Sampling gourmet cheeses, seeing the land from a hot air balloon, these are just some of the many things to do here in Mudgee, Australia. Visitors can indulge their senses with the finest Australian wine and local cuisine, and then trek into the many wilderness areas to experience scenic nature.
1. Enjoy wine at the quirky Short Sheep Micro-Winery
The unique name of this winery comes from the miniature Babydoll Southdown sheep that graze along the vines. Their grazing assists winery maintenance and reduces the need for herbicides and diesel fuel, helping the winery be more environmentally conscious. Visitors can meet, pet, and hand feed these fluffy creatures as they walk along the winery (and they may spot Arya the sheepdog or the vineyard cats Marshmallow and Fudge). The winery offers a selection of whites, roses, and reds, from a 2013 Reserve du Patron to a 2016 Nectar de la Vigne Rose. The wines are handcrafted from handpicked fruit, and made to be low in preservatives. The owners prioritize being socially and environmentally conscious, with some of the proceeds going to clean water projects and Diabetes Australia. Visitors to Short Sheep will be taken on a tour of the winery as the staff talks through the wine making process. Groups can book ahead for a wine tasting of 6 to 8 wines with a charge of 5 USD per person. For visitors wanting to extend their stay, there’s options to stay in a studio or a cottage.
Short Sheep Micro-Winery
Address: 47 Buckaroo Lane, Mudgee, New South Wales 2850, Australia
Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm seven days a week
Contact: +61 420299999
Website: Short Sheep Micro-Winery
2. See the area from a hot air balloon
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Mudgee vista on a hot air balloon ride. Take in stunning sights of the vineyards, hills, valley, and historic town from the sky. Balloon Flights Mudgee provides visitors with transportation to and from the launch and landing sight. Visitors can play an active role in their adventure, participating with the inflation and deflation of the balloon while hearing about the history of ballooning. They will also receive tea, coffee, sweet biscuits, and a gourmet champagne breakfast. At the end of the journey, participants receive a personalized flight certificate and can partake in a traditional celebration of flight.
Balloon Flights Mudgee
Address: The launch site depends on the time of year, email the company for more information
Price: 319 USD refundable price for adults, 235 USD refundable price for children (8-12 years) and 299 USD non-refundable price for adults, 235 USD non-refundable price for children
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.
Duration: around 1 hour required.
Website: Balloon Flights Mudgee
3. Sample a variety of gourmet cheeses at The Cellar by Gilbert
The artists at Gilbert Family wines have been in the industry for six generations. Their tasting room, called The Cellar, offers visitors the opportunity to sample wine paired with gourmet cheeses. The menu includes a variety of marinated fettas, brie, caerphilly (a young cheddar), and Mudgee rouge (a rind cheese). The wines paired with the cheeses are deeply connected to the Gilbert family, either wines they’ve created or wines from family and friends around the world who have impacted them.
The Cellar by Gilbert
Address: 137 Ulan Road Mudgee, NSW 2850
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm open seven days a week
Contact: +61 263721325
Website: The Cellar by Gilbert
4. Trek through nature at Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve
The second oldest Australian reserve with Aboriginal heritage, this landscape is worth a visit for lovers of nature, history, and culture. The vista is made up of sandstone rock formations emerging from the bushland. To date, 164 species of birds have been spotted in the area so birdwatchers are encouraged to bring binoculars and keep their eyes peeled. Lucky visitors may spot the rare endangered regent honeyeater. But it won’t be hard to spot iconic Australian bird: the emu.
Visitors can enjoy a light hike before retiring to the Moolarben picnic area for lunch, including use of barbecues.
Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve
Address: Mudgee-Wollar Road, Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia (see the website for the Google Maps coordinates)
Opening Hours: 9am - 4pm Monday to Thursday
Contact: +61 263709000
Website: Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve
5. Explore the skies at the Mudgee Observatory
Venture into the Australian wilderness away from the lights of the Mudgee town and Ulan mines and visit the Mudgee Observatory. A man named John, with 45 years of astronomy experience, built the four observatory dorms (often used by the University of NSW and members of the Sutherland Astronomical Society) and the observatory gift shop.
A theatre and flat screen planetarium play various educational and entertaining programs on the sun, starry sky, and space missions. Visitors can gaze up into the sky on their own with different telescopes and binoculars. Astronomy fans can pick up astronomy books and other items at the observatory shop (where visitors can also purchase coffee, drinks, and desserts).
Visit bookings are required, which can be done on the observatory’s website.
Address: 961 Old Grattai Road Mudgee NSW 2850
Price: 15 USD for adults, 8 USD for children
Opening Hours: The hours depend on the season, visitors can call or email to inquire about opening times
Contact: +61 263733431
Website: Mudgee Observatory
Enjoy the sights and tastes of Mudgee
Mudgee, Australia is a small town far from the iconic cities and Australian coast. But it offers enough attractions to be worth the journey. Visitors can dazzle their tastebuds sampling Australian wine and cheese. The gorgeous vistas can be observed by foot in a nature preserve or from the sky by hot air balloon. At night, the town’s observatory offers stunning views of the sky given the lack of city light in the area. Mudgee is a visit to delight the senses!
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