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Mulgoa is a charming, quiet and scenic village just south of Penrith. Its name is from the Mulgoa people of the Dharug nation who along with the Gundungurra people are the traditional owners of the land. The area sits along the Nepean River at the foot of the Blue Mountains and with plenty of history to discover and great dining venues. Mulgoa has become a must-see destination in Western Sydney.

settlers mulgoa


Our journey begins along the lovely Mulgoa Road which meanders up and down the Mulgoa Valley. If you’re coming from the north, enter Mulgoa Road at Regentville, or if you’re coming from the south, arrive through Luddenham, just near the new airport and Wallacia.

Begin with a sit-down coffee at The Bunker. This beautiful and charming venue is one of four across Western Sydney and has a great outdoor area and gardens. The verandah seating is perfect, the outdoor areas always buzzing and the cosy indoor spaces are perfect for a rainy day. We love their range of brekky favourites, and tasty, healthy lunches which use fresh locally sourced ingredients. They’re also open for dinner and have a great drinks list and a share plate menu.

Across the road is another very charming café called Settlers Mulgoa. We love the heritage cottage atmosphere of this venue, and they do a great big breakfast. There’s a great garden and space for kids to run around too.

Further adding to the quaint charm of Mulgoa is La Petite Maison just next door. This small boutique inside a cottage building is a great place to grab gifts, accessories, and clothing. A great opportunity to support local businesses in Mulgoa.

The history of Mulgoa is fascinating and surprising. Several old sites dot the area which was once renowned as one of the state’s richest farming regions.

Open on Sundays, Fernhill Estate is a heritage-listed, state owned property along Mulgoa Road. The 1840-built sandstone house is an impressive building that overlooks the grounds. It was once the residence of Captain William Cox who was behind the construction of the passage over the Blue Mountains. Over the estate’s history, it has been used as a chicken hatchery, nursery, guest house, farm, and piggery - it is now owned by the Western Sydney Parklands and the Fernhill Walking Trail is a self-guided loop around the green gardens and house.

Another significant site is St Thomas’ Anglican Church which sits atop a hillside. Explore the site which includes a cemetery and well-kept gardens. The church was built in 1836 and is one of very few rural Victorian Gothic Revival-style buildings in Australia.

Mulgoa is also an area of nostalgia for those who remember the bygone era of the 1980s Notre Dame private zoo which was the sister site of the well-known El Caballo Blanco amusement park in Catherine Field popular during the 1970s until its 2007 closure. Built as a “21st Century Castle” by El Caballo Blanco owner Emmanuel Margolin as his private mansion, Notre Dame was also open as a tourist attraction. Guests could wander the property and see monkeys, a Shinto shrine, Andalusian stallions, and big cats. Unfortunately, you cannot enter the site today, however, you’ll see the grand gates along Mulgoa Road which are a reminder of the past.

The Darug and Gundungurra people both inhabited this area as a peaceful border area between the mountains and the plains. The Nepean was used all year round as a constant water source by both tribes. To get a lay of the land for yourself, take Fairlight Road towards the Nepean River and visit The Rock Lookout. This impressive spot is a vantage point that has been used by the First Nations people for thousands of years. It overlooks the flowing Nepean River below and looks out across the lower Blue Mountains. A very stunning, and impressive view of a river carving out a valley. You can enjoy several other trails here in the Blue Mountains National Park, including a trail to Riley’s Mountain to the north.

After enjoying the view, you’ll be ready for a meal. Head to Wallacia Hotel, another nostalgic and impressive building, not technically in Mulgoa but you can’t miss it. Built in the early 1930s, it’s a majestic Tudor-style hotel with an updated bar and bistro slinging pub favourites and a great grill menu. It’s just a short drive from the Mulgoa centre and overlooks Mulgoa Road atop the Wallacia hillside. With plenty more to see around the area, you might even wish to stay a night here!

Mulgoa is truly a picturesque drive in Western Sydney. Peaceful, but also popular among day trippers, it’s a semi-rural gem in the heart of a changing Western Sydney.


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