Hunter Valley

Jan 30th, 2004, 12:53 PM
  #1  
plantlady
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Hunter Valley

How long does one need to visit the Hunter Valley? Are there less "touristy" areas to visit and smaller wineries that you recommend?
 
Jan 31st, 2004, 04:04 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Plantlady,

Well, how do I begin to answer your query? You could spend as little as a day or as long as a month in the Hunter. It depends entirely on what you want to see and do. There are as many non touristy areas as there are touristy areas, the Hunter is a very diverse region encompassing wilderness areas like the Barrington Tops, two great vineyard areas with many large and small vineyards, and beautiful beach locations like Port Stephens.

My wife and I were only in the lower Hunter vineyard region about two weeks ago, we took a trip to the Hunter Valley Gardens which were superb. There are some nice shows coming up in the near future, from memory Shirley Bassey is in concert at Wyndham Estate and John Farnham is going to be in concert at Tempus Two Winery in March.

In fact from their website the details are:

A Spectacular Concert Under the Stars
John Farnham in the Vineyards
Food and wine village from 4pm. Concert starts at 8pm.
Fully licensed, no byo. Fully reserved seating.

Details: Saturday, 6 March 2004 at 8pm.
Tempus Two Wines, Hunter Valley.

Tickets on sale now.

Book at ticketek 9266 4800 or 02 4921 2121

From the Wyndham Estate website:

The 2004 Wyndham Estate Signature Concert with Shirley Bassey and Anthony Warlow performing in The Vineyards, 21st February 2004


There is so much to do in this region it just defies belief. The big Game fishing tournament kicks off in the last week of February for two weeks, this is a predominantly catch and release tournament but the whole of Port Stephens is a happening place at this time.

There are many historic villages to explore like Morpeth which is an arts and crafts town that is very popular on weekends.

If you like wilderness areas then Barrington Tops National Park is a top spot for a weekend. You can stay at Barrington House which is steeped in history itself. Close by is Chichester dam which has a nice picnic ground.

Hope this gives you a little insight into the region.

Cheers

Paul_S
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Jan 31st, 2004, 03:37 PM
  #3  
 
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A must visit vineyard for us is Scarborough at Pokolbin. The tasting room is set atop a small hill and you drive up a lovely road past vines & rosebushes with gorgeous terra rossa soil. Their wine is superb and real value at around $20-25 per bottle, cheaper by the case. If you want to just see the wineries a 3-5 day trip might be enough. Tower Estate accommodation looks so glamorous or Peppers Guesthouse is in a lovely setting. So many things to do in the Hunter-my home! Paul S has summarised it as a destination very well! You'll love it if you pick the right time. It can be very hot 36c in Dec/Jan(today is perfect at 27c) however if you can wait until March/April (not Easter)or Sept-Nov it may be cooler and not as busy as summer usually is. Have a perfect visit there.
Lyndie is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 04:03 PM
  #4  
 
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Hi Lyndie,

It sure is nice to see someone else from the region on this board. I grew up in Nelson Bay and my wife and I have our home at Corlette. It is such a beautiful area, we hate leaving it to come back here to Alice Springs but to pay the mortgage it is something we must endure. Where are you situated?

I forgot to mention Plantlady that there are dolphin watching cruises all year round at Port Stephens and in the months of August thru November you can take whale watching cruises.

If you are into diving then there is a nice marine reserve that is layed out for all levels of experience, this is located just off the Fly Point end of Nelson Bay beach and extends to the waters off the Inner Lighthouse. There are concrete blocks on the bottom explaining what can be seen in the near vicinity of each block.

Cheers

Paul_S
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Jan 31st, 2004, 08:31 PM
  #5  
 
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Born in Ncle-just moved back to Hunter from the glorious Central Coast. Love Corlette and the Anchorage! Family all moved to UK from Salamander Bay so don't get over for fish and chips from shop near NB co-op and a table looking out over Dutchies too often anymore!! This place is too good to tell 'em all about except I'm a caring sharing kind of gal and tourism brings much needed dollars to our gorgeous area. I'm sipping champagne (I mean Aussie sparkling!!)looking out at the Barrington tops! Talk about the lucky country! Talk later, have a lovely sunset.
Lyndie is offline  
Feb 1st, 2004, 04:15 AM
  #6  
 
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Hi Lyndie,

Sorry Plantlady for hijacking your post I hope you can forgive us for our little conversation.

Lyndie, my family came from the UK to Nelson Bay in 1967. Strange thing is we left one of my sisters in the UK which kind of mirrors your situation.

Didn't get much of a sunset here today as we had a huge dust storm, haven't seen one like this for a decade or more out here. I envy your position looking out onto the Barringtons it is a lovely area. I guess you are in the Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest area which is the area I look out over from my house. In fact I can see way up the coast and Broughton Island it is a very beautiful place.

Cheers

Paul_S

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Feb 1st, 2004, 10:58 AM
  #7  
plantlady
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Thanks for the info - we will be in Hunter in April from 4/6-9. Do you suggest we rent car and drive from Sydney or is there a train to the area and then rent vehicle? Need some transportation advise as we are not planning to have a car in Sydney, but, rather use public transit.
 
Feb 1st, 2004, 02:05 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hi plantlady. Personally I would hire a car and drive up. It takes about 2 hours from Sydney. April will be beautiful in the Hunter. Bimbagen winery is lovely too. Like Robert Mondavi's in Napa Valley. Great place for a steak!! I will say a prayer for perfect weather!
Lyndie is offline  
Feb 1st, 2004, 02:07 PM
  #9  
 
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Hi Plantlady,

You could catch a commuter flight to Newcastle from Sydney and then hire a car at the Newcastle airport.

You can catch a bus which leaves at 2 pm that goes from Sydney all the way to Port Stephens or you can catch a train to Newcastle from Sydney Central Station.

The bus company is Port Stephens Coaches:

http://www.pscoaches.com.au/sydney.php

Cheers

Paul_S
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Feb 2nd, 2004, 06:46 AM
  #10  
plantlady
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Lyndie & Paul - Thanks for the info - anxiously look forward to visiting the area. Will probably take a car on this one so we can cover more area on our own.
 
Feb 2nd, 2004, 08:02 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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plantlady-just retd from lunch at Nelson Bay (Port Stephens). Today is a little overcast with a little rain however the dolphin watch boats were out and lots of pretty beaches like Dutchies to stop and enjoy the vista. Try to fit in a day trip to Port Stephens-it is truly a magic place-turquoise clear water, lovely sandy beaches and lots of trees and shade most places. Had to post and let you know you'll be missing something special if you don't take the hour and a half drive over there from the vineyards. Bye.
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