If you’re looking for an escape from fast-paced city living, Wollombi is the perfect place for you to take some time out and slow your brakes. A picturesque small town just two hours from Sydney, Wollombi is a part of the Hunter Valley region. This destination is the ideal place to relax and completely immerse yourself in history, culture and so much more.
‘Wollombi’ is an Aboriginal word that can be translated to ‘meeting place of waters’and speaks of the natural beauty this area holds. The regional area is home to an abundance of native wildlife as it is bordered by the World Heritage listed Yengo National Park on the West. Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wombats and Kookaburras can be spotted and heard by the creeks. To the east lies Watagans National Park and Olney State Forests.
The town has an authentic Australian rustic charm with 19th century sandstone buildings, timber cottages and large country estates with open fields and spectacular views. Wollombi’s rich history can be explored in places such as Endeavour Museum and The Convict Trail.
While famous for its nautral romance and plethora of fine dining and wineries for a romantic couple’s getaway, it also holds a strong appeal for a whole family vacation. Bushwalks, bike rides, visits to the Kookland Astronomical Observatory or the Cultural Centre that holds the works of the highly regarded valley artists are but a few of the interesting activities available in the region.
Art-lovers are in luck as Wollombi is a hub for art of all kinds. Local performance arts range from comedy and theatre acts to fire-twirling and magic shows. And as far as visual arts go, the area plays host to quite a number of exhibitions, where you can see paintings, sculptures, textiles, and photography, just to name a few.
The area is also blessed with deep Aboriginal history as it features Indigenous sites engraved with rock carvings and cave paintings, illustrating the spiritual ties the Aboriginal people share with the area. Be sure not to miss Mt Yengo, which is an important cultural site for Indigenous Australians where visitors can partake in guided tours and even attend cultural awareness training.
And of course, don’t forget to explore the amazing vineyards of Wollombi Valley. The majority of the vineyards and wineries in the area are small, boutique operations run by owner-operators, which means that the grapes are hand-picked and wines are made in small quantities, resulting in rare and high-quality wines. If you’re interested in culture and living the good life, consider Wollombi in the Hunter Valley for your next getaway.
On the Way: Tourist Drive 33
If you’re planning on visiting Wollombi why not take the scenic route? Tourist Drive 33 is the road less travelled as it wraps along the Great North Road or Convict Trail and through the beautiful NSW countryside. The total drive length is 114kms and while it may not be the most direct route to your destination it is a definite must if you’re longing to see more than just the freeway on your drive. Travelling through the very heart of rural and wine country, the drive takes in one of the important links in the NSW road system – the Great North Road. Built by convict labour between 1826 and 1836, the road was the original connection between Sydney, Newcastle and the Upper Hunter Valley. It is well worth your while to pull over mid journey, stretch your legs and observer some of the sandstone colverts and historical signage markets built by convicts.
Sydney Observer’s Top Places to Stay:
– Applegums Cottage: huntervalleypetfriendly.com.au
– Valle Laguna: vallelaguna.com.au
– Gyspy Willows: gypsywillows.com.au
View the full Getaway Special here.