Mudgee

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Grey nomads visit Mudgee
Historic buildings are a major drawcard in Mudgee

The town of Mudgee on the banks of the meandering Cudgegong River northwest of Sydney is much loved by grey nomads due to its abundance of attractive colonial buildings … and its proximity to dozens of superb wineries!

The National Trust describes the town as ‘one of the finest groups of townscape in a country area’ and the historic buildings are best discovered by a stroll thought the gorgeous tree-lined streets. Highlights include St. Mary’s Catholic Church famed for its Gothic Revival architecture and the Mudgee Post Office, which was designed by architect Alexander Dawson and built in 1862.

Located some 270 kilometres or so from the New South Wales state capital, Mudgee sits in a strong agricultural area. However, its early growth was actually triggered by the discovery of a huge gold nugget nearby in 1851, and the town quickly became a service centre for surrounding goldfields. It was during the ensuing period of prosperity that some of Mudgee’s impressive buildings were constructed.

While most of the churches were built in the 1850s, the police station, courthouse, post office, and town hall were added in the early 1860s. As gold finds became less and less impressive, Mudgee’s reputation for quality wool, wines and agriculture – as well as the arrival of the railway in 1884 – ensured it continued to thrive.

The Mudgee region began to gain a reputation for winemaking as early as the 1850s, and it is now the third largest grape producing region in New South Wales, with 110 grape growers and about 40 cellar doors. The region is reputedly best known for its concentrated red wine styles and its chardonnay.

Mudgee, of course, is also well known for its association with iconic writer Henry Lawson, who lived in a cottage just out of town until he was 15. The Henry Lawson Memorial is a picnic area centred on the brick fireplace, the last remaining remnants of the former Lawson family house which was demolished in 1946.

Other places nearby well worth a visit are Mount Dangar in Goulburn River National Park, Flirtation Hill Lookout which offers scenic views over the town, Windermere Dam which is about 20 kilometres from Mudgee and boasts great fishing, Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve with its abundant birdlife and the spectacular rock formations at Castle Rock.

For stargazers, the Mudgee Observatory is a great place to check out the magic of the night skies. The town also boasts an enticingly packed events calendar which is headlined by the long-running Mudgee Wine and Food Festival which features a diverse range of events including live music, tastings, lunches, dinners and tours.

In other words, there has never been a better time to visit this extremely welcoming and attractive country town.

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