Jackie’s Travel Diary: A Food & Wine Lover’s Paradise

A catch up with my girlfriends was well over due, so I decided to organise a weekend getaway for the four of us. When I started browsing through the portfolio of WorldMark South Pacific Club resorts it didn’t take me long to make my mind up.

I had 3 Must Have boxes and this destination ticked them all, so it was pretty easy:

ð        Must be easy drive-to destination from Sydney

ð        Must be located in a picturesque setting

ð        Must be surrounded by an abundance and variety of wines, cheese, fudge & chocolate

Have you guessed it yet?

Pokolbin Hill, Hunter Valley of course!

We started our drive on Friday afternoon, setting off from Sydney city, a couple of hours before peak hour traffic. The four of us all old school friends, looking forward to a weekend of reminiscing, fun and laughter. Because of all the chit chatter going on in the car it wasn’t long before we turned off the main highway and arrived at the little town called Cessnock, just a short 2 ½ hours later.

A few of us had done our research and knew exactly where we should visit first; so before we even arrived at our accommodation we pulled up for our first tasting! Now, we all know what the Hunter Valley region is famous for (if you don’t know its wine) but our first stop was at Potters Brewery for a refreshing beer! Potter’s is one of the two breweries in the region. Next stop,  Peterson’s House for some sparkling and the first of the many wine varieties that the Hunter region is famous for!  We were so tempted to continue visiting more wineries & other epicurean delights but it was time to check in.

Watching the sunset on your patio!

We were staying in a nicely appointed 2 bedroom villa that featured the all important centre piece for our weekend, an outside patio complete with table and chairs. We quickly threw our luggage into the rooms eager to sample some of our tantalising purchases and kick back on the patio to watch the sun set over the valley and rolling hills.

Soon enough it was time to eat dinner- I did mention that this was a weekend of over indulgence, right? – There were so many restaurants to  choose from as the resort is walking distance to a multitude of dining options, Tempus Two Vineyard is across the road and the Hunter Valley Gardens Village featuring an array of cafes, takeaways or restaurants is directly opposite. We opted to walk a little further down the road to enjoy a hearty meal and the lively atmosphere at Harrigan’s Irish pub. This is a really popular venue so I would highly recommend booking a table in advance.

A food & lover's heaven!!

The Hunter Valley region offers a wide range of highly sort after attractions and popular activities so, planning and booking ahead of your holiday is recommended.

We decided to embark on a wine tour for the entire day although half a day options are available. The beauty of an organised wine tour is that you are escorted by a local guide who expertly drives you around while you get to relax and soak up the beautiful scenery. There are so many variations of wine tours, from private tours, small groups, large groups, gourmet, boutique to horse and carriage tours, wild ride chopper 4 tours or helicopter tours the list is endless. Definitely something for everyone!

Spend hours wandering through these beautiful gardens!

Before you head home the final must do is a visit to the Hunter Valley Gardens located just a short stroll across the road. These gardens are amazing for their colours, fragrance, creativity and imagination. They feature 10 differently themed garden areas with over eight kilometres of pathways. Be prepared to spend a surprisingly lengthy amount of time appreciating and admiring the time, effort and affection that went into building and goes into maintaining these spectacular gardens.

How many times have you been to the Hunter Valley?


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