Author Archives: I Love Mudgee

Can Mudgee go plastic-free for July?

Households, schools and businesses in the Mudgee region are being asked if they can go plastic free for at least an entire month.

Plastic Free July is challenging everyone to give up the use of single-use during July in the hopes that this will encourage people to continue their good habits long-term.

Plastic is a major environmental concern. It is polluting our waterways and harming wildlife, and so we all need to find ways to reduce plastic usage in our day-to-day lives where we can.

Giving up plastic may sound impossible but it only takes a few small changes to dramatically reduce its usage and contribute to a cleaner world.

A few ideas include using a keep cup for daily takeout coffees, using reusable bags when shopping and refusing single-use plastic straws.

Even just being aware of your plastic use can help you cut down and look for alternatives.

Below are a few items that can be purchased just once that can help you cut down on single-use plastic items:

  • reusable coffee cups
  • plastic free lunchboxes
  • reusable cutlery
  • reusable water bottles
  • reusable straws
  • foldable tote bags for shopping

The Mid-Western Regional Council will be taking part in Plastic Free July and will be hosting initiatives throughout the month. Last year they got involved by providing 3000 calico bags to supermarkets throughout the region and reminding the community of this important challenge.

To take part in Plastic Free July and find out about more ways to reduce your plastic use visit www.plasticfreejuly.org.

5 tips for first time buyers in Mudgee

Deciding to buy your first home can be an exciting time, but many first time buyers don’t know where they should begin.

Navigating the buying process can be difficult, but it only takes a few simple steps to get you off on the right foot and have you on the path to getting the keys to your very first home.

  1. Find out if you qualify for a home loan

Do you know whether or not you’re eligible to take out a home loan? This is the first (and most vital) piece of information you’ll need before setting out on your property hunt, after all there’s not much point house shopping if you won’t be able to take out a loan.

Don’t despair if you aren’t ready to take out a loan quite yet though. Talking to a lender will help you get an accurate picture of your financial situation, which can help you figure out if there are any changes that need to be made to get you where you need to be.

  1. Grow your deposit

The more money you have saved away in the bank, the more options you’ll have. Work towards saving as much as you can so that you can avoid paying LMI (lenders’ mortgage insurance), or just because you want to have more to offer when the right property comes along.

In general, most lenders will require a 20% deposit to avoid paying LMI.

  1. Arm yourself with information

Nothing is more valuable than information. Spend a bit of time everyday, even if it’s just 20 minutes, researching things like home loans and the local property market.

Understanding a particular property market will help you figure out how much to offer on individual properties and allow you to understand all of the costs involved in the buying process so you’re not caught out unawares.

  1. Get help from the experts

You don’t have to go on your buying journey alone! There are a number of professionals that can help you along the way from financial advisors and mortgage brokers to buyer’s agents and conveyancers.

Buying a property can be confusing so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

  1. Be ready to make a move

If you’re serious about getting into the property market then get all of your ducks in a row as soon as you can so you can make a move on the right property as soon as it comes your way.

It’s a good idea to have pre-approval organised so you have a solid idea of your borrowing capacity and are ready to make your best offer when you find a property you don’t want to miss out on.

If you’re after any more advice about buying in Mudgee then contact the team at McGrath Central Tablelands.

5 Mudgee events not to be missed this winter

The mercury may have dropped in Mudgee but that’s no reason to stay huddled up indoors. There are plenty of fun events taking place throughout the region over the coming months that will have you pulling out your best scarves and beanies and forgetting about the cooler temperatures.

Mudgee Small Farm Field Days

Friday 13 and Saturday 14 July

This premier field day event for Central West NSW brings with it an extensive range of demonstrations, talks, lectures, stalls, exhibitions and more to the AREC in Mudgee.

Since the event’s inception in 1977, the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days has been connecting people living on the land with a broad range of suppliers of the widest possible range of goods and services.

While primarily education-focused, the two-day event has plenty of fun things to see and take part in, making it a great day out for the whole family to enjoy.

Find out more at mudgeefielddays.com.au.

Harp of Erin Irish Music Festival

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July

Take your refuge from the cold weather at the Prince of Wales Hotel where you will be able to enjoy a Guinness and a warming bowl of Irish stew by the fire. It will also be the place to go to enjoy some good old-fashioned Irish frivolity, with live Irish music each day from 12pm until midnight.

Find out more at www.princeofwalesgulgong.com.au.

Justice Crew Concert

Friday 27 July

The eight-time ARIA nominated hip-hop group Justice Crew will be live in concert at the Parklands Resort on July 27.

The Mid-Western Regional Youth Council have partnered with Justice Crew to bring this special event to town, which is part of the SO LONG tour of regional NSW.

Tickets can be purchased at the Mudgee Visitor Information Centre – 84

Market Street Mudgee – or online at www.visitmudgeeregion.com.au.

Find out more at www.parklandsresort.com.au/events.

Reading Festival

Friday 10, Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 August

Share in your love of reading at this special event that brings a wide range of authors, stories and fun to Mudgee, paired with wine and all the best things our region has to offer.

Some of the festival highlights include Mudgee Young Readers’ Festival, MRF Book Clubs, Story Club, Long Lazy Lunch and more.

Find out more at www.mudgeereaders.com.

Mudgee Running Festival

Sunday 19 August

If you’re looking for a no-pressure event that is mainly about having some fun and taking in the beautiful surrounds of Mudgee then look no further than the Mudgee Running Festival.

This event is for all ages and abilities with 5km, 10km, half marathon and full marathon events to participate in.

There will be a fun, festival atmosphere on the day with a jumping castle for the kids, a massage service for competitors, food & drinks and good coffee too!

Registrations are open now, and those entering the marathon and half marathon events are encouraged to register before 29 July to receive a free singlet.

Registrations can be made at mudgeerunningfestival.com.au.

You can visit these Mudgee farms this Sunday

If you’re looking to see what goes on behind the scenes to create some of Mudgee’s finest regional produce then don’t miss out on this Sunday’s (17 June) Mudgee Fine Foods Farm Walks.

This month’s Farm Walks will be heading along to Baker Williams Distillery and Karrabool Olives.

Baker Williams Distillery

Visitors will get a chance to see how the handcrafted spirits and liqueurs from the distillery are made. Nathan Williams (one half of the Baker Williams duo) will show guests through the mashing and distilling process, explaining the different treatments used to create the wide variety of elixirs on offer. There will also be a chance for tastings too!

Baker Williams Distillery is famous for its Butterscotch Schnapps so make sure you give it a try while you’re there, along with their many other products that are made by sourcing ingredients and influences from the local area.

Karrabool Olives

Head along to taste Karrabool’s award-winning olive oils, and see first hand the production process.

This Farm Walk will take visitors to the Blue Shed Café where they will be able to enjoy a coffee break and country hospitality whilst viewing an informative clip from the farm on their whole olive oil production.

There will also be a walk around the farm where you will learn about everything from soil health through to harvesting methods. Then will come the chance to sample and compare their oils from different years and learn about simple herbal infusions.

Need to know

Farm Walks are held once a month, offering a unique opportunity to meet local producers and hear how passionate they are about what they do.

Bookings are essential so head to mudgeefinefoods.com.au if you would like to purchase tickets for this Sunday June 17th’s event or find out more.

Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Mudgee Visitors Information Centre.

Tours begin at the Mudgee Visitor Information Centre at 84 Market Street, at 9.00am.

Make yourself known to the Tour Leader (Julie) once there and have your Farm Walks ticket with you. You will then ‘follow the leader’ (your own transport is required) to the participating locations.

Is it a good idea to purchase a new home before selling your old one?

Selling a home can be one of life’s most stressful events, but it can be made even harder if you’re trying to find a new home at the same time.

Many people question how to juggle selling and purchasing a home simultaneously. There’s no easy answer about how to go about it, but it always helps if you’re aware of the pros and cons of buying or selling first and can take your time with whatever decisions you make along the way.

The absolute worse thing you can do is put pressure on yourself to buy or sell in a short period of time as this may make things a lot more stressful and could end up costing you more.

Buying first and selling later

It’s not uncommon for people to fall in love with a new home that they want to purchase immediately, even though they still need to sell their current home.

Buying first and then selling is a good option if you have no financial constraints, as it makes moving a lot simpler and there is no risk of having to find interim accommodation – you simply pack up your current home and move straight into your new one.

However, buying first can be risky. Purchasing a home before selling your current one can be costly because you will be paying the expenses of two properties at once, and you don’t know how long you might need to do this for.

One option that can help people in this situation is bridging finance, however this normally has a high interest rate and is only meant to be used short term. Therefore you may be put under undue stress to sell your property quickly, which may not give you time to hold out for the best offer.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that you won’t know how much your property will sell for, so you may end up with less funds available to you than you thought you would have when you bought your new home (although it’s possible you could end up with more too). The point is however that you won’t know your full financial situation until after the sale.

Selling first and buying later

If you want to move homes then selling first makes a lot of sense as you will know how much funds you have to work with when you go to purchase your next home.

However, selling first can have its drawbacks too. Sellers who haven’t yet lined up a new home to live in may find themselves having to rent for a period of time until they find a second property that is suitable. This means having to move twice, which can be stressful for the whole family.

How to make things a little easier

Whether or not you decide to buy or sell first, you can negotiate contract terms to buy yourself a bit of extra time. When selling before buying you may want to ask the purchaser for an extended settlement period so you have the time you need to find a new home.

Conversely, if buying before selling you could consider asking for the property contract to be conditional upon the sale of your current home. Keep in mind however that this may make a contract less appealing.

If you’re buying and selling at the same time (or considering doing so) and would like any advice then contact McGrath Central Tablelands.

 

Local food and wine producers invited to join Flavours of Mudgee

Mid-Western Regional Council is looking for local food and wine producers to get involved in the 2018 Flavours of Mudgee Street Festival to be held on Saturday 22 September from 4pm to 8pm.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the event, Flavours of Mudgee is a vibrant street celebration that takes over Market Street as part of the annual Mudgee Wine and Food Festival.

Last year’s event attracted more than 10,500 people who came to sample the delicious food and wine being served from 70 stall holders. The previous year’s event saw 9,000 take to Mudgee’s main streets, which shows just how much the event has grown.

The council organised event allows locals and visitors to experience some of the finest food and wine produce that the Mudgee region has to offer and it’s a great opportunity for local businesses to gain exposure.

Flavours of Mudgee provides a significant boost to the local economy and is a highly regarded food and wine event for the region, so it’s well worth being a part of.

Food and wine producers that are interested in taking part can find application forms on council’s website. Applications close Friday 29 June and for further details contact council’s Events Team on 6378 2850.

Flavours of Mudgee 2018

Want to stay-up-to-date with all the delicious news about the event itself? Make sure you head over to www.facebook.com/flavoursofmudgee for regular event updates.

What to get up to this June long weekend in the Mudgee region

Forgot that Monday is a public holiday? If you haven’t made plans for the June long weekend, aka the Queens Birthday Long Weekend, in NSW then you’re in luck because we have found plenty of fun things to do across the Mudgee region.

Henry Lawson Heritage Festival

Friday 8 – Monday 11 June

Head to Gulgong this weekend to experience a plethora of fun events to celebrate the historic literary figure, Henry Lawson. There will be poetry, markets, food and wine, a grand parade, live music, vintage displays and much much more.

To view the full program of events and activities visit www.gulgonghenrylawsonheritagefestival.com.

Mudgee Maker’s Market

Saturday 9 June

If you’re on the hunt for the best producers of food, wine and art in the region then look no further than the Maker’s Market, held on the corner of Church and Market Streets. The markets are held just 4 times a year and are a great place to discover unique and quality goods.

Find out more about the markets at mudgeefinefoods.com.au.

Cooyal Gold Rush Festival 

Saturday 9 June

Back for its second year, the Cooyal Gold Rush Festival will be celebrating the Gold Rush in Australia’s original Gold Rush area. There will be a range of fun activities including talks on prospecting with both detectors and panning, treasure hunts, gold panning competitions, market stalls, food, and the best coffee in Australia.

More information about the event can be found on the Facebook event page.

June Long Weekend at Logan Wines

Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 June

Visit Logan Wines over the June Long Weekend to enjoy their exquisite wine in their architecturally designed Tasting Room that takes in the stunning views of Apple Tree Flat. For the weekend they will be serving up locally sourced grazing plates and live music from 12pm.

Visit loganwines.com.au to find out more.

June Long Weekend Fireworks

Sunday 10 June

Fireworks will light up the night sky at Mudgee Wines on Sunday from 8pm. Food and hot drinks will be available to purchase from 5pm and the event will be fully licensed with beer, wine and spirits available. Bring along the whole family and enjoy a night under the stars.

Bus transport will be available to and from the winery for $5 per head return. The bus will run continuously to and from Mudgee Wines for 3 hours from 5pm onwards, stopping at the following locations: Ingenia Holidays Mudgee Caravan Park, Lyons Drive; Cudgegong Valley Public School, Madeira Road; St Matthew’s Catholic School, Lewis Street; and Ingenia Holidays Mudgee Valley Caravan Park, Bell Street.

Visit www.mudgeewines.com.au for more details.

Millennials willing to move further from cities to buy first home

While millennials may have a reputation for wanting to live it up amongst the hustle and bustle of our inner cities, a new survey has found that that may not be the case.

According to the Millennial Homeownership Report conducted by ING, many millennials are willing to make sacrifices such as living further away from an inner-city area if it means they can get a foot on the property ladder.

It was revealed that 60 per cent of survey respondents would be willing to buy in a spot that increases their daily commuting time. A suburb’s “hip” factor isn’t necessarily important to millennials either. The report found that 61 per cent of respondents would be willing to invest in new, unestablished areas instead of trendy hotspots.

And what kind of homes are millennials interested in? It looks like a large, family home is still on most millennial’s wishlist, with many saying that they would “most likely” buy a three or more bedroom house (42 per cent), as opposed to a studio apartment (just 3 per cent).

But where are all the millenials in the property market?

Saving up for a first property can be tough, but many millennials are aware they need to make sacrifices to get into the property market. In the ING report 73 per cent of respondents said that they feel happy or content with making the sacrifices when the goal is to own their own home.

The issue doesn’t seem to be with intention, but with not having clear savings goals in mind. The report found that just 37 per cent of millennials had some kind of savings plan in place, and of those, only 57 per cent had a concrete savings strategy with a specific monthly or weekly savings goal.

Adding to this, 61 per cent of millennials said they weren’t sure how much they needed to save, including 40 per cent who reported to be actively saving.

A few tips to help first home buyers get into the property market faster:

  • Find out how much you need to save by researching the property market and talking to lenders and mortgage brokers.
  • Talk to a financial advisor to establish a clear savings plan.
  • Pay off debts to increase the amount you can borrow.
  • Eliminate everyday luxuries to save faster.
  • Take advantage of first home buyer benefits.

Overall, if you’re looking to get into the property market the best thing you can do is get good advice from the start. Talk to lenders, financial advisors and real estate agents to figure out how your borrowing capacity compares to property prices.

For advice about buying your first property in the Mudgee property market contact McGrath Central Tablelands.

5 reasons to love Mudgee in winter

While the cold days and long nights might scare some away, there’s plenty to love about winter in the Mudgee region.

In Mudgee you will find a whole heap fun winter things to see and do that will help warm you to the core, from a cosy meal by a fire in one of the region’s many cafes and restaurants to enjoying the wondrous natural surroundings.

Here is our list of our favourite winter things:

  1. Cosy cafes and restaurants

Head to any one of Mudgee’s cafes and restaurants in winter to enjoy the very best of the region’s locally produced food and drinks. Think sizzling lamb roasts and hearty soups with fresh, crunchy bread. There is something to suit everyone’s tastes.

A lot of traditional European dishes will also be on the menu when restaurants such as as Craigmoor Pavilion (87 Craigmoor Road, Mudgee) host Christmas In July on July 28!

  1. Wine

There’s something about the cold weather that makes you want to curl up in front of the fire with a glass of wine in hand. Luckily, the Mudgee region is spoilt for choice, offering some of the most highly regarded wines in the country – if not the world!

There are over 40 family-owned cellar doors in the region to choose from so grab a map and go on our tour to find your favourite.

  1. Winter events

There are some great events on throughout the Mudgee region in winter, from Gulgong’s Henry Lawson Heritage Festival over the June long weekend to the Mudgee Small Field Farm Days in July that celebrates life in the country.

Winter is also a great time to head along to the Mudgee Farmers Markets (held on the third Saturday of each month) to pick up some fresh local ingredients so you can cook up a storm at home. Everything you find at the markets has been grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stallholders themselves.

  1. Long walks

The cold weather won’t stop you from going on a leisurely stroll in the open air in Mudgee. Head to beautiful Lawson Park to admire the beautiful surroundings and maybe even take along a picnic and sit by the river.

If you’re after something a little more strenuous there are plenty of natural parks in the region where you can test your bushwalking skills and build up a sweat such as the Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve, Goulburn River National Park or Wollemi National Park.

  1. Off-peak

Another great reason to love Mudgee during winter is that things tend to be a little quieter than usual, as the tourist crowds tend to flock to warmer parts of the country. It’s generally easier to get a reservation at restaurants and you might find some great winter accommodation deals available too.

Mudgee is getting a water park and art and culture centre

In big news for Mudgee, the region is set to get an outdoor water park in Lawson Park as well as a new arts and cultural centre.

Member for Dubbo Troy Grant announced both projects last week. In an article in the Mudgee Guardian he stated that the NSW Government’s significant investment will provide residents with improved facilities the whole region can enjoy.

Mudgee water park 

Mudgee is expected to receive $800,000 to build the new outdoor water park as part of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund. This fund is designed to improve economic growth and productivity through investment in regional communities. 

Many local residents are set to benefit from the new park. The community identified it as one of the top three priority projects during consultations for the Mid-Western Region Towards 2030 Community Plan. 

The water park is set to be comparable to Dubbo’s waterpark at Elston Park.

Arts and Cultural Centre

In further welcome news, the NSW Government has transferred ownership of the former Cudgegong Shire Building at 90 Market Street back to the council and the Mid-Western community with plans to turn it into an arts and cultural centre.

According to the Mid-Western Regional Council’s Facebook page, a Regional Arts and Cultural Centre ranked in the top five most important projects among the over 40s during 2016/17 Community Engagement.

An arts and cultural centre will offer a number of benefits to the region by helping to support cultural and economic development.

For further information about either of the above projects get in touch with the Mid-Western Regional Council.