We have our second day exploring Mudgee today. There are so many things to visit and see. There is such a great atmosphere to the town. Not only is it neat and tidy, but it’s also actually gorgeous. All the shops are filled, the buildings are in excellent condition, and the only thing you see on the ground are the autumn leaves.
It has been a 4 am start for us this morning, and it got quite cold overnight. We are greeted with a light fog as we drive into the entrance of Blue Wren Wines; surely we can’t be doing a wine tasting at 4 am. Just before we arrive at the cellar door, we take a quick right-hand turn, and we find ourselves in the middle of a large open paddock with bear vines behind us. Even the sun is still thinking about getting out of bed. Craig and Sam from Balloons Aloft meet us. We are about to ride in a Hot Air balloon over Mudgee to catch a sunrise. This should be fun, but Macca looks nervous. First off is the safety drill and the guys from Balloons Aloft really put you at ease, ensuring that everyone’s safety is their number one concern. The balloon is inflated which is a mesmerising experience in itself. Then it’s up and standing tall above us. Before you know it, it’s time to jump in the basket. There is no time to waste; this baby wants to soar. We have lift-off, slowly rising above the township, catching the first rays of golden light as they sweep across buildings and treetops. Now, this is the way to see Mudgee. We gently float across town and come down like were on pillows in the middle of another open field. The support truck and some of our vehicles are there to meet us. Everyone then lends a hand to pack away the balloon. All this activity so early in the morning builds up and appetite, some just want coffee. We are fortunate enough to have Paul and Chef Kip from Blue Wren Wines on standby with the most fantastic breakfast spread you can imagine. What a stunning venue Blue Wren Wines have, animals wander freely around the garden and fresh herbs are flourishing everywhere. After a quick chat with Paul and Kip, it’s time to farewell the team from Balloons Aloft and Blue Wren Wines. We head on over to the Mudgee Riverside Caravan & Tourist Park. Owners Ian and Lyn are on hand to welcome us with warm country hospitality. We have brought into the park the aptly named Galaxy Nemesis caravan into the park. It’s an impressive van, fully equipped for off-road and underpinned by the world class G&S Flow Rider suspension and a tough checker plate exterior. This is a serious off-road caravan, packed with all of the creature comforts but built to stand up to the most punishing environment. We can’t wait to take this van offload tomorrow. Before we go, Tania has one last request; she would like to see a bit more of Mudgee but this time on the back of a trike. Did you ever picture Tania Kernaghan as a bikie chick, well let me tell you she can pull it off!! Nick from Mudgee Trikes comes straight to our caravan door to do a pick. Nick’s trike is a head turning BOOM Mustang Trike imported from Germany. There’s room on the back for two so Macca swaps his Akubra for a helmet, and he and Tania are off to see some more sites in town. We drop into the old railway station, take a browse through their arts and craft store, then it’s off to the most beautiful park you have ever seen. Lawson Park sits at the northern end of the main town centre and has the Cudgegong river flowing through the middle of it. It’s an incredibly beautiful place to say goodbye to Nick and to wrap up our stay in Mudgee. What an amazing town, the facilities are top notch, every local we have met have all been so proud of their town. It feels like Mudgee has reached critical mass interns of establishing itself as one of the must-see towns in NSW. We highly recommend stopping in Mudgee on any trip you plan to make. We are all making plans to stop back in.
Stay tuned for tomorrows adventure!
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Jayson Packett | Offroad Media Productions