Around Australia

Hunter Valley 2013

We visited the Hunter for two night early in December to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. We spent the first night at Peppers Guest House. It was pleasant, but I was annoyed by the corporate gouging: a bottle of water in the room with a charge if it was opened; a Nespresso machine available but with a charge if more than two capsules were used; a 2% fee for paying by credit card; and a wi-fi access fee of $10 per day per device. It really is the antithesis of the welcoming and hospitable attititude expected from an expensive hotel. So no publicity for Peppers.

  The next morning, we visited the Pokolbin Village shops. Quite new, but designed to look olde worlde.
  There was a nice café.
  Across the road was this huge sound stage at the Hope Winery. Bruce Springsteen was due to perform there in January.
  So off for some wine tastings: Lynn doing the tasting and Nick doing the driving. This is the tasting area at Brokenwood.
  Tyrrell's Wines have been around in the Hunter for many decades. This is one of their older buildings.
  And this is the original home of the founder ...
  with explanatory plaque.
  The tasting room was quite modern, and not the way we remembered Tyrrell's from years ago. Just around the corner was the entry to the old tasting area, reached by going through a cellar.
  Then we went on to Oakvale, which has been established for years but now has a very pleasant modern tasting area.
  Through a window in the tasting area, you could see some of the wine production and storage area.
  Then on for lunch at Potter's Hunter Valley Brewery, where these old brick kilns are preserved.
  Copper vats at the Brewery.
  We spent the night at the Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel, whwich consisted of wings built around this pleasant courtyard.
  There were nice views of the surrounding countryside.
  And a colourful sunset with the moon above, followed by an excellent meal.
  On the way back to Sydney, we detoured to visit Wollombi, a village with a centre that has changed little in the past hundred years.
  The Wollombi Hotel, much frequented by bikies on long weekends and the home of Jurd's Jungle Juice, an alcvoholic drink of doubtful provenence.
  Arriving back home, we were pleased to see that a pair of Tawny Frogmouths had again taken up residence in our back yard. Unfortunately, the next day we had to have another tree cut down, and the noise scared them off.

Finally, our loot from the Hunter wineries:






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