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Wish you were here: find heaven and earth in Mudgee, NSW

Tour the vineyards or stay in all weekend - you get what you need in New South Wales's Mudgee region.

Stay ... 
About three and a half hours drive from Sydney along the Great Western highway leads you to the historic town of Mudgee, dotted with colonial architecture, cellar doors for miles and the perfect blend of heritage and modernity. You can't go past Strikes for the sweetest weekender - six kilometres out of the town centre and a world away from where you've come. Drive to the crest of the hill on Strikes Lane and take your pick from the north or south facing eco-friendly guesthouses, architecturally designed to take full advantage of the surrounding vistas and valley.

Friday night calls for a potbelly fire, your favourite book and local cheeses picked up on your way through town. Spend Saturday's sunrise on the deck with a coffee and plan the rest of the day at your own pace. The modern kitchen and outdoor barbecue mean you can stay put all weekend should you desire, and the abundance of optional extras makes a strong case for doing so: think in-house private wine tastings courtesy of nearby Rosby Wines, enjoy a pre-prepared gourmet dining experience from Mudgee Catering Co, or graze the day away with a Mudgee Hamper full of local produce.

As inimitable as the terroir that shapes each grape in the fertile surroundings, Strikes possesses an innate sense of time and place and, much like that precise alchemy of your favourite drop, speaks eloquently for itself.

Do ...
Remember you are in wine country, though, with lush greenery, robust vines and cellar doors dotting the areas rolling terrain. It would be remiss not to tour with an expert, and Alyson from Mudgee VIP Wine Tours is the ideal guide. Choose from a full or half day experience (with the option of a private tour, if groups aren't your thing) and sample the best of the region, picking up some perfect drops along the way. And fear not beer drinkers, the Mudgee Brewing Company microbrewery and restaurant provides tastings all day for the more hop-inclined.

Taste ...
Everything. It's hard to put a foot wrong here, but there are always a few must-tries. Pipeclay Pumphouse is the region's destination restaurant, located at the Robert Stein Vineyard & Winery. The set menu is an homage to the land, featuring homegrown and locally sourced produce. You won't regret the wine pairing.

Sunday lunch should be a roast and it should take place at Lowe Wines' pavilion - a marquee on the Lowe estate, overlooking the water and vineyards across to the Mudgee hills.

Don't forget to stock up on snacks at High Valley Cheese Co. and single origin chocolate from Spencer Cocoa.

Take ...
The perfect weekender carrier from Lancel, your favourite blue jeans and R.M.Williams boots, a book for the quiet moments (David Sedaris, always) and some oversized Sunday sunglasses (to hide any of Saturday's sins).