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2009/07/09-11 Lower Hunter Valley, Port Macquarie, Byron Bay

Driving from Sydney to Brisbane along the coast took us through the Lower Hunter Valley wine country, Port Macquarie and Byron Bay.
We had chosen public transportation for our week in the Sydney area.  To transport the six of us from Sydney to Brisbane, we opted not to fly, instead reserving a minivan (called a people mover, down under).  Diana and I woke up early to catch buses to the rental location on William Street in central Sydney.  We drove back over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and missed the freeway exit by the Lane Cove Tunnel.  We circumnavigated back to the hotel, our sons loaded up the luggage, and we embarked following directions leading through the narrow streets of Pymble.  We reached the Sydney Newscastle Freeway in time for a traffic jam.  I gradually became more comfortable driving on the left side of the road.

di_20090708-205058-sydney-newcastlefwy.jpg

Our plan was to route through the Lower Hunter Valley to visit some wineries.  We had a short list of potential places to visit, but no real sense of the region.   Trying out Broke Road around Pokolbin taught us that the wineries are spread across vast distances in this region.

di_20090708-222232-broke-road.jpg

Some random decisions led us to Hunter Valley Gardens.  We got out to stretch, but we didn’t find any lunchtime alternatives to suit our palates.

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We doubled back to Cessnock, where our son enjoyed Portuguese-style chicken for lunch.  Watching the clock, we figured that we had time to visit only one winery.  We headed northeast via Wine Country Drive to Dalwood, passing by some well-developed residential areas on the way to Wyndham Estate.  In Australian winter, we weren’t expecting to see any grapes on the vines.

di_20090709-003232-wyndham-vines.jpg

The tasting room would probably be busier in the fall harvest season.  The casks outside are for show rather than for aging. Continue reading2009/07/09-11 Lower Hunter Valley, Port Macquarie, Byron Bay

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