Published: June 3rd 2012May 30th 2012
We got off the Greyhound at Newcastle at 6.40am this morning after a very long journey and very little sleep. We had a short wait at Newcastle for a train that would take us into Maitland in the Hunter Valley. Our journey still wasn't over yet and a couple of very helpful locals pointed us in the right direction to catch a bus to our hotel in Cessnock.
We eventually made it to Australia Hotel in Cessnock at around 9am and were lucky to be able to check in straight away. Not wanting to waste any of our time in the Hunter Valley, we had a quick shower and after some direction from the front desk took a stroll into the town centre of Cessnock. Cessnock is a small country town so it didn't take long to explore the high st so we decided to catch a taxi into the Tourist Info centre to help us plan our bike tour of wineries for the following day. The tourist info guides helped us to book a couple of bikes for the following day and gave us some suggested bike routes, as well as confirming that there
is pretty much no public transport around the hunter wineries. We had hoped that we might be able to catch a public bus to a couple of the wineries this afternoon, but we didn't let the lack of transport hold us back in testing out a couple of wineries this afternoon as we made our way on foot along the grass verges on the sides of the country roads. We did get a few strange looks from drivers, as well as a perplexed building crew who were working on a section of the road and had to stop work and wait for one of their colleagues to escort us through the work area before they could start working again. I think we may be one of very few who decide to walk the wineries of the hunter valley but we still made good headway getting to taste at De Bortoli - which we had also tried in the Yarra valley, Peterson sparkling wines - Jo's favourite with a variety of bubbles on offer, the Hunter Chocolate company - to refresh our palettes, Hungerford Hills, Lake's Folly - where the wine maker gave us a tour of the wine making facilities,
Ballabourneen - where Jo made friends with their puppy and lastly Kevin Sobels - where Will made friends with the St Bernard wine dog. By the time we got to the sixth winery it was 5pm and we were ready for dinner so we took a taxi back to the Hotel in Cessnock and enjoyed dinner in the pub downstairs. With a day of wine tasting and lack of sleep from the Greyhound journey the previous night, we were both asleep by 9pm!
There are more photos below