A slow food and hiking guide to Mudgee, NSW

Posted on July 4th, 2014

This is a nice quick post, to be told mostly in pictures. I like to eat and hike, both mindfully. Both ground and enliven me. Thus, I devote a lot of my energies heading off to explore (often) far-flung places in the bush/country/wilds that are also peppered with surprising real and whole foodie finds. If you, too, like to do this, you might want to check out my previous trips here. Or follow my hashtags on Instagram #bushhike #bushexcursion.

I'm here. Happy. On a rock.

This trip I went west on a road trip to the Mudgee Region. It’s about 3 1/2 hours from Sydney, over the Blue Mountains, past Mount Victoria at the top and then inland to dead-set farming territory. The area, though, is also surrounded by wonderful National Parks with a good variety of moderate walks. There I am above at Castle Rock in the Munghorn Gap Park, about 40 minutes out of Mudgee, showing off/terrifying my friends. This was an 8km return hike.

Country food in #Mudgee at 3 Deg C #roadtrip #newsouthwales (Market Street Cafe)

We left Sydney at 3pm and got into Mudgee in time for dinner. Night one we ate country food at Market Street Cafe. There are only three (locally sourced) items on the menu (chicken, steak, pork) and a handful of local wines. A gorgeous, simple place favoured by locals.

Train-Sunrise

That night we stayed in a 1901 train carriage five minutes out of town. The carriage sits on the Eloura Homestead property, owned by six mates aged in their 30s and 40s who visited Mudgee on a road trip a while back and thought they’d encourage others to do the same by buying a very cute train. It sleeps five people and is super cosy. The view across misty farmland in the morning is just so deep-breath-inducing. And, to be honest, it was really nice to be out in the sticks, and not in town or on a vineyard. If you’re going to get out of the city, you should really get out.

Country breakfast in @mudgeeregion ...JAFFLES!! And housemade #fermented labne, locally roasted coffee. #newsouthwales #mudgee #mudgeeregion (Alby and Esther's)

Next morning we ate a modern country breakfast, including, YES, JAFFLES!! at Alby and Ester’s in town. They do housemade fermented labne, locally roasted coffee and all food is grown in-house or nearby.

My very dapper #bushhike #bushexcursion mates @bradlington71 @mrrickyg @mudgeeregion #mudgee #newsouthwales

PS, this trip my beautiful friends Brad and Rick accompanied me…

Lunch @thezinhouse ...The epic Kim Currie cooks her rustic goodness among guests. We are soooo cosy right now, hey @bradlington71 @mrrickyg ?! #roadtrip #mudgee #mudgeeregion @mudgeeregion #slowfood

OK, after our Munghorn hike, we hightailed it to Lowe Estate Winery to have lunch at The Zin House. This place is my kinda foodie joint. Chef Kim Currie cooks a fixed menu in the restaurant itself – you can stand and chat to her, like you used to with your Mum. There’s an open fire, views out across the vineyards and, well, the food…

Quails eggs from down the road, #homemade olive bread, @pepesaya butter, warm local olives and Lowe's preservative-free red blend (The Zin House)

We started with quails eggs from down the road, homemade olive bread, Pepesaya butter, warm local olives and Lowe’s preservative-free red blend.

Pork on ya fork with an apple (from Orange) and chili and red onion and fennel slaw @thezinhouse #mudgeeregion #mudgee #slowfood

We moved onto a bunch of other courses, including slow cooked pork with an apple (from nearby Orange), chilli, red onion and fennel slaw. The local cheeses were wonderful.

Yep, 2 degrees at 11am #bushhike @mudgeeregion #mudgeeregion #mudgee (Dunns Swamp Wollemi National Park)

The next day we headed to Dunns Swamp in the Wollemi National Park. I don’t know that I’ve seen a prettier park.

Lone walker #bushhike #bushexcursion #mudgeeregion @mudgeeregion #newsouthwales

There are a bunch of hikes here, none particularly taxing. We did another 8km one. Then back through Rhylstone, which is worth a visit.

Here's looking at you, Baby @bradlington71 #mudgeeregion #mudgee @mudgeeregion #bushexcursion #bushhike #roadtrip #newsouthwales

As always, I share this information in the hope I’ll encourage some of you to get together a bunch of mates and head bush on weekends. It really beats malls and shopping and eggs benedict in The Same Old Places. If you want to check out a little more about the region, contact Destination NSW.

Have you been to the area? Want to share some further foodie haunts, tips, walks?

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  • Chris Robinson

    I lived there for a couple of years a long time ago and it is my husbands home town. It’s interesting seeing it through your eyes..

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    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    I’m same when I see stuff about Canberra.

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  • Vanessa

    I love that area. There really are some amazingly beautiful places all within a four hour drive of the major cities- perfect for weekend getaways. I always think its a pity that more younger Australians don’t get out and visit our country as much- don’t wait until retirement!

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    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Totally agree…which is why I share this info.

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  • http://harmony-wellness.org Paula Larsen

    Beautiful! I want to eat all that food!

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  • Alyse

    I actually just wrote a post this week on the Wilson’s Prom Hike we did a few weeks back. You would love it! Something you should definitely check out!

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    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    I’d love to visit

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  • Deb Chandler

    Love the apple from orange LOL never been to that area but looks lovely

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  • Liesbeth

    Perfect timing thank you Sarah. My Mum is an outdoorsy hiker-sort and we are both huge local foodies, so I’ve been looking for a short food/hiking based weekend away for her birthday that was close enough to Sydney but not the standard Hunter Valley/Blue mountains deal. I’m pretty much going to copy your weekend, I know she will love it :) i always appreciate these posts of yours for new inspiration!

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  • Kath Furney

    OMG Sarah. You stayed in my old house!!! My husband and I grew up in Mudgee. We renovated that train carriage and lived there for five years. I loved waking up to that view every day… so relaxing. Glad you enjoyed Mudgee. We return often. :) :)

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