Author Archives: I Love Mudgee

Sew As I Go at Artisan on Lewis

You’ll want to head to Artisan on Lewis later this month to catch the exhibition “Sew As I Go” by contemporary textile artist Niki McDonald.

Niki will be bringing a year’s worth of her hand sawn “Sew As I Go” creations. They will showcase the sass of urban life balanced with the pace of needlepoint tapestry.

According to Niki, “Needle point tapestry allows me to sew as I go, I can sew in planes, trains and automobiles, I can sew as go, over the mountains to the Central West.”

With a Bachelor of Creative Arts with a major in Textiles under her belt and experience in all things textiles, Niki’s creations offer an interesting mix of colour, playfulness and industriousness.

When to visit:

‘Sew As I Go’ will open on Saturday 25th August at 3pm where you will get the chance to meet the artist, Niki McDonald in person. This will be a great opportunity to view over 20 contemporary needlepoint tapestries at the Artisan’s gallery, while being refreshed by wine from the Pieter van Gent Winery.

The exhibition will be on display at Artisan on Lewis from August 22 – September 16.

The Artisan on Lewis gallery and café is open Wednesday to Sunday, so get your friends together and head along for a coffee, a delicious treat and to enjoy the wonderful artworks on display.

For all further details about the exhibition you can call Artisan on Lewis on 02 6372 6847 or you can follow them on Facebook at

You can find out more about the artist Niki McDonald at her website


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Latest council budget announced

Mid-Western Regional Council has announced that they have now adopted the 2018/19 Operational Plan, which sets out their action plan and budget for the year ahead.

The Operational Plan is a guideline for the council. It provides a blueprint of how much council will spend, what it will be spent on, and how council will fund expenditure.

New infrastructure and facilities have come out as clear financial winners from this year’s plan.

The plan includes $51 million in capital expenditure in 2018/19 and $141 million over the next four years.

Major projects set out in the plan include the following:

  • Continuation of the Wollar Road upgrade, realignment of Ulan Wollar Road and continued investment in road networks
  • Stage 2 of Glen Willow Regional Sports Complex
  • A new Art Gallery facility
  • Further property development in Mortimer Street
  • Recreational infrastructure for youth including a water park, skate park upgrades and district adventure playground
  • Upgrade of important waste management infrastructure
  • Continuation of shared pathways around the region, including a new footbridge
  • Upgrades to a wide range of corporate and community buildings across the region
  • Ongoing renewal and upgrade of the water supply and sewerage networks
  • Stormwater drainage improvements

Council received approximately 108 funding proposals from the community and where appropriate they incorporated these into the Operational Plan.

The adopted 2018/19 Operational Plan can be viewed on council’s website –

Thinking of buying a home? Should you get pre-approval?

If you’re looking to jump onto the property ladder then one of your first considerations should be how much you can afford.

Getting a home loan pre-approval from a bank or lender can be done even before you start looking at properties.

Pre-approval is when a lender provides you with a set loan amount for a property that is subject to certain conditions such as valuation and building/pest inspections.

It can provide buyers with a solid understanding of what they can afford or how much more they might need to save to get into the home their dreams.

A few advantages of having pre-approval in place before house hunting include:

  • It can take the stress out of property negotiations by providing buyers with a solid price range to work within.
  • It can bring up any red flags against your name (such as old debts) that you might not have been aware of and need to deal with before you can borrow.
  • It gives buyers the confidence to move on a property quickly.
  • It shows to sellers that you are serious about making a purchase.

There are a few things to be aware of when applying for pre-approval however. They include:

  • Pre-approvals typically only apply for 90s days so it may not be worth arranging if you’re a long way off purchasing.
  • A pre-approval is not a guarantee. A number of factors can lead to formal approval being denied such as a change in bank policies or interest rates, or a low property valuation.
  • Applying for a number of pre-approvals with different institutions can potentially look bad on your credit history.

If you don’t think you’re quite ready to get pre-approval yet then you can use online tools and calculators to work out your borrowing capacity and start you on your home buying journey.

Overall, home loan pre-approval can help you move quickly if you come across a property you fall in love with, and it will increase your chances of securing it – so it’s well worth having if you’re in the market to buy!

Learn more about Lawson Park’s sculptural works at guided walk

Find out more about the captivating sculptures that meander their way around Lawson Park by attending a free-guided walk on Saturday 15 September 2018.

Those who head along will be able to enjoy a wide range of sculptural works. The collection has been curated over a number of years with the majority of sculptures having been selected from works showcased at Mudgee’s annual Sculptures in the Garden event.

Local artists will lead the walk and give participants the chance to discuss and learn more about the sculptures on display.

The sculptures are a great example of the cultural diversity that can be found in the Mudgee region and if you haven’t checked them out yet then this special event will be a great opportunity to do so.

Participants are invited to meet at the gates to Lawson Park West on the corner of Church St and Short St on the day at 10am.

For further information call the Mid-Western Regional Council on 6378 2850 or email

Sculptures in the Garden 2018

Mudgee’s renowned Sculptures in the Garden event will be returning on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October 2018 from 9am to 4pm at the Rosby Vineyard gardens in Mudgee.

It is a not for profit event that combines Australian sculpture and traditional art mediums in beautiful rural surroundings within a private garden and vineyard in Mudgee.

To find out more about this exciting event visit

Support local farmers through 200Bales campaign

The Mudgee community is known to pull together when times are tough and that has been demonstrated yet again with the 200Bales campaign.

The local initiative started with the simple goal of providing a truckload of hay bales to help out farmers struggling in the current drought and has snowballed from there.

Businesses and people all throughout the Mid-Western Regional Council area and beyond have been putting their hands up to chip in the $200 needed for each bale of hay to be put on the trucks and sent to a farmer in need in the local region.

Each bay of hale has the donors’ name attached to it and can help make a big difference to a farmer’s life.

Those who can’t afford the full $200 to pledge to the cause can get a group together to share the cost of one bale of hay.

So far it has been announced on the 200Bales Facebook Group that enough has been raised for 500 bales, which will be well needed by farmers in the region as the drought looks set to continue.

If you want to pledge funds towards the 200Bales campaign you can find out more at their Facebook group. Find it by searching for ‘200BALES’.

Donations can also be made at the We Care Community Shop in Byron Place, Mudgee.

200Bales Charity Night @ Mudgee Golf Club

The Mudgee Golf Club is hosting a 200Bales Charity Night from 5:30pm tonight, August 1 2018.

The night will give people in the community an opportunity to help support the 200Bales campaign, particularly if they can’t afford the $200 needed for a bale of hay.

There will be raffles and games at the event, as well as food and drink specials and entertainment by bands Wicked Whiskey and Two Mile Twangers.

All proceeds for the night will be donated to 200Bales.

Contact the Mudgee Golf Club on (02) 6372 1811 for further details.

Will house price disparity lure more Sydneysiders to Mudgee?

Sydney’s record property price growth finally seems to be at end, so does this mean that it’s time for that growth to move to other cities and regions across the country?

This is what has happened in past incidences when Sydney has seen prices falter; buyers have turned their attention elsewhere where they can find more affordable options and better chances of capital growth.

At present Sydney is home to the nation’s most expensive housing market. According to CoreLogic figures, the median dwelling value in June 2018 for the harbour city was $870,554.  This is a 21 per cent premium above even Melbourne, which is the second most expensive city in Australia.

Of course if you choose to live in Sydney over Mudgee you would be paying a much larger premium. CoreLogic has calculated that the premium for Sydney dwellings compared to those in the Central West region is currently a whopping 176 per cent.

There are a number of reasons why Sydney has seen such radical growth in the last few years, including low interest rates, strong economic conditions, increased investment and population growth, so the gap between Sydney prices and the rest of the country isn’t surprising.

However, conditions have changed and with housing affordability a huge issue in it wouldn’t be surprising to see many Sydneysiders migrate elsewhere.

Some will move on to other cities like Brisbane or Hobart and some will look to regional centres like Mudgee where they can afford a property and live the lifestyle they want.

Mudgee is already home to a lot of Sydneysiders and interstate migrants who have favoured affordability and there is little doubt that the region’s lure will continue as the heat starts to come out of the Sydney property market.

Don’t miss Mudgee Readers’ Festival 2018

Those who love escaping to another world with the turn of a page won’t want to miss this year’s Mudgee Readers’ Festival running from August 10 – 12, 2018.

Now in its 8th year, the festival is a chance to celebrate the art of storytelling with the best food, wine and hospitality that the Mudgee region has to offer.

There will be a range of fun things to do at this year’s festival. Beyond talking about your favourite books there will be trivia, morning yoga, children’s events and special food and wine events.

Some big-name writers are set to attend and share their stories. The line-up will include Caroline Overington, Mandy Sayer, Paul Collis, Ryan O’Neill, Jessie Cole, Andrew P Street, Kate Wild, Laura Elizabeth Woollett, Kate and Jol Temple, Chris Womersley, Inga Simpson, Matt Stanton, R.A. Spratt, James Colley and Jane Rawson.

Writers will be providing in-depth interviews and panel discussions, and many will be signing books too.

One of the festival highlights will be the ‘Long Lazy Lunch’ with journalist Caroline Overington who has profiled many of the world’s most famous women, including Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton. She will be chatting with Alice Grundy over a decadent long, lazy lunch provided by celebrated chef Kim Curry.

Another festival favourite will be ‘Take Four Writers and a Glass of Wine’, where writers will be reading their short stories while guests sit back and enjoy a glass of wine.

You might also enjoy ‘Blind Wines, Blind Books’ where sommelier James Horsfall will help match wines to books by program authors.

This year’s event will also include the Mudgee Young Readers’ Festival, which has events to help promote reading for the younger generation.

To plan which events you want to head along to as part of the festival, head to But you better be quick because some events have already sold out!

Need to know:

When: Friday August 10 – Sunday August 12, 2018

Where: Various locations throughout Mudgee

Program and booking information:

Vote on Gulgong Skate Park redesign

The local community is being given the chance to choose one of four preferred designs for the Gulgong Skate Park.

Park users were asked to provide input to Mid-Western Regional Council earlier this year as part of community consultation in the park’s redesign.

Four concepts have been provided to council as part of the tender process and feedback is now being sought from the community to help decide on the preferred option.

Those who vote on their preference are also asked to provide a reason why it is their favourite and whether they would make any changes to the design should it be implemented.

The council and NSW Government are jointly funding the Gulgong Skate Park upgrade through the Clubgrants Infrastructure Grants Program.

Funding from the program will also be used towards the construction of a brand new Adventure Playground in Gulgong. It will include interactive play equipment including flying fox, shelters, landscaping and picnic tables, as well as a youth hub with wi-fi.

How to have your say

Head to to have your say on your preferred design for Gulgong Skate Park.

Be sure to be quick! The survey closes this Friday!

4 ways to buy a home in a hurry

Looking to jump on the property ladder but haven’t quite got enough funds saved up yet?

If you’re sick of sitting on the sidelines and want to own a property as fast as you can then there are a number of ways you can speed up the buying process.

Here are a few ideas:

Look outside the major cities

While property prices are starting to stabilise in Sydney and Melbourne, there’s no denying that affordability in these cities is still a major issue for a lot of home buyers and it’s a problem that’s not going to go away any time soon.

Because of this many savvy buyers are looking at their property options in regional areas, either as an investment or as a lifestyle change.

Places like Mudgee have been seeing a surge in buyers from Sydney where people are sick of trying to save for a hefty mortgage and want to make their home ownership dreams become a reality.

Talk to the bank of mum and dad

If you’re struggling to save a large enough deposit then your parents may be willing to help you out either financially, or by offering to sign on as a guarantor.

A guarantor is someone who will take on responsibility of the loan should you not be able to make payments, which makes it less of a risk for the lender.

Having parents to help out can be a great way to get a leg up in the market, however this option isn’t available for everyone.

Consider LMI

Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is often seen as something that people want to avoid, but it provides a way to quickly jump on a property opportunity when you haven’t got a large enough deposit saved.

LMI is a premium added on top of your mortgage payment to protect your lender in case you can’t make repayments. It is generally paid as a one-off sum when you take out your mortgage, or its sometimes added to your loan repayments.

Having to pay extra than you would otherwise need to may not sound appealing, but it does help people get into the market faster so they can snap up property deals when they come along.

Get expert help

One of the best ways to shorten the home buying process is to have an expert team to help you along. Talk to a mortgage broker or lender as early in the home buying process as possible so you understand your borrowing capacity and what you need to work towards. It can also be worth seeking the help of a buyer’s agent to help you find and negotiate the right property for you.

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

Plant away for National Tree Day

Mid-Western Regional Council and Planet Ark are inviting the local community to Putta Bucca Wetlands Reserve from 10am on Sunday 5 August to plant native trees and shrubs for National Tree Day.

The event offers a fantastic way for individuals to help care for the environment. Since the event got underway in 1996 it has seen more than 3 million people planting more than 23 million seedlings across the country!

This year, council have invited the community to help them complete a large project at Putta Bucca Wetlands Reserve. They have rehabilitated the old horseshoe pond into a permanent artificial wetland by doing bulk excavation works and planting 4,000 plants.

However the project is not over yet, with a further 1,500 plants planned through the grassy area next to the new wetland. This project has been partly funded by the NSW Environment Trust.

A free barbecue will be provided at 12noon on the day to reward everyone for their hard planting work. Residents who participate are reminded to wear a hat, sunscreen, enclosed shoes and gloves if they have them.

National Tree Day is Australia’s largest tree-planting and nature care event with more than 200,000 people participating each year.

There are plenty of reasons to join in on the day. Trees help add to the aesthetic appeal of our neighbourhoods and studies have found that the presence of trees can help reduce stress and promote physical activity – so what more reasons do you need to start planting?

Details at a glance 

When: Sunday, 05 August 2018 10:00am to 12:00pm

Where: Putta Bucca Wetland Reserve – Putta Bucca Road 500m past 2MG Radio Station

What to bring: A hat, enclosed shoes and sunscreen and any tools you have. Gloves, tools and equipment for planting, watering cans / buckets, drinking water, refreshments and a BBQ will be provided for volunteers.

Find out more: