The Hunter Valley

Cessnock Travel Blog

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The ferry across the river at Wiseman's Ferry
We had a fun time getting from the Blue Mountains to the Hunter Valley. Rather than heading back to Sydney and then up the coast, we made our way across country, which was made more interesting by the fact that the only map we had was the national map of the whole of Australia in the back of the Lonely Planet! The journey turned out to be a fun detour through some small Australian towns and villages, including one place called Wiseman's Ferry, where we had to cross the river on a cable-driven ferry. We only found out later that we'd made the spectacularly right decision after getting off the ferry, as we had two roads to choose between, both of which ostensibly went towards the Hunter Valley, but one of which is apparently unsurfaced for part of its length, and might have been beyond the abilities (and rental agreement) of our little Hyundai Getz.
Watch out for wombats!


So we arrived in the small Hunter Valley town of Cessnock and headed to the tourist office where we picked up information about accommodation and were directed to the youth hostel just outside Cessnock. It turned out to be a lovely new-looking installation complete with sauna, and there was plenty of room in the dorm for us. The hostel also organised winery tours, so we signed ourselves up for one the following day.

The wine tour was excellent fun. It was supposed to be with a local company (with whom we could have booked the same tour more expensively through the tourist office), but there weren't enough subscribers, so in the end the youth hostel owner took the two of us plus one more English girl round in the minibus, and we had a great time.
We visited something like six vineyards where we were able to sample lots of different wines, and sit out in the sun on lovely terraces with great views. It's pretty good being driven around and getting to sample lots of lovely free wine. We bought a couple of bottles of wine in one vineyard; when we came to drink them later, on a cold rainy day, they somehow didn't taste quite as good as they had that first time!

The three of us went round a few more vineyards in the car the following day, although that did mean that I had to drive. We still had a good time, though, and got to play a bit of petanque at one place, which was a bit random.
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The ferry across the river at Wise…
The ferry across the river at Wis…
Watch out for wombats!
Watch out for wombats!
Views over the Hunter Valley
Views over the Hunter Valley
Views over the Hunter Valley
Views over the Hunter Valley
Trying the wines at Petersons
Trying the wines at Peterson's
The vines at Ivanhoe
The vines at Ivanhoe
Cheese!
Cheese!
Petanque!
Petanque!
Cessnock
photo by: o_mendfornd