Road Trip: Sydney to Mudgee

Often the best part of an adventure is often the journey there. The promise of new discoveries, the freedom of getting away for a few days or a week of no work - bliss! Don't plan too much, let the road take you somewhere new. Having said that we also have some pretty great ideas about places to check out on the way to beautiful Mudgee. Three and a half hours north west of Sydney, Mudgee is a picturesque drive via the Bells Line of Road through the Blue Mountains, or a similar distance if you take an alternate route through Leura & Katoomba.

Before you leave the big smoke, we think a breakfast pit stop is in order to fuel you up for the coming trip. The guys at Chef's Café in Bella Vista have you covered with quick breaky options like the Chef Breaky Wrap if you want to get straight back on the road, or a tasty a la carte selection if you have time to sit and enjoy. There's savoury pancakes for a treat or French toast if you're after something sweet. I personally want to try the Shakshuka with beans and chorizo, or you can get a classic toastie with your latte if you're so inclined. There's plenty of parking and it's just off old Windsor Road - so you won't get lost!

Next set your compass for Leura, your second stop is for a sugar hit. The Candy Store in Leura is a proper old school lolly shop with specialty candies, lollies and confectionary favourites from all over the world. The walls are literally lined with jars and bags of every kind of confection imaginable. Stock up on loot, but don't spoil your appetite yet, because just around the corner is Lily's Pad Cafe (Open Mon-Sat). Stop in for breakfast or lunch - this is a proper cosy local joint, with a Steak Sambo to die for and their home baked goods are just phenomenal, did you know lemon meringue donuts was a thing? And their pies.. It's a real road-trip fantasy. When you're done take a 5 minute drive around the corner to Echo Point where you can snap a few shots of the iconic Three sisters.

Now, it may just be me, but no road trip is ever really complete unless you've stopped at a local bakery. Country NSW is no disappointment, and our pick of the trip is Golden Sunshine Bakery in Lithgow which is your good old school bakery where you can grab a few pies to go, along with a jam roll and 1/2 a dozen freshly baked fruit mince pies. Pop those goodies on the back seat, and head north for 35 minutes to Pearson's Lookout over the Capertee Valley. Crack open a mince pie or two and marvel at the magnificent view!

You're on the home stretch to Mudgee now, and probably itching to put the pedal to the metal and get there before the sun sets. However there is one more important stop and that is to grab a bottle of Shiraz and maybe even indulge in a platter of local cheese whilst taking in the beautiful view across the vineyards at Logan Wines. Taste a few wines while you're there (they're all very good) then bring home a few to your final destination at The Horatio in Mudgee, where you can unload all of your road trip goodies into your King Spa suite and share some stories by the fire with some of the other guests in the lobby. What a day!