His name is Jimi.
He is an old soul. He is small but compact, he favours 1970’s style and if he could speak he’d probably say things like, “groovy.”
Jimi is our camper-van.
After spending a week in gorgeous Sydney Australia, we trekked outside of the city to pick up our Hippy camper-van. Naturally, we felt this would be the best way to tour Australia’s coast from Sydney to Cairns.
One of our first major stops would be Hunter Valley.
And let me tell you, nothing screams classy quite like touring one of Australia’s finest wine regions in a brown and orange coloured hippy camper-van with the name Jimi boldly tattooed on its side.
Although Jimmy and Hunter Valley may have made for an odd couple, we really enjoyed ourselves here. With an abundance of wineries, fine restaurants and a sea of vineyards, how can one not. I can thank the lovely Peter Wren for selling this visit to the Hunter valley to me as a ‘must see.’
During our stay, I captured my top picks for this famous wine region. If you are planning on touring Hunter Valley, the area has an information centre that I highly recommend you pay a visit to. The staff here can help you build a tour that reflects the kind of experience you want. If you plan on doing an array of wine tasting, it is also worth looking into taking a tour with a hired driver.
The region offers a variety of more recognizable wineries & breweries as well as smaller boutique wineries if you are looking for something more unique. While I experienced both types of wineries; the smaller, boutique wineries always delivered more charm.
Most wineries offer tasting services free of charge but do keep in mind that it’s considered poor etiquette if you do not purchase at least the occasional bottle after a tasting.
If you have a little extra change in your pockets, take a helicopter ride over the region or indulge in a set course meal offered by the wineries.
Of all the wineries we visited, it was Oakvale that tugged at my heartstrings. Not only is their staff attentive and incredibly knowledgeable and passionate but their wines are simply beautiful.
While a Chardonnay is not usually agreeable to my palette, theirs was worth walking away with a bottle or two. To top things off, around sundown the Kangaroos can be seen sampling the grapes themselves.
As a visitor to Australia this was very exciting to see, although I now realize it’s probably more of a nuisance to the farmers and growers than anything.
If wine doesn’t call your name, Hunter valley also offers a few beer breweries and cheese and chocolate boutiques. If you want to avoid some of the tourist traps, I would suggest avoiding the gardens where many of the souvenir shops are located.
On a budget? Try Harrigans Irish pub for an inexpensive, comforting meal. They also carry WILDE, an excellent and refreshing Australian gluten-free beer and feature several gluten-free meals on their menu.
Until next time, cheers!
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