Mudgee is a small town in the New South Wales central west. It’s about 4 hrs drive north west of Sydney (nearly 300 kms).
It’s a beautiful little town – population approx 8000. No parking meters, no traffic lights.
It’s a wine growing town, and the wines from Mudgee, whilst not as famous as some other Australian regions, are growing in popularity and respect. Mudgee produces some very fine wines – particularly reds.
My wife Jennifer was born in Mudgee, and she has family here. We live in town. Jennifer’s sister lives next door, and their mum lives one house over. They have relatives scattered all throughout Mudgee.
Mudgee is popular as a weekend destination for people from Sydney. It’s a big B&B town, and large groups come from all over to have their weddings here, it’s that beautiful. It’s a wealthy town too. There are grand stud properties out of town, and further afield there are mines which bring a lot of money into town.
Mudgee gets hot in summer – up into the low 40s Celsius some days, (105-107F) and drops to minus 6-7C in the winter. (17-23F). These extremes in climate are great for the winegrowers!
I’ve shot two movies here – The Nugget, and Spider & Rose. I shot the movies here because Mudgee is a quintessential Australian country town.
I love it here. If I need to take meetings in Sydney it’s a relatively quick trip in – yet most of my work now is overseas. I have 20 mb/sec broadband, and Sype is brilliant.
There are some beautiful walks around Mudgee.
I’m a creature of habit and I have a few walks that I do all the time; a 10 km walk, a 15 km walk, a 20 km walk, and not so often I do a 26 km walk and a 34 km walk. That last walk takes me to the next town, Gulgong, and Jennifer picks me up and drives me back. It takes most of the day.
Oh and I also have the Mt. Misery walk – that’s a gnarly mountain at the back of Mudgee, which is a real test on the heart and the legs. It’s like a mini Pyrenees.
From my house it’s 4 kms to the base of the mountain, then 4 kms to the top, 4 kms back down again, and 4 kms home. 16 kms in all. I only do that walk towards the end of my training, before I’m about to embark on a Camino. It really tests me.
On Sundays I usually do my 20 km walk, which takes me out of town and loops me around through some beautiful pastoral land and beside some vineyards.
At the moment, I’m stepping up my training in preparation for the Via de Francesco Tour, from La Verna to Assisi, in April. It’s only 240 kms but some of it is hilly.
Lynda, who frequents this blog (and is a dear friend!) asked me a little while ago to take some pictures on one of my walks, so she could see a bit of the district. So last Sunday I took my little Sony RX100 MkIII out, and took some shots.
On Sundays I usually leave before dawn or just after dawn. I head off through Lawson Park beside the Cudgegong River. Henry Lawson is one of Australia’s great poets, born in the district in 1867.
I exit the park, opposite one of Mudgee’s classic old pubs, and head out of town.
At 1.2 kms out I take a right turn into Lue Road, which leads to a small town called Lue about 30 kms away.
This road is tar all the way –
I pass fields full of cows, and a couple of B&Bs.
On Sundays there are a lot of cyclists out – Mudgee has a very big biking community.
At 8kms I pass an old church, and a farm that has an old windmill with wooden blades propped up against a shed, then I turn right again into Rocky Waterhole Road. As you’re probably gathering by now, Mudgee names its roads with due diligence, and Rocky Waterhole Road leads to a rocky waterhole.
But first I pass some vineyards, some wineries and some more cows.
Oh – and a curious dog…
At 15 kms I turn right again onto a road that runs parallel to the Sydney Highway, leading back into town. There are some residential properties on this road, mixed in with olive plantations (Mudgee is a big olive producer) and some smaller farms.
And more cows.
At 17.5 kms I hit the Sydney Highway, and begin the last hook back into town.
That’s my Sunday walk. I’ve done it in just under 3 hrs, which is moving fast for me – usually it takes me about 3:10 or so. This last Sunday, what with all the stopping to take photos, it took me 4 hrs 30 mins – but I took in total 160 photos.
It reminded me just how much time it takes for me to take photos on a walk.
I’ll do a post soon on the 15 km walk – and on the 26 km walk too. Not sure about the 34 km walk – might have to build up to that one. And as for Mt. Misery… argh….