The Hunter Valley

Trip Start Nov 15, 2008
Trip End Nov 17, 2008

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Where I stayed
Valley Vinyards Caravan Park

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Monday, November 17, 2008

A Cheery and Cheesy Hello from the Hunter,

This is a place we could have definately lingered for a lot longer, but for the benefit of our hip pocket and love handles we decided to make it a quick look see.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon and after a quick set up we headed straight to our first vinyard. McGuigans Cellar Door offered a good introduction to our wine collection and a bonus Cheese Factory outlet - so of course we indulged. The next most important place to visit according to Dave was Peterson House Winery, which also incorporated a Chocolate Factory and Old English Lollies - oh boy! Having loaded up with a good haul we headed off back home, happy with what we had achieved in just one afternoon. After a quick promised dip in the pool for Jacob we hurried back to the van just in time to live through our first hail storm for the trip. A very noisy experience for the kids in the van, but luckily no damage.

Sunday presented a lot of opportunities - the sun was shining and we had had a good nights sleep courtesy of Mr McGuians. First stop was the Hunter Valley Gardens, a real surprise package and definately a must see for anyone who happens to head down to this part of the world. Forty horticulturists maintain these immaculately manicured and enchanting gardens. The gardens are like Disneyland to the gardener. Unfortunately we only had time to spend a few hours, but we were able to return in the evening for a spectacular Christmas Lights display.

Tyrells Winery, a founder in the Hunter at 150 years old was our next stop. A couple of bottles later and a quick bite of lunch and we headed on to Dave's choice 'Piggs Peake', a boutique winery where we were encapsulated by their vintage pork (port). Today must have been Dave's day as the next stop was the Blue Tounge Brewery where a paddle of 6 beers was consumed along to some cool latino music.

With a new driver at the wheel we found ourselves at Honey Tree Winery another boutique winery where we picked up a couple of bottles of 'Clairette' (how could we resist), a very rare variety. Next stop was the 'Smelly Cheese Shop', not for the cheese but for delectible gelati. Unfortunately Jacob was asleep -ooww. After scoffing in the car we drove on to Brokenwood winery for a quick visit and a few purchases before heading off again to Lindamans and Rosemount wineries. We were on the look out for a sparkling and couldn't go past the Rosemount O - very nice!

As mentioned before, later that evening we went back to the gardens for the Christmas lights. An action packed 2 days, but we absolutely enjoyed every minute, and we were surprised at how much we managed to fit in. Needless to say we were very tired on Monday morning, but found the strength to pack up and get on our way to Toowoon Bay at The Entrance - so we will keep you posted, bye for now.

The travelling Donnellys
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