Australia

Pokolbin Hunter Valley is a great choice for a sort break away

Pokolbin is located in the Lower Hunter Valley wine region in New South Wales Australia, an area famed for its vintners. Pokolbin is not a town but a rural area found between the towns of Cessnock and Branxton. Because of its famed wineries and vineyards, it is a popular destination for wine lovers. It attracts other holiday makers with its day spas, resorts and local art.

Wine tourism is the Hunter Valley’s mainstay and this brings numbers of people the area. Based here are the large multinational wine companies, small home vintners and everything in between. The countryside is primarily used for the growing of grapevines. Shiraz and Semillion predominate but one will also find Chardonay, Cabernet, Sauvignon and even a little Pinot Noir.

Vintage Hunter Wine and Visitor Centre is the nerve centre of the area’s wine tourism. It can be found at 455 Wine Country drive and one finds directions here to restaurants, Pokolbin hotels, resorts and public events. Of course, one can also find a directory and maps to the wineries and cellars. Some of those located in the Valley are Vinden Estate Wines, Thalgora Estate, Blueberry Hill Vineyard, Tyrrell’s Wines and Morgan Family Wine Growers.

Pokolbin Village is the heart of the Valley and serves as a starting point from which to explore the wine country. It is at the centre of Pokolbin and is located so that the area wineries can be reached by foot. Pokolbin Village is a resort designed like a rustic town, and has spacious grounds amidst which suites, villas and even a homestead provide lodging for extended stays. The staff will aid visitors in the arrangement of winery visits and can inform them of area events and festivals.

One may also visit or stay at the Hunter Valley Gardens. This is the creation of award-winning landscapers Bill and Imelda Roche. Twelve themed gardens lie upon over 25 hectares of land. Vacationers may stay at the Mercure Resort and participate in the varied events that are offered besides the daily garden tours.

Here can be visited the Rose Garden, a corkscrew patterned garden of over 8,000 roses of more than 150 kinds. Also the Sunken Garden, made to appear like a sunken grotto beneath a large waterfall and shaped around a pond the size of five Olympic swimming pools and planted with a variety of evergreen and deciduous trees. The Chinese Garden and the Oriental Garden feature Chinese, Korean and Japanese motifs such as moss covered rocks, bamboo stands, gardens of raked gravel, pagodas amidst gingko trees and lily covered lakes stocked with Asian fish.

Both a State Forest and a National Park, Barrington Tops allows visitors to partake of nature pursuits. Huge cliffs, rain forest and fishing streams proliferate. This World Heritage site rests atop a twenty-five kilometre plateau and is home to a great variety of flora and fauna, some of it very rare. Here one can engage in canoeing, kayaking, cycling and hiking on trails and mountains, bushwalking and camping.

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