Last updated

New South Wales
Mudgee Roundabout.jpg
View of the town centre, showing War Memorial Clock Tower
Population12,410 (2018) [1]
Postcode(s) 2850
Elevation454 m (1,490 ft)
LGA(s) Mid-Western Regional Council
County Wellington
State electorate(s) Dubbo
Federal Division(s) Calare
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
23.0 °C
73 °F
8.3 °C
47 °F
673.9 mm
26.5 in

Mudgee /ˈmʌi/ is a town in the Central West of New South Wales, Australia. It is in the broad fertile Cudgegong River valley 261 km (162 mi) north-west of Sydney and the centre of the Mid-Western Regional Council local government area. As at June 2018 its population was 12,410. [1] The district lies across the edge of the geological structure known as the Sydney Basin. [2]



Indigenous Australians, pre-colonisation until 1850

In Mudgee the Mowgee clan extended over a 50 km radius centred around the Cudgegong River. Their women's totem was the wedge tail eagle (Mullian) and the men's totem the crow (Waggan). [3]

There are Aboriginal sites, including some with evidence of tool making, and cave paintings. Some of the better known and accessible ones include Hands on the Rocks, The Drip and Babyfoot Cave.

Significance of local names

Some places are named after the local Wiradjuri tribal areas, including Mudgee itself, whose name is derived from the Wiradjuri term Moothi meaning "Nest in the Hills" [4] or "mou-gee" meaning "contented". [5] Others include Lue (Loowee, 'a chain of waterholes'); Gulgong ('a gully'); Wollar ('a rock water hole'); Menah ('flat country'); Eurunderee ('a local tree'); Guntawang ('a peaceful place'), Cooyal ('dry country'); Wilbertree ('a long switch'); Gooree ('native chasing live animal'); Burrendong ('darker than usual'). The Aboriginal name of the Rylstone area was Combamolang.

European settlement to 1850

Mudgee post office Mudgee Post Office (2712968826).jpg
Mudgee post office

James Blackman was the first European settler to cross the Cudgegong River in 1821 [6] followed quickly by Lieutenant William Lawson who was then commandant of Bathurst. Lawson would later take up 6,000 acres (2,400 ha) in the area.[ citation needed ]

George and Henry Cox, sons of William Cox, were the first settlers on the Cudgegong River when they established the Menah run, 3 kilometres north of the current town. The European settlers were soon in conflict with the Wiradjuri over a range of issues including the killing of livestock and animals such as kangaroos and possums which were food sources for the Wiradjuri. Martial law was declared by Governor Thomas Brisbane in 1824, leading to the killing of a large number of the Wiradjuri people. [7]

This was mostly organised by the local churches after service, as the Wiradjuri would not give up their totemic religion. As late as the 1930's human skeletal remains were still in trees after a group of Wiradjuri were driven off a cliff on Mt. Misery. This led to another group retaliating by eating a european settler on nearby Cannibal Hill. Misery Mountain is visible from Mudgee town centre as it has the communications towers on the skyline to the South West. It is easily accessible by foot from a track leading from the Southern end of Henry Bailey Drive. Walking from there to Cannibal Hill the significance of the site becomes immediately apparent: there is a single veichle lane width path, perfectly even in width and level, made of volcanic soil, where there is no volcanic plug, from there almost to Avisford, 30 kilometers away. It is faster and easier to walk the distance than along the modern road, due to the cooler temperature at the higher altitude (and the prevailing cool breeze in summer) and the more direct route.

From both Mt. Misery and the nearby hill with the remaining communications towers, from 8am to 9am depending on the time of year, the morning light and shadow clearly outline a pyramid, North, South, East, West, 7 across to 1 high, on the plain just north of Mudgee. No archaeological work has been done at either site.

While the site of Mudgee was surveyed for a village in 1823, the original settlement was Menah, having a police station and lock-up by 1833. It has been incorrectly claimed that Robert Hoddle designed the village which was gazetted in 1838. Although Hoddle was the first surveyor in the region, marking out the boundaries of Putta Bucca and Bombira, by the time the village was gazetted, he had already left the district to become leader of the Port Phillip Survey. [8] John Blackman built a slab hut, the first dwelling in Mudgee and its general store. [9]

By 1841 there were 36 dwellings, three hotels, a hospital, a post office, two stores and an Anglican church. St John's Church of England was consecrated on 6 May 1841. [10] The police station moved from Menah in the mid-1840s and an Anglican school was established in that decade.[ citation needed ]

1850 to present

Mudgee Railway Station (1884) Mudgee Railway Station 2007.jpg
Mudgee Railway Station (1884)
Lovejoy House CountryTown0008.jpg
Lovejoy House
View of Market Street, looking towards the centre of the town Mudgee market st.jpg
View of Market Street, looking towards the centre of the town

In 1851 the population of Mudgee was 200. This skyrocketed with the discovery of gold by Edward Hargraves in nearby Hargraves, leading to a gold rush. While no gold was found in Mudgee itself, the town is central to the goldfields of Gulgong, Hill End and Windeyer, and grew rapidly as a result.

Mudgee was declared as a municipality in 1860 making it the second oldest municipality west of the Great Dividing Range with a population of 1500 in 1861. A public school was built in the 1850s together with the present Anglican, Catholic Methodist and Presbyterian churches. A new police station, courthouse, Mechanics' Institute and a town hall were built in the 1860s. There were four coach factories operating in Mudgee to cater for the demand of the nearby goldfields. The National Trust of Australia has a number of these buildings registered including the Mudgee Museum (formerly the Colonial Inn), [11] the Catholic presbytery, the court house, the police station and the Anglican Church. On 1 June 1861 the Electric Telegraph system arrived and was opened for messages to be transmitted and received at the Telegraph office. [12]

One gold miner attracted to the Mudgee district was Niels Peter Larsen, who married Louisa Albury in Mudgee in 1866. They were the parents of leading Australian poet Henry Lawson in Grenfell in 1867 and changed their names to Peter and Louisa Lawson. By the birth of their third child, they moved to a selection at Pipeclay (now Eurunderee) 8 km north of Mudgee. The site is now a rest stop with a plaque.

Louisa Lawson's vigorous lobbying led to the establishment of the slab-and-bark Eurunderee Public School in 1876 with Henry Lawson first attending aged nine. He would later write about the school in his poem, The Old Bark School. Lawson later attended St. Matthews Central School, Mudgee before progressively worsening deafness led to him leaving school at 14. He lived in the region until age 15 and many of his stories were written about the district.[ citation needed ]

As the gold petered out in the latter half of the 19th century, Mudgee was sustained by both its wool industry and a nascent wine industry founded by a German immigrant, Adam Roth, in the 1850s. The opening of the railway extension from Rylstone to Mudgee occurred on 10 September 1884. [13] [14]

The railway boosted the town's agriculture. The extension between Rylstone and Mudgee closed on 2 March 1992. [14] This same section re-opened eight years later, on 2 September 2000 [14] and closed again in 2007. The Wallaby Track Drive Tour visits various sites associated with Lawson including the old Eurundee Public School, the Henry Lawson memorial, the Budgee Budgee Inn, Sapling Gully, Golden Gully and the Albury Pub which was owned by Lawson's grandfather.[ citation needed ]

In 1890 a local newspaper was founded with the title the Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative. [15] Its title changed in 1963 to the Mudgee Guardian and Gulgong Advertiser and is currently published twice a week.

Mudgee's Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium hosted the 2012 City vs Country Origin rugby league match with an attendance of 8,621, and the 2017 match with an attendance of 8,322. [16] The St. George Dragons regularly host home matches there. [17]

Additionally, in the A-League, the Western Sydney based Western Sydney Wanderers have chosen to take their Community Round match to Mudgee's Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium, as part of their new Regional Strategy, [18]

In 2014, the local council found itself involved in a statewide corruption investigation when officers of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (New South Wales) raided the local council's offices. [19] [20]


Mudgee has developed as a wine producing region, it has manufacturing and repair industries. It is also heavily dependent on several major mines in the surrounding area [21] and fly-in fly-out (FIFO) miners who live in the town but work elsewhere.

Other rural produce includes cattle, sheep, wheat, alfalfa, olives, fruit, tomatoes, sweetcorn, honey, and dairy products. These, however, do not play as large a role as mining.

The Ulan coal mines are in the district and it also produces marble, pottery clays, shale and dolomite. These mines have further potential to expand in the region, however they attract environmental protests. [22]

Tourism is also a growing industry based mostly on the wineries and, as of 2020, escaping the restrictive life in Sydney. Property prices have surged due to the local airport and the fact that it's only a one hour flight to Sydney.

A laboratory was established in 1987 to test meat for pesticide residues. [ citation needed ]

Local real estate, petrol and living costs skyrocketed since 2010 when the mining boom began to peak. [23] This has rolled onto the local population, who have since had increased difficulty in living in the town. [24] [25]

A new hospital was completed in 2020.


Mudgee has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), with semi-arid (Bsk) characteristics. Summers are hot with the occasional thunderstorm. Winters are relatively cold, with frosty mornings and sunny days, interspersed with periods of heavy rain and, rarely, snowfall; Mudgee's heaviest snowfall on record was 56 centimetres (22 in) on 5 July 1900. [26] Rainfall is moderate and falls fairly evenly all year round, with a slight peak in summer. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 43.9 °C (111.02 °F) to 8.3 °C (17.1 °F). The highest monthly rainfall ever recorded was 303.2 mm (11.9 in) of rain in March 1926. Mudgee gets 113.0 clear days, annually. [27]

Climate data for Mudgee (George Street 1962-2013)
Record high °C (°F)42.5
Average high °C (°F)31.0
Average low °C (°F)15.5
Record low °C (°F)3.4
Average rainfall mm (inches)67.7
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)
Average relative humidity (%)40474650565857524745414048
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [27]

Heritage buildings

Mudgee has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Schools and colleges

Notable people


See also

Related Research Articles

The Wiradjuri people are a group of Aboriginal Australian people who are united by common descent through kinship and shared traditions. They survived formerly as skilled hunter-fisher-gatherers in family groups or clans scattered throughout central New South Wales. and many still use knowledge of these hunting and gathering techniques as part of their customary life.

Orange, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Orange is a city in the Central Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia. It is 254 km (158 mi) west of the state capital, Sydney [206 km (128 mi) on a great circle], at an altitude of 862 metres (2,828 ft). Orange had an estimated urban population of 40,493 as of June 2018 making the city a significant regional centre. A significant nearby landmark is Mount Canobolas with a peak elevation of 1,395 m (4,577 ft) AHD  and commanding views of the district.

Richmond, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Richmond is a town in New South Wales, in the local government area of the City of Hawkesbury. It is located at a latitude of 33° 35' 54" South and a longitude of 150°45' 04" east, 19 metres above sea level on the alluvial Hawkesbury River flats, at the foot of the Blue Mountains. It is about 65 km by road from Sydney.

Dunedoo Town in New South Wales, Australia

Dunedoo is a village of 747 inhabitants situated within the Warrumbungle Shire of central western New South Wales, Australia. Dunedoo is well known to Australian travellers due to its distinctive name. The name is actually derived from a local Aboriginal word meaning "swan", which are commonly found in the area's lagoons.

Cudgegong River

Cudgegong River, a perennial stream that is part of the Macquarie catchment within the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the central western and Orana districts of New South Wales, Australia.

Gulgong Town in New South Wales, Australia

Gulgong is a 19th-century gold rush town in the Central Tablelands and the wider Central West regions of the Australian state of New South Wales. The town is situated within the Mid-Western Regional Council local government area. It is located about 300 km (190 mi) north west of Sydney, and about 30 km north of Mudgee along the Castlereagh Highway. At the 2016 Census, Gulgong had a population of 2,521.

Capertee, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Capertee is a village 45 km north of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. It is on an elevated site above the Capertee Valley. In 2016, the township had a population of 145 people. The Castlereagh Highway links Capertee with Lithgow to the south and Mudgee to the north. The township is surrounded by National Parks and grazing land. Principal employment is in coal mining, farming and tourism-related services. The Capertee Valley forms a part of the catchment area of the Hawkesbury River.

Ilford, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Ilford is a village in New South Wales, Australia, beside the Crudine River within the Mid-Western Regional Council. It is located on the Castlereagh Highway, about 220 kilometres north-west of Sydney. At the 2016 census Ilford and the surrounding rural district had a population of 187, living in 65 private dwellings. The district also included 43 unoccupied private dwellings. Ilford was named after the English township of Ilford, from where early residents of the locality originated.

Blayney, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Blayney is a farming town and administrative centre with a population of 3,378 in 2016, in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. Situated on the Mid-Western Highway about 240 km (150 mi) west of Sydney, 35 km (22 mi) west of Bathurst and 863 m (944 yd) above sea-level, Blayney is the seat of Blayney Shire Council.

Mid-Western Regional Council Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

The Mid-Western Regional Council is a local government area in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. The area is located adjacent to the Castlereagh Highway that passes through the middle of the area in an approximate southeast-northwest direction.

Stuart Town, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Stuart Town, formerly known as Ironbark, is a small town on the Central Western Slopes of New South Wales, Australia within Dubbo Regional Council. It is located 317 kilometres (197 mi) north-west of the state capital, Sydney. At the 2011 census, Stuart Town had a population of 487. The area around the town is rich in cattle farming and orchards, so the town serves as a service centre to that area.

Rylstone, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Rylstone is a small town in New South Wales, Australia, in the Central Tablelands region within the Mid-Western Regional Council local government area. It is located on the Bylong Valley Way road route. At the 2016 census, Rylstone had a population of almost 650 people.

Kandos, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Kandos is a small town in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, within Mid-Western Regional Council. The area is the traditional home of the Dabee tribe, of the Wiradjuri people. The town sits beneath Cumber Melon Mountain, in a district formerly known as Coomber. Kandos shares its locality, employment and infrastructure with the neighbouring town Rylstone, six kilometres away. Kandos had a population of 1261 at the 2016 census and Rylstone 644.

Portland, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Portland is a town in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia. At the 2016 census, Portland had a population of 2,424 people. The town was named after Australia's first cement works.

Gwabegar railway line

The Gwabegar Railway Line is a railway line in the Central West and North West Slopes of New South Wales, Australia, which passes through the towns of Mudgee, Gulgong, Dunedoo, Coonabarabran and terminates at Gwabegar.

Tallawang, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Tallawang is an historical locality north of Gulgong in central western New South Wales, Australia. The place name is derived from an aboriginal word for "apple gum".

Leadville, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Leadville is a town in New South Wales, Australia. The town is located in the Warrumbungle Shire local government area, 376 kilometres (234 mi) north west of the state capital, Sydney. At the 2006 census, Leadville and the surrounding area had a population of 186.

Wollar Town in New South Wales, Australia

Wollar is a village in New South Wales, Australia. The town is located 316 kilometres (196 mi) north west of the state capital Sydney and 48 kilometres (30 mi) north-east of the regional centre of Mudgee, near the Goulburn River National Park. At the 2006 census, Wollar and the surrounding region had a population of 304. By the 2016 census the village of Wollar and district was reduced to 69 persons living in 50 private dwellings.

Lue, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Lue is a small village in New South Wales, Australia. At the 2006 census, Lue and the surrounding rural area had a population of 815.

Binnawee Homestead

Binnawee Homestead is a heritage-listed disused homestead at 111 Lester's Lane, Mudgee, Mid-Western Regional Council, New South Wales, Australia. It was built from 1850 to 1900. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 9 June 2009.


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