgee. You can also route via Yass, Cowra and Wellington or via Cowra and Bathurst. From Newcastle, it's a four-hour drive along the attractive Bylong Valley Way (www.bylongvalleyway.com.au).