Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley?

Sep 18th, 2004, 12:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 81
Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley?

Well,here we go again. Now that the hotel is settled we must concentrate on the must sees in and around Sydney. My niece worked in Sydney back in the 70's and has advised us to skip the Blue Mts. since the vegetation isn't the greatest and go to the Hunter Valley instead since that area is more rolling and more scenic. What do you think? Also,what would be the best way to get to both places and is a tour needed? Since we are only in Sydney for 3 1/2 days,maybe we shouldn't plan to go anywhere except the city.
646wyck is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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The Blue Mountains are far more scenic than the Hunter Valley.

I have been twice to the Hunter Valley and will be happy never to go back. Beside it is European treatment of the land and is not an Australian experience as such. (red volcanic soil is nice though)

The Blue Mountains, though not mountains....a plateau, provide a glimpse of the oldest landscape in the world, has pockets of rainforest, tree ferns, canyons and pretty little towns not totally enslaved to tourism. Would depend on the tour you take I guess but I would rate Blue Mountains as an experience 8/10 and the Hunter 3/10.

You would have time to go to the Blue Mountains but would depend on what experience you enjoy the most. If you like cities, people, browsing then you may need the whole time for Sydney. If you are a nature lover then you need to take a day for the Blue Mountains.
Jane_47 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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HI 646wyck,

Sorry but I have to disagree with Jane's post about the virtues of the Hunter Valley, I can only assume that Jane did not travel too much within the Hunter region which encompasses Port Stephens all the way out to the Great Dividing Range. The Hunter region is a very diverse place, with places like the Stockton sand dunes which is a vast expanse of constantly shifting dunes with drop offs that are extreme. Then there is the natural beauty of Port Stephens with its many national parks teaming with native animals including Koalas. The vineyards are another area that we like to visit.

The Blue Mountains is also an interesting region and we have spent many a day trip there for picnics. It really depends on what your expectations are. Personally I favour the Hunter Valley over the Blue Mountains but that is my personal choice as is Jane's with the Blue Mountains.


Paul_S is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 04:38 PM
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A vote for the Blue Mountains; they are really blue. We were fortunate in having an entertaining friend escort us up. We really enjoyed breakfast w/ the kangeroos at Euroka Clearing. the wacky environs of Mt. Wilson and chasing Alan and his wife between Medlow Bath and Mt. Victoria.

AndrewDavid is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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it only took us two months to find a hotel for you and as you say here we go again.
I see we have talked someone else into the Australian as well.

Take a day trip to the Blue Mountains.Be nice to Alan..he is a lovely bloke and happens to live up there.He is pretty knowledgable about sydney and the blue mts.

he might even pick you up at a railway station and show you round.
johhj_au is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 12:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I don't think a tour from Sydney to the Hunter Valley would include the coastal areas or Newcastle. Generally do not. I maybe wrong of course.

If I were to go up that way it would be to Port Stephens, Newcastle and also I would drive through the Hunter to Barrington Tops.

But I did assume they meant the wine areas around Polkobin. This area needs rain imho to look any good, when it is green and lush, but then it is very European scene with horse types and vineyards. Not a unique Australian vista.

But I agree that the area itself has some gems, just not the Hunetr as we know it. ie Cessnock area.

I actually love Newcastle as a city. Totally under rated. I think it has a bright future.
Jane_47 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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Hi, 646wyck!

I've deliberately kept out of this one up until now, because, naturally enough, I'm biassed here -- not only do I live in the Mountains and love it, but I have travelled through the Hunter Valley many times en route to my place of work (back in the days when I was a country schoolteacher) , and I can never understand why that area would ever count as a tourist destination -- for me, it was just a place to get through as fast as possible to minimize the travelling time to points beyond.

But I have thought a lot about your question, and read everyone's answer carefully. And you know what? I think the last sentence of your post makes more sense than anything else. If I were you, I'd do NEITHER. Why spend hours sitting in a bus or train when you only have 3 1/2 days, and Sydney is so gorgeous in November?

My advice is that instead of any major tour out of Sydney, you should allocate a day to the Spit Bridge- Manly walk. There are lots of posts about this walk hanging around Fodor's, as I've been vigorously "plugging" it for three years now. It's the best walk in Sydney, and the scenery will beat anything you will see in the Hunter Valley, and even the Mountains, hands down.

If you can't find the threads about this walk, get back on here and I will describe it in detail -- how to get to the start, where it finishes up, how long it will take, and what you will see (among other treats, a host of aboriginal rock carvings). This is a three-hour walk not many Sydneysiders know about, so you will spend a lot of the time with not another human being in sight. I bet you will not spend a better day in Sydney. I wish Adrienne Orfield from San Diego still read these posts -- her (extended)family did this walk two years ago as part of a major holiday which encompassed Sydney, Uluru, the Barrier Reef, and much, much more. She wrote me that the vote from the family was not only was this walk the best part of their Sydney experience; it was their favourite thing in Australia.

So why bother with the Mountains or the Hunter?
Alan is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 05:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 445
Hi - I ditto Alan absolutely. There is so much to see and do in Sydney you'd be missing out on something grand by spending a day to-ing and fro-ing between Sydney and the BM's or Sydney and the HV. Alternatively if you want to see spectacular views of the Hawkesbury River scenery maybe consider the train (just the regular commuter train) up to Newcastle (about 2.5 hours each way) or even just to the Central Coast (just over an hour each way). Have lunch and then return.
Daneille is offline  

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