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New South Wales
View of the town centre, showing War Memorial Clock Tower
Mudgee is located in New South Wales
Coordinates32°35′43″S 149°35′16″E / 32.595174°S 149.587805°E / -32.595174; 149.587805
Population11,457 (2021)[1]
Elevation454 m (1,490 ft)
LGA(s)Mid-Western Regional Council
RegionCentral West
State electorate(s)Dubbo
Federal division(s)Calare
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.0 °C
73 °F
8.3 °C
47 °F
673.9 mm
26.5 in

Mudgee (/mʌi/) 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 is the largest town in the Mid-Western Regional Council local government area as well as being the council seat. At the 2021 Census, its population was 11,457.[1] The district lies across the edge of the geological structure known as the Sydney Basin.[2]


Wiradjuri people[edit]

The Mudgee and Dabee clans of the Wiradjuri people lived at and around the site of what is now the town of Mudgee on the Cudgegong River. Some cultural and tool-making sites of these Aboriginal people remain, including the Hands on the Rocks, The Drip and Babyfoot Cave sites.[3][4]

Significance of local names[edit]

Many place-names in the region are derived from the original Wiradjuri language, including Mudgee itself, which was named by the Wiradjuri clan who lived there. There are various translations as to what Mudgee means including "resting place", "contented", "nest in the hills" as well as "friend or mate" which the latter coincides with the Wiradjuri word "mudyi".[5][6][7] The correct pronunciation has also been recorded as either Moudgee, Moothi or Mougee.[8][9][10] Nearby places 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.

Early British colonisation (1821 to 1850)[edit]

Mudgee post office

James Blackman, leading an small expedition in the latter half of 1821, was the first British colonist to enter the Mudgee district.[11] Not long after, Lieutenant William Lawson who was then commandant of Bathurst, made several further expeditions to Mudgee. Both Blackman and Lawson found the site to be an Aboriginal settlement or bimmel inhabited by around 100 people who called the area Mudgee or Mujjee.[3][12]

In February 1822, George and Henry Cox, sons of William Cox, followed the trails set up by Blackman and Lawson with 500 head of livestock, and established a grazing property at Menah, 3 km (1.9 mi) north of the current town. The Coxes were soon in conflict with the Mudgee clan who drove away their workers and livestock. George Cox gathered some men at Bathurst and returned to Menah where a two hour fight later ensued, resulting in six Mudgee people being killed and one of Cox's employees being speared to death.[3]

The violence in the region worsened in June 1824, when Theophilus Chamberlain, who was the Coxes' superintendent of their Mudgee property holdings, led a number of punitive expeditions against the local Aboriginal people. A skirmish at Guntawang to the north of Mudgee resulted in some settlers being killed, with around 70 or more Aboriginal people dying in follow up raids. Martial law was declared by Governor Thomas Brisbane in August 1824, leading to further killings of the Wiradjuri people in the Mudgee area. Descendants and workers of the Coxes later described this period as one where "an immense number of natives, men, women and children were slaughtered" and "the bodies of the blacks were piled together and old tar barrels". The violence forced the Coxes to abandon Guntawang, and relieving Chamberlain of his duties, they shifted their enterprise to nearby Dabee.[13][14][15][3]

The Cox family remained prominent landholders around Mudgee for many decades, owning the Dabee, Menah and Burrundulla properties. William Lawson and his descendants also continued to be leading pastoralists in the region, holding estates such as Putta Bucca and Havilah.[16]

The site of the Mudgee township was surveyed in 1837 and the first land sales occurred in August 1838. It has been incorrectly claimed that Robert Hoddle designed the village. 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.[17] John Blackman built a slab hut, the first dwelling in Mudgee and its general store.[18]

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.[19] The police station moved from Menah in the mid-1840s and an Anglican school was established in that decade.

1850 to present[edit]

Mudgee Railway Station (1884)
Lovejoy House
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),[20] 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.[21]

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 (5 mi) 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.

Tiny diamonds were sometimes found and discarded by gold panners when "washing off", but sometime before June 1869 a larger specimen was found on the banks of the Cudgegong River about 40 km (25 mi) from Mudgee and appraised by the jeweller George Crisp, of Queen Street, Melbourne, at 22.2 carat.[22] Dubbed the "Mudgee diamond", it was the largest found to that date in Australia,[23] however commercial quantities were not found[24] and companies founded to exploit the discoveries were wound up a few years later.[25]

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.[26][27]

The railway boosted the town's agriculture. The extension between Rylstone and Mudgee closed on 2 March 1992.[27] This same section re-opened eight years later, on 2 September 2000[27] 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.

In 1890 a local newspaper was founded with the title the Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative.[28] 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.[29] The St. George Dragons regularly host home matches there.[30]

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,[31]

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.[32][33]


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[34] 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, alpacas 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.[35]

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.

Local real estate, petrol and living costs skyrocketed since 2010 when the mining boom began to peak.[36] This has rolled onto the local population, who have since had increased difficulty in living in the town.[37][38]

A new hospital was completed in 2020.


According to the 2021 Census:

  • Mudgee had a population of 11,457, consisting of 5,538 males (48.8%) and 5,868 females (51.2%) and the median age was 36.[1]
  • 864 (7.5%) stated that they were Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander, 9,996 (87.2%) stated they were non-Indigenous.
  • 9,586 (86%) stated they were born in Australia. The other top responses were England (2.1%), New Zealand (0.9%), Philippines (0.5%), India (0.4%) and Nepal (0.4%).
  • 56.5% are Christian, with Catholic (24%) and Anglican (18.9%) being the two largest denominations. People with no religion accounted for 37.8%.
  • English is the primary language used at home with 89.7% stating that they only used it. Languages other than English accounted for 6.4% with the top languages being, Nepali (0.4%), Punjabi (0.4%), Tagalog (0.3%), Spanish (0.3%) and Mandarin (0.3%).
  • The weekly median household income was $1,678.
Historical population
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics data.[39][40]


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 560 mm (22 in) on 5 July 1900.[41] Rainfall is moderate and falls fairly evenly all year round, with a slight peak in summer. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −8.3 °C (17.1 °F) up to 43.9 °C (111.0 °F). The highest monthly rainfall ever recorded was 303.2 mm (11.94 in) of rain in March 1926. Mudgee gets 113 clear days, annually.[42]

Climate data for Mudgee (George Street, 1907–1995, rainfall 1870–2022); 454 m AMSL; 32.60° S, 149.60° E
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 42.5
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 31.0
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 15.5
Record low °C (°F) 3.4
Average rainfall mm (inches) 67.7
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 6.1 5.9 5.3 4.7 6.3 8.0 8.3 7.8 7.2 7.4 6.8 6.5 80.3
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 40 47 46 50 56 58 57 52 47 45 41 40 48
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[42]

Heritage buildings[edit]

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


  • St John's Anglican Church[49]
  • St Mary's Catholic Church[50]
  • St Paul's Presbyterian Church[51]
  • Mudgee Uniting Church[52]
  • Frontline Assemblies of God[53]
  • Mudgee Baptist Church[54]
  • Salvation Army[55]
  • Seventh Day Adventist Church[56]

Schools and colleges[edit]


Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Mudgee". 2021 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 November 2023. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Sydney Basin (Map). New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
  3. ^ a b c d Gapps, Stephen (2021). Gudyarra, The First Wiradyuri War of Resistance. Sydney: NewSouth.
  4. ^ Trethowan, Melanie (30 October 2019). "Exploring My Backyard & Aboriginal Art – Hands on Rock, Mudgee". Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Aboriginal Place Names". Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative. 15 December 1938. p. 14. Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  6. ^ Grant, Stan (2010). A new Wiradjuri dictionary, compiled by Stan Grant and John Rudder. Canberra: Restoration House. ISBN 9780869421505.
  7. ^ "Word Up: Nathan Sentance". ABC Radio National. 6 February 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  8. ^ "Mudgee". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 30 July 2013. Edit this at Wikidata
  9. ^ "PLACE NAMES". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 13 May 1964. p. 61. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  10. ^ "Mudgee's Earliest History". Mudgee Guardian and North-western Representative. New South Wales, Australia. 27 March 1933. p. 7. Retrieved 15 January 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ Greaves, Bernard. "Blackman, James (1792–1868)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  12. ^ H. Selkirk (1920), "The Discovery of Mudgee", Journal and Proceedings, 6, Sydney: Royal Australian Historical Society, ISSN 1325-9261, nla.obj-593173379, retrieved 16 January 2022 – via Trove
  13. ^ "A Reminiscence". The Bligh Watchman And Coonabarabran Gazette. Vol. 24. New South Wales, Australia. 29 August 1900. p. 2. Retrieved 16 January 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ "Mudgee in the Early Days". Mudgee Guardian and North-western Representative. Vol. XIV, no. 1499. New South Wales, Australia. 12 September 1907. p. 5. Retrieved 16 January 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "Transcript: Declaration of Martial Law". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  16. ^ "The late Mr. N. S. Lawson". Mudgee Guardian and North-western Representative. Vol. XLIV, no. 2026. New South Wales, Australia. 12 December 1912. p. 18. Retrieved 16 January 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  17. ^ "Mudgee Guardian". 15 April 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  18. ^ Yap, Brian. "John Blackman". Freepages. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  19. ^ "ST. JOHN'S, MUDGEE". Mudgee Guardian and North-western Representative. New South Wales, Australia. 4 June 1936. p. 10. Retrieved 31 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  20. ^ "Colonial Inn Museum". Mudgee Historical Society Inc. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  21. ^ Annette Piper (1 June 1861). "Western Post June 1861". Western Post. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
  22. ^ "Intercolonial". The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser. Vol. XII, no. 868. Queensland, Australia. 7 July 1869. p. 4. Retrieved 19 June 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  23. ^ "Victoria". The Mercury (Hobart). Vol. XIV, no. 2649. Tasmania, Australia. 29 June 1869. p. 3. Retrieved 19 June 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  24. ^ "The Bingera Diamond Field". The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser. Vol. XVI, no. 694. New South Wales, Australia. 18 October 1873. p. 496. Retrieved 19 June 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  25. ^ "Melbourne". Empire. No. 6026. New South Wales, Australia. 7 April 1871. p. 2. Retrieved 19 June 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  26. ^ "Extension of the Railway to Mudgee". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 9 September 1884. p. 5. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  27. ^ a b c Bozier, Rolfe. "Gwabegar Line". Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  28. ^ Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative, Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  29. ^ Chammas, Michael (23 April 2012). "Classy Carney closes on Origin spot with sizzling show". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  30. ^ "Dragons announce Mudgee fixtures for 2019". 19 October 2018.
  31. ^ "Wanderers to take Community match to Mudgee as part of new Regional Strategy". 11 July 2018.
  32. ^ Sa, 7pm TV News (15 May 2014). "ICAC searches Mid-Western Regional Council offices in Mudgee". ABC News. Retrieved 13 November 2015.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ "Mid-Western Council abandons extraordinary meeting over ICAC inquiry". 21 May 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  34. ^ "Mudgee". Visit NSW. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  35. ^ "People's rally protests Mudgee conference | Beyond Zero Emissions". Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  36. ^ "Petrol prices down but Mudgee still among most expensive towns to fill up". Mudgee Guardian. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  37. ^ "If everyone thinks it's a bubble, it probably isn't". ABC News. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  38. ^ "Australia has to face up to the facts on coal". The Australian.
  39. ^ "Statistics by Catalogue Number". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  40. ^ "Search Census data". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  41. ^ "5 July 1900 Snowstorm" (PDF).
  42. ^ a b "MUDGEE (GEORGE STREET)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  43. ^ ""Regent Theatre" | NSW Environment, Energy and Science". Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  44. ^ "St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Presbytery, Convent & Hall". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H00685. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  45. ^ "Mudgee Town Hall". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H00464. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  46. ^ "Mudgee Post Office & Quarters". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H01314. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  47. ^ "Binnawee Homestead and Outbuildings". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H01780. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  48. ^ "Mudgee Railway Station, yard and locomotive yard". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H01204. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  49. ^ "St John's Anglican Church Mudgee P.1". 9 July 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  50. ^ "Mudgee Catholic Church :: Home". Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  51. ^ "Mudgee, St Paul's Presbyterian Church – Find a Presbyterian Church". Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  52. ^ "Uniting Church Mudgee and Rylstone".
  53. ^ "Contact Us". Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  54. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  55. ^ Jones, Andrew (16 October 2012). "Mudgee Corps ť". Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  56. ^ "Mudgee Seventh-day Adventist Church – Home". Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  57. ^ Cudgegong Valley Public School in All Our Best. "Home". Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  58. ^ "Mudgee Public School". Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  59. ^ "St Matthews Central School Mudgee NSW Australia". 30 March 2012. Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  60. ^ "Mudgee College : TAFE Western". Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  61. ^ "State recognition for inspirational women | NSW Department of Primary Industries". Retrieved 5 February 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • John Broadley, Historic Houses of Mudgee , Mudgee: J. Broadley, 2011.
  • Memories of Mudgee: A Photographic Glimpse of Bygone Days, Mudgee, N.S.W.: Mudgee Historical Society, Mudgee, 2018.
  • Mudgee: A Nest in the Hills, Mudgee, N.S.W.: Mudgee Historical Society, Mudgee, 1981. Foreword by Gil Wahlquist.

External links[edit]