Our great outdoors provide a wide range of nature experiences – a bird lovers paradise to Aboriginal rock art, from picturesque picnic areas to rewarding bush walks.
Lap it up and enjoy it all.
putta bucca wetlands
Located off Putta Bucca Road just north of Mudgee, this waterbird paradise exhibits a wide range of flora and fauna. Easily accessed with a parking area and includes an easy 2km walk and two newly built birdhides. This is a recreational area for birdwatching, bicycle riding, fishing and walking.
Mudgee to Putta Bucca = 5km
This unusual granite rock formation resembles a crouching frog and can be seen on the left hand side of the Ulan Cassilis road, 19km north of Mudgee, 1.5km past Hadabob Road.
Mudgee to Frog Rock = 21km
hands on rock
These stencils of hands were made by the Wiradjuri people who occupied most of the central west of what is now New South Wales, and were one of the largest of Aboriginal language groups. This heritage site is about 12km east of Ulan and 2km on the left hand side past the entrance to ‘The Drip’. To get there, turn left off the Ulan-Cassilis Road at the Bobadeen Road sign, turn sharp left again, and drive 500 metres to the car park.
The ‘Hands on Rock’ site is 600m from the car park. The path has a few roots across it, but is otherwise easy for about 400 metres; then it slopes up steadily to the rock cliffs. There are steps along the way, but some loose stones towards the end of the path require a little care, particularly on the way down.
One of the features of the walk is the relatively unspoilt forest that surrounds the area. It is typical of the vegetation that once covered this part of the ranges. Please treat this area with care and respect. A viewing platform has been built, and visitors are asked not to leave it or the walking path.
Mudgee to Hands on Rock = 55km
This reserve protects an area of unique rainforest and western plant communities. The track to Ferntree Gully turns off from Bylong Valley Way 17km from Rylstone. It is a further 3 km on an unsealed track to the picnic area and start of walk.
There are a number of walking tracks at Ferntree Gully that take you down into the cool narrow ferntree-studded valley floor, and/or around the top edge of the rocks where you can get an overview of the valley and the unusual rock formations on either side. Allow a minimum of one hour to do the loop walk and longer if you linger to enjoy the rock formations, ferns and orchids along the way.
Take food and water. The walk through the gully, returning via the top track system, requires a reasonable degree of fitness. There is some scrambling over rocks and some quite steep ascents and descents on the steps leading into and out of the gully.
A damp section of the gully containing many tree ferns is accessible via a short boardwalk which allows comfortable access while protecting this sensitive part of the Reserve.
Mudgee to Ferntree Gully = 55km
Just 19 km south-west of Rylstone on the Cudgegong River in the Cudgegong Valley, and worth a visit for fishing, watersports, camping and caravanning.
Mudgee to Windamere Dam = 38km
Get in touch with our friendly tourism specialists at one of our Visitor Information Centres to learn more.
From Monday 1 June 2020, all reopened campgrounds and campsites will require a booking to be made before you visit. For more information see www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au
WOLLEMI NATIONAL PARk
World Heritage-listed Wollemi National Park offers a dramatic setting for scenic walks, swimming, canoeing and camping. From scenic canyons, towering cliffs, wild rivers and serene forests, there are ample opportunities to be immersed in the beauty of the largest wilderness area in NSW.
Camp at the stunning Coorongooba, a short drive east of Glen Davis, where you can camp by the river, surrounded by the soaring sandstone escarpment or beside the water at Gunguddy-Dunns Swamp.
ganguddy – dunns swamp
Dunns swamp, or Ganguddy as it is known to local Aboriginal people, is a beautiful, serene waterway on the Cudgegong river in Wollemi National Park. Ganguddy is perfect for a range of low-key recreational activities, from birdwatching and fishing to canoeing and swimming.
This popular camping and day use area is an oasis from the summer heat. It’s the gateway to the western part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and the vast Wollemi Wilderness.
Canoe and kayak or explore the waterway with the Southern Cross Kayaking team who are based on site most weekends between September school holidays and Easter. Hire a canoe from Southern Cross Kayaking and paddle beside the towering sandstone pagodas. Camping bookings are essential and can be made by calling 13000 PARKS or nationalparks.nsw.gov.au. Just 25km east of Rylstone and Kandos, located on the banks of the Cudgegong River.
munghorn gap nature reserve
This NPWS managed reserve is a particularly important place for Wiradjuri people. The second oldest nature reserve in Australia is steeped in Aboriginal heritage.
It protects an area of sandstone pagoda country where striking natural rock formations jut from the bushland-like ancient ruins. Best viewed from the lookout, bring your walking boots and follow Castle Rocks walk. Pack a picnic lunch and have a meal with a view or return to Moolarben picnic area for a barbecue as a reward for your efforts.
GOULBURN RIVER NATIONAL PARK
Camping opportunities don’t come any more spectacular than at Goulburn River National Park. The park stretches along 90km of the river, and its wide, sandy banks and forest landscape offer easy walking and good swimming – particularly in summer – as well as some amazing birdwatching.
It’s an area of significant Aboriginal heritage, too. With more than 300 known sites, located mostly along the river, the area is very important to the local Aboriginal people.
If you’re looking for a picturesque place to pitch a tent, get away from it all at either of two campgrounds, both situated on the banks of Goulburn River and surrounded by shady trees.
This popular site is located in the Goulburn River State Conservation Area, on the extreme western boundary of Goulburn River National Park. The walking track follows the Goulburn River to the Great Dripping Wall. Known as The Drip, this towering sandstone cliff face is adorned with weeping grasses and ferns, dripping clear spring water in the river below.
The day use area is a great place to have a picnic with shaded picnic tables by the water. The sandy river bed is a great place for kids to paddle but only when there’s low flows. Be aware the river may rise quickly following rain in the catchment, so watch the kids closely to make sure they’re safe. Check the NPWS website for advice regarding alerts and closures.
The Drip picnic area + walking track is situated 50 km (35 min) north of Mudgee on the Ulan-Cassilis Road (37km from Gulgong) and 10km past the village of Ulan. Look for signposting just north of the Ulan coal mine precinct.
Please note: Parking is located off the Ulan-Cassilis Road in The Drip carpark. Limited parking is available, and there are also spaces for caravans and small buses. Not suitable for large coaches. Ulan-Cassilis Road is a 100km/hr road. Please take care when entering and leaving The Drip carpark. Avoid parking on Ulan-Cassilis Road, as it is very dangerous to cross.
hill end historic site
A short drive from Mudgee to Hill End will take you back to the gold rush days. Hill End Historic Site is State Heritage listed and conserves a suite of buildings and the mining derived landscape.
See www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au for further information on NPWS parks and accommodation.
Featured this Month
Evanslea Luxury Boutique Accommodation
You can’t beat Evanslea’s 5 star location, accommodation + ambience for your next escape to Mudgee. All seasons are covered with poolside + riverside in summer or fireside in the winter + all year-round luxurious comfort and privacy.
First Ridge Wines
A relaxed tasting experience that offers alternate variety wines, in a friendly, modern and striking environment. No bookings required and no tasting fees on their regular premium range.
Woolpack Hotel Mudgee
Mudgee’s place of good times. Enjoy craft beers, local wines and house made cocktails. Take a seat with footpath dining, beer garden or inside in the dining area. With live music every weekend + friendly faces, you can’t beat the country hospitality at The Woolpack Hotel.
Gulgong Masterclass Series – May 2021
Under the guidance of four renowned artists and storytellers, explore the heritage towns of Gulgong, Mudgee, Hill End + Rylstone through the eyes of its artists, artisans + creators. Embark on one of four week-long programs, each with its own unique theme and highly revered guest facilitator.
Alby and Esthers
eat. drink. relax. discover. Relax and unwind in the picturesque courtyard at Alby and Esthers – serving fresh, local seasonal fare, boutique roasted coffee, and a wide selection of local wines.
Elephant Mountain Wines
“Wine is poetry in a bottle” come and experience Elephant Mountain Wines’ kind of poetry and sample award winning wines in a beautiful setting at their modern cellar door overlooking Mudgee’s lovely country side.
Rylstone Olive Press
Rylstone olives are grown in the beautiful Central Tablelands of New South Wales. These olives are then pressed within six hours of harvest on the very same day, guaranteeing you the finest and freshest extra virgin olive oil that is full of flavour. Get in touch directly for open times + guided tours.
The Little Cooking School and accommodation
Look no further for your next foodie weekend away. Immerse yourself in a regional cooking experience paired with stylish accommodation sleeping up to 8 located right on the doorstep of Mudgee’s Cellar doors + vineyards.
Vinifera is home to award-winning Spanish varietals and delicious local produce. Visit the cellar door and enjoy a unique tasting experience whilst soaking in the sweeping views across the vineyard to the hills beyond.