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Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

Dungun, Malaysia
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Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

Hi there,

My husband and I (both in our 30s) would visit Sydney next month and we would be going straight to Port Stephens after we reach the airport (renting a car) at 10.30am. I was thinking that we should stop by The Entrance to see the Pelican feeding frenzy at 3.30pm but this all depends on how long it takes to pass through the customs at the airport. We're arriving from Gold Coast though, does that give any difference to arriving internationally?

Then, we're spending 2 nights in Port Stephens and on the way back, should we use the Hunter Valley route? We're not into wines but I thought maybe the scenery might be a good change from all the time spent at the seaside. Plus, trying to make good use of the car! Then from Hunter Valley, we'll head back to Sydney. Any other activities or stops that you guys can recommend?

15 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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1. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

As a drive through yes it will be a change, especially to going down the Hwy. If you really want a change consider going into Sydney via The Putty Road.

Domestic,

You will be out much much faster than international.

australia
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for New South Wales, Noosa
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2. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

You will clear immigration at gold coast

The only delay will be waiting on your luggage, one of you could go organise the car in that time

South Pole
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3. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

the hunter is quite pretty and in spring the vines have started to shoot.

a shorter route back to sydney than the one gw suggested is from cessnock to wollombi and then along the old convict road (route33) to the sydney freeway at calga. some pretty spectacular scenery.

Bellbird, Australia
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4. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

Definitely! The region is not only pretty to look at, especially now that all the vines have begun to re-shoot, but it is also a food haven. There are some great restaurants (competing with some of the best of Sydney) in beautiful settings as well as local cheeses, olive oils and chocolates.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

Hi, Yes 1 vote for Putty road and you can also divert off to Kurrajong and Bilpin from Colo for a scenic drive in hills and orchards. I'm also a fan of Central coast - Terrigal and Avoca if you don't mind more of seaside.

Dungun, Malaysia
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6. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

Thank you for your suggestions everyone! I'm wondering if we're taking the Putty Road, does that give us enough time to wander around Sydney Fish Market and Darling Harbour later in the afternoon? So far my itinerary goes as below:

6.00 - 7.30am: Nelson Bay - Pokolbin

9.00 a.m : Pokolbin - Sydney (either via Putty Road or Tourist Drive 33)

11.30am: Reach Sydney

I know leaving at 9am doesn't actually give us much chance to look around the shops. Perhaps I should leave later.

We're staying at Malaysia Student Hall on Allison Rd and we need to check in before 4pm. There's also the car which I've actually booked up till 2pm only, or should I extend it?

Since Sydney Fish market closes at 4pm, I would like to go there at least by 2pm then stay around Darling Harbour till night. Or should I give it the Fish Market a miss?

We have only 1 full and half day after that to explore Sydney.

Edited: 18 September 2012, 16:02
South Pole
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7. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

u wont get to sydney via the putty road by 1130 leaving pokolbin at 0900.

and u might struggle also with route 33. it's a slow trip. the road is winding.

u might want to consider simply driving down the F3 if u have things to do in sydney.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

I agree with lien about taking the freeway back to Sydney ...

It's hard to advise about extending the car ... where do you need to drop it off? The other issue is that driving in the city of Sydney can be a nightmare so I wouldn't recommend it if you are not good comfortable with the traffic and trying to find parking etc

The Fish Market is a 10 min walk from Darling Harbour so if you can get from Allison Road to Darling Harbour by public transport then you won't need your car. I think you can also get the Light Rail from Central but I've never taken it beyond Darling Harbour.

On the other hand, if you drive to the Fish Market parking is at a premium around that area and you'd be best parking outside the Fish Market if you can find a spot - try along Wattle Street adjoining Wentworth Park.

Entry into the Fish Market car park (payment required) can be a bit deceiving for those who have never driven there before - you might end up going over the Anzac Bridge and end up in Balmain or Rozelle before you can turn off and head back to the Fish Market.

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

Stopping at The Entrance to see the pelican feeding is a good option. The timings will be good. You will arrive at The Entrance around lunchtime and there are lots of places to eat. Do a walk around the water front and maybe over to the beach then back to see the pelicans at 3.30.

The drive from there up to Port Stephens will be about 1.5 to 2 hours.

On the way back if you do go to the Hunter Valley then stopping at the Hunter Valley Gardens is a nice option. It's a huge place with waterfalls, different types of gardens, a nice coffee shop and very worthwhile imo. Also check out the Chapel which you will see on the drive into the complex. It's a beautiful little chapel.

Sydney/Melbourne
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10. Re: Should we go to Hunter Valley if we're not wine people?

An alternative to the Fish Markets could be to come back via the Freeway as suggested and detour off to Woy Woy for lunch at Fishermans Wharf. You can buy takeaway and eat at the tables out the front or you can go to the restaurant at the back and eat overlooking the Hakwesbury River. The seafood is as good, if not better than anything you will get at the Fish Market and considerably cheaper.

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