Get Out Of Town: Cycling in Mudgee

It turns out while I’ve been busy racing rats in the city, NSW’s country towns have been busy upping their game with gourmet produce, local wine and generally enjoying a quality of life that we dream about on our daily traffic-choked commute. We had already sampled the goods in Orange. Now it’s time to visit Mudgee

For our anniversary we decided to treat ourselves to a weekend away, and started casting around on Mr & Mrs Smith which has become our go-to site for finding an indulgent stay when we feel like spoiling ourselves. We needed somewhere not too far from Sydney, with good riding nearby, and a hotel where we could relax and indulge after getting out on the bikes… and Mudgee’s Perry Street Hotel fit the bill perfectly.

Mudgee’s wineries draw visitors for cellar-door tasting tours, and make for stunning scenery to ride through. Unfortunately, we were visiting mid-week and the cellar-doors were closed, so we couldn’t sample any tipples while riding around the vineyards (which is probably for the best!) We were looking forward to visiting Leaning Oak which produces chevre cheese as well as wine… but again came at the wrong time. Although we didn’t see anyone, the goats were definitely friendly and curious about our bikes!

9 out of 10 goats prefer @trekbikes Chatting to the locals in #mudgeeregion

A post shared by Patrick Fogarty (@pflaneur) on

We enjoyed a leisurely ride along this route taking in the Henry Lawson memorial (the remains of his childhood home, just beside the road) and topping out on Lowes Peak with views across the region before looping back to town. For more route suggestions grab a guide at the local tourist office, also available as pdf.

Back in town there are plenty of options for recovering and re-hydrating after the ride, and just because we missed the cellar doors it didn’t mean we couldn’t sample the local goods. Our particular favourite was Elton’s Eating + Drinking, set in a refurbished old-fashioned pharmacy. Instead of pills and cure-alls, they now serve up local wines and delicious pizzas and plates from behind the counter. If wine isn’t your preferred poison, pop in to the Mudgee Brewing Company and sample the goods brewed on site. Their range includes darker beers like porter and stout which must be fantastic because they were sold out when we visited… oh well, we’ll just have to come back again!

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