Hunter Valley and Newcastle Area, Sydney

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  • PortStephensBlackDolphins
    PortStephensBlackDolphins
    by xuessium
  • PortStephenSandDunes
    PortStephenSandDunes
    by xuessium
  • a Chardonay anyone??
    a Chardonay anyone??
    by weewatty
  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Port Stephens: Go searching for black dolphins!

    by xuessium Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    PortStephensBlackDolphins

    Port Stephens is 220 kilometres from Sydney, essentially a 2.5 hours drive north from Sydney via the F3 Freeway.

    I came here via day tour, which is always on any day tour itinerary brochure in Sydney. It's a little pricey at almost A$150 per pax (including Hunter Valley).

    The blue waters of Port Stephen boast black dolphins (and humpback whales during the winter months) and you are usually rewarded with exciting sights of these playful black dolphins. They are not tamed, but their curiosity brings them close to the barges and boats and in turn, bring you and me, the over curious humans, pretty pumped up at their presence. Watch them play hide-&-seek with you as they duck swiftly back into the waves just when you think you have sighted one and watch them dance around your boat/barge.

    Nothing beats seeing nature right in front of your very eyes.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Whale Watching
    • Family Travel

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    Port Stephens: Sand Dunes

    by xuessium Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    PortStephenSandDunes

    Port Stephens is 220 kilometres from Sydney, essentially a 2.5 hours drive north from Sydney via the F3 Freeway.

    I came here via day tour, which is always on any day tour itinerary brochure in Sydney. It's a little pricey at almost A$150 per pax (including Hunter Valley).

    The wind-blown sand dunes of Stockton Beach comprise the largest continuous mobile sand mass in New South Wales. The yellow grains have been washed in from the sea and blown ashore to form dunes up to thirty metres high. Most of the sand was deposited about six thousand years ago.

    As the sand moves about, it exposes sections of barbed-wire entanglements left over from World War II. The wire had been hung from several rows of star pickets along the length of the beach. Running across the beach into the farmland for several kilometres was a line of heavy concrete pyramids designed to slow down tank movements. Many of these tank traps are still where they were placed all those years ago. Some of the blocks have been moved to line the beach car park at Birubi Point.

    A day or annual permit allows four-wheel-drive vehicles on to the beach for most of its length to enjoy the wonders of this inspiring sandy landscape.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Adventure Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Hunter Valley: Wine Country

    by xuessium Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    HunterValley

    Like the Barossa Valley off Adelaide, if you are a wine lover, you should not miss Hunter Valley off Sydney.

    It is two hours north of Sydney and is home to the oldest vineyard in Australia and renowned for its Semillion and Chardonnay grape varieties.

    Come here and relax in country splendour. The view is fantastic even if you are not a wine drinker. There are plenty of classy resorts and restaurants and I believed that there is also a sunrise balloon ride for those wanting champagne for breakfast.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Spa and Resort
    • Wine Tasting

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    Hunter Wine Tours from $50

    by gdaysydneysider Written May 17, 2009

    It's not much fun visiting the Hunter Valley if you can't drink but if you're on a tight budget you can still do a tour for a decent price.

    Hunter wine tour from $50: http://www.aussiewinetours.com.au/tours/wine/

    Enjoy!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Wine Tasting

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    Whale and Dolphin Watching...

    by carstenj Updated May 11, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Whale and Dolphin Watching
    Cruise at Nelsons Bay just north of Newcastle. It is only 1.5 hour drive north of Sydney.
    The migrating whales pass along the coast from the GBR to their summer hang outs in the South around September through November every year. The mothers wiht their calfs are usually close to shore.
    The Dolphins on the other hand are always a sure sight as the live in and around the bay.

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    Prehistoric Plant

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jul 13, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Day of the Triffads?

    On our first full day in Aussie, we drove north up the Pacific highway toward Newcastle, enjoying our first views of the Australian coastal countryside. This plant caught our attention, so we stopped for a photo beside the highway. VT member 'M0B1US' put me onto the fact that it is likely a Proteus, also known as a 'Bearded Sugarbush'. These ancient plants grow along this coastal part of Australia and also in South Africa. Research has shown that these things are indeed prehistoric, since they have been around for 300 million years.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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    Hunter Valley: Say Cheese!

    by xuessium Written Jun 24, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a stop on my day tour through Port Stephen and Hunter Valley - the Hunter Valley Cheese Company. The company has 2 sections - wine & cheese. Not being a wine drinker myself, I am more interested on the various kind of cheese on display and for sale.

    Free sampling are available, and it was actually quite fun tasting the various type of cheddar, blue, edam cheeses etc available.

    The company has the following activities as well for people wanting to know cheese better:
    * Cheese Talk 11.00am daily.
    * Cheese Flight Tasting - $6.00 per person - Bookings Essential. A structured yet leisurely tasting for 6-50 people.

    Open 7 days, 9am to 5:30pm.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Budget Travel

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  • Hunter Valley

    by w3ndes Written May 25, 2005

    Definately take a trip up to these region. Its gorgeous. Well known wine region and don't I know it! Cellar doors a plenty. Great wines. Cheese factory too there worthy of a visit.

    Can join a tour up there for a day or so. Well worth it especially if you do intend to drink and whats a trip there without!

    Even better, spare it the weekend and you're guarenteed a plenty!

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  • aussirose's Profile Photo

    Hunter Valley wineries - 3hrs north of Sydney

    by aussirose Updated Feb 13, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sydney Hunter Valley wineries

    The Hunter Valley is the home of some of Australia's best wines. You may have heard of McWilliams, Draytons, Rothbury, Rosemount, Wyndham just to name a few of the notable ones. The Hunter Valley is well known for their white wines but Merlot reds have become popular lately. If you want to know more about the Hunter, please check out my Pokolbin page as I'm quite proud of it :o) The Hunter Valley is definately a must for wine lovers. You can go on a tourist day trip there for wine tastings.

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Hot Air Ballooning

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  • weewatty's Profile Photo

    Vino Collapso...burp!!!

    by weewatty Written Jan 4, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    a Chardonay anyone??

    We managed to get out of Sydney on a day trip to the vinyards of the Hunter Valley.

    It was a scorcher of a day, temperatures hitting 40 degrees centigrade. We booked an organised trip which left at 7am for the 2 and a half hour drive upto the Hunter Wine Valley. Transport was a people carrier and apart from me and my mate there was another 5 people, all who were quite sound. There are numerous companies offering these sort of trips.

    Ours consisted of a visit to 6 vinyards, plenty of tasting opportunities, a great lunch in one of the estates, and a drunken snooze on the bus on the return trip to Sydney. Our driver was a sound guy too, stopping off at a pub in the middle of knowhere when he seen that we needed a cool beer!!!

    Neither me nor my mate were any kind of wine buffs but thought it would be a good laugh and it certainly turned out to be that. By the end of the day we had more than acquainted ourselves with our fellow day trippers, the effect of the wine easing our social inhibitions.

    So if you fancy a day out of the city, wine guru or not, then i would reccommed that you head to the Hunter Valley, but don't plan anything for night time which involves driving.....cos you'll be incapable.

    Related to:
    • Singles
    • Seniors
    • Wine Tasting

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    You can't stay sober for long in Hunter Valley

    by ccvisit Updated Nov 29, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    McWilliams Shiraz--very good stuff

    The best way to visit the Hunter Valley is by going on a wine tour. Ours was The Scenic Wine Tasting Tour by Red Carpet Tours. Also, it's a small group tour, only about 12-15 people. We went to three wineries: McWilliams, PepperTree, and Cooper Wines, all of which have produced and continue to produce award-winning wines. Our tour guide’s view of wine tasting was refreshing because he instructed us on how to appreciate wine, which was basically to trust your taste and your instincts. It’s always been my philosophy that if it tastes good to you, then it’s a good wine, regardless of price or pedigree. I know, I’m hearing gasps all around at this very egalitarian outlook.

    Funny side note: A Singaporean tourist asked my friend, Kathy, how our Napa Valley wines compare with Australian wines, which Kathy unknowingly said: “Well…I’m not an entrepreneur, but…”

    That’s all I heard as I almost fell off my barstool. In fact, Kathy only realized what she said after we had gotten back to our hotel. I swear I must have laughed myself to sleep that night.

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting

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  • Trips to the Vineyards

    by Emmachristie Written Jul 21, 2004

    We went on a day trip to the vineyards about 1 1/2 - 2 hours drive from Sydney - this was very nice - and reasonably cheap, you get to taste all the different wines from all different years etc - a good day out, with lots of nice things to see!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Wine Tasting
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Newcastle

    by Mez77 Written Sep 15, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Queens Wharf, Newcastle

    Newcastle is a 1 1/2 hour drive north of Sydney. It is worth a visit for the beautiful beaches, lovely heritage areas and more layed back atmosphere than Sydney. There are plenty of great walks including the Bathers Way walk and Newcastle East Heritage walk. If you are a keen hiker you might even like to tackle the Great North Walk which stretches between Sydney and Newcastle. For more information check out my Newcastle pages.

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  • Gypsy_Saskia's Profile Photo

    Chardy, Semmi and more

    by Gypsy_Saskia Written Feb 25, 2003

    A wine tour in the Hunter Valley is a great way to spend a day! I can highly recommend trekabout tours, a very small company owned by a lovely couple.

    Cessnock is a little village in the Hunter with a lot of options to stay. We stayed at the Valley Vineyard Park, which was fine.

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting

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