Pokolbin Things to Do

  • Peppers Creek Chapel
    Peppers Creek Chapel
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  • Autumn leaves
    Autumn leaves
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  • Looking toward Enzo's
    Looking toward Enzo's
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Best Rated Things to Do in Pokolbin

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    The Best Starting Point if you're Driving

    by aussiedoug Written Apr 25, 2005

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    This might be a bit dry (no pun intended there for the Wine Country, well not too much anyway. lol!), but if you are doing a self-driving tour rather than an organised tour, then I think you should definitely start here to get a free information booklet (see it's cover in my attached pic), making sure you get the free map that goes with it.

    However, even more importantly the friendly, helpful staff there will be able to answer any of your specific questions & provide appropriate recommendations. On the way north, our main question was, "Which are the child friendly place at which we can have lunch?" As the parents of twin 6 year old girls who even though they are pretty experienced little travellers are still just normal, average kids, this was a very important question. As you've already gathered from my intro' I believe that I can generalise & say most wine areas are not overly geared towards catering to families with younger children & the Hunter seems to be no exception to that. We were given a choice of 3 & the one we chose was quite o.k.

    Your questions may well be quite different to ours, but I can assure you that the help from the staff at the Hunter Valley Wine Country Visitor's Information Centre & the map you get from them will go a long way to ensuring your visit is a very enjoyable one. Even if you want to explore yourself the free, comprehensive booklet with accompanying map will help you know the options & navigate around successfully.

    Visitors Guide 2005 Cover
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    Wine Tasting at Wandin Valley Estate

    by aussiedoug Written Apr 25, 2005

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    This was our only place to vist after lunch on the drive north as I've already explained in my intro'.

    Our stop here saw my wife & I tasting a number of wines, both whites & reds before eventually buying a dozen, which entitled us to select 2 extra, free bottles to accompany our already 12.

    Our favourites from here were the Semillon @ $12

    Cellar Door Entrance
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    Wine tasting

    by iandsmith Updated Aug 9, 2004

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    This is Sarah, my fellow VT-er from Canada. Why is Sarah smiling? Sarah is smiling because she's on holidays. She's also smiling because wine tasting is free, unlike other countries where they charge. But mainly she's smiling because I asked her too!
    She is pictured here at Pepper Tree Wines which is not far from the Convent pictured elsewhere. This is one of about a hundred places you can sample wines in the Hunter Valley. Don't you wish you were here?

    I'm not drunk, just happy
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    Galleries

    by iandsmith Updated May 8, 2009

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    At times it seems like every second winery has a gallery. Never mind, the more the merrier I say. There's everything from pottery to paintings to pictures to sculpture. Certainly far too many to list here. In my experience, one thing they do have in common is quality.
    Another thing you will notice in some works is vibrant colour, which is why I have included this photo. Many Australian artists, in a reflection of the blazing sun and subsequent brightness, tend to use dazzling colours in their works. This is in contrast to some of the more sombre tones of your European classical works that most are familiar with. I commend you to go and have a look at some of the Australian offerings. I, for one, am a fan.
    Butterflies is one of the better galleries and you'll see some of Rachel Lewis' work here. Her bird paintings (pics 2-4) are stunning and I have long been a fan.
    The best place to start is the Tourist Information Centre at the Cessnock Airport. They have some excellent maps and information freely available for you to plan your itinerary, one of which includes a guide to the galleries.

    Something to brighten up your day This painting by Rachel Lewis is superb They're so real you could almost touch them A cross section of her work
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    Aussie sunset

    by iandsmith Written Sep 30, 2004

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    I had this picture for about three months and couldn't work out where I had taken until, one day, I just happened to drive past the same spot around the same time and bingo!, my memory returned.
    This is actually on a golf course. One of five you can play on in the area. Some dearer than others. Though that's stating the bleeding obvious I guess what I should say is up to three times dearer.
    Dearest of all is the Greg Norman designed course called The Vintage. It also happen to be the only one I haven't played on.
    This particular one is at the start of Lovedale Road and is currently undergoing refurbushing.

    No golf at the moment, just sunsets
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    Something for the kids

    by iandsmith Updated Jul 25, 2004

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    At the western end of the Hunter Valley Gardens is the fairy tale section with all the characters from your childhood, or, if you're only five and reading this well, you're still there!
    It really is a delight and something to amuse all ages will be found there. Alice's Tea Party was one that I particularly loved but you may prefer others. Jack and Jill or the old lady who lived in a shoe perhaps. There's also an appropriate background of nursery rhymes for the different themes.

    Come on, fall
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    Grandma's Garden

    by iandsmith Written Oct 26, 2004

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    Grandma's Garden is the sculpture set inside the rose garden that features more than 8,000 roses in a corkscrew design. In the background is the Sunken Garden with the Waterfall behind, overseen by the Waterfall Lookout.
    So much to see, so much to do.

    A feast for the eyes
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    The Convent

    by iandsmith Updated Nov 6, 2003

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    The building shown here used to be a convent. Built in 1909 at Coonamble for the Irish Brigidine Order of Nuns it was cut into four sections late last century and shipped 600kms on the back of 7 trucks to its present location.
    Aided by Electricity Commission workers who continually had to remove low power lines for safety it reached Pokolbin and was reassembled to the satisfaction of some of the nuns who have since visited it.
    They were so impressed they handed over the original foundation stone, stained glass windows and etched wooden doors which they had stored when they moved to new premises.
    It's now an accommodation house with a "if you have to ask you can't afford it' tag but it would be nice if you had the money.

    No, you don't have to be celibate here!
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    Hunter Valley Gardens

    by iandsmith Updated Dec 2, 2003

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    All the world's great gardens started with someone's vision. That someone on this occasion is Bill Roche.
    To be able to afford to shift 800,000 metres of soil, add 100,000 cubic metres of topsoil, put in 100 kilometres of irrigation pipes and 8 kms of paths you need a lot of money. Over $20,000,000 Australian to be exact.
    For that you can plant over 6,000 trees, 600,000 shrubs and 1,000,000 ground covers on your 25 hectares.
    Along with his wife Imelda, Bill and his family own a company called the Roche Group. Fortunately for you and I, they decided to spend some of their hard-earned cash to create these world-class gardens, drawing on countries such as India, China, Italy, Japan and good old Oz.
    One of the highlights is the wonderful Storybook Garden where all your favourite nursery rhymes and tales are recreated in an enchanting world of sculptures and models guaranteed to delight even the most jaded tourist and put a sparkle in every child's eye.
    It took five years to set up and will probably be seen at its best around 2006 onwards when some of the trees mature some more but that is not to say you shouldn't visit now. You will not be disappointed.

    Reaching new heights in gardens
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    Blueberry Hill vines

    by aussirose Updated Nov 5, 2005

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    Looking out from Blueberry Hill. See how their vines are neatly trailed and wound around the wire. They were in the middle of pruning when we were there. It's fascinating to see how they treat each vine with so much care... Well I can see why... the end product is worth all that attention...lol.

    Australian wineries
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    Mistletoe winery

    by aussirose Updated Nov 5, 2005

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    Mistletoe Wines. I liked this place because they were unique in that they produced a nice rose wine from shiraz grapes. Also they reckon people come up and buy cases of the stuff near Christmas because it's a nice light easy drink and a great idea for gifts.

    Mistletoe winery
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    Why mistletoe?

    by aussirose Updated Nov 5, 2005

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    My husband explained that Mistletoe is a parasite plant that attaches itself on trees and eventually kills them. So I was fascinated as to why this winery would call themselves Mistletoe vinyard. When I asked them they said that the whole hill used to be called Mistletoe hill due to the mistletoe in the area. Here is a picture of some mistletoe. See the red stuff hanging down off the tree?
    Interesting hey :o)

    Australian weed
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    Blueberry Hill winery

    by aussirose Updated Nov 5, 2005

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    I found my thrill.................haha.
    Blueberry Hill vinyard. The most eligant of them all. This was a cute little place on top of the hill with panaromic views everywhere! They didn't have many wines but what they had were supurb!!....Yum Yum.
    And the song is very appropriate......... :o)

    Blueberry Hill winery
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    Gardeners Delight

    by Linda_T Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Located in the heart of the Hunter vineyards at the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges are the spectacular Hunter Valley Gardens. Spanning over 25 hectares, be amazed by the sensational sights, colours and fragrances of the twelve stunning feature gardens. Explore each garden one by one and enjoy an exciting journey through flowers, trees and shrubs with an air of discovery at every turn.

    Bask in a lavish array of colour and scent found in the Rose Garden, with more than eight thousand roses on display, laze above the 10 metre waterfall and take in the superb views from the lookout or step back in time with all your favourite fairytale characters in the Storybook Garden.



    Designed with sight, colour and fragrance very much in mind, Hunter Valley Gardens was created by Bill Roche who along with his wife Imelda and family, form the Australian-owned company Roche Group.

    The entire Hunter Valley Gardens property spans over 100 hectares with the central heart and soul being the Gardens themselves – Bill Roche’s vision.

    Originally the site was used for grazing cattle and home of the old-vine Tallawanta vineyard which still exists today. The redevelopment of the site took place between 1998 and 2003 during which time over 800,000 cubic metres of soil had to be moved and 100,000 cubic metres of topsoil added to create the wonderful “hidden” gardens that you see today. The twelve themed gardens developed within the 25-hectare site allow visitors to enjoy “a trip around the world” just by visiting the gardens. Over 8km of pathways meander throughout the grounds and more than 100 kilometers of irrigation piping has been installed underground. Over the 5 years of development over 6,000 trees, 600,000 shrubs and 1,000,000 ground covers have been planted with many more on the way

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    Hunter Valley Chocolate Company

    by Linda_T Written May 25, 2007

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    Indulgent hand made Belgian chocolate, chocolate coated fruit, nuts, and coffee beans, cream centres, infused flavoured bars, chocolate licorice, liqueur filled and plain chocolate bars and buttons AND you can have free samples.

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