Situated at the foot of the Brokenback Mountains and surrounded by vineyards and gourmet food producers, peaceful Pokolbin is the perfect countryside getaway.
With olive farms, rolling vineyards, and sunny, blue skies, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were arriving in the Mediterranean when you first drive through the countryside approaching Pokolbin. The rural village has been the beating heart of the Hunter Valley wine region for over two hundred years, when the first European settlers recognised that grapes grew particularly well on the area’s lush hills.
Nowadays, visitors flock here by the busload to sample the fresh local produce, beautiful scenery and famous wines. The village’s culinary offerings, abundance of nearby natural wonders, and ideal location – just a 2-hour drive from Sydney – have combined to make it one of the country’s favourite destinations for holiday makers looking to get away from it all.
Pokolbin is a stop on any bus tour through Hunter Valley as it is home to many of the region’s top wineries. Many people choose to stay for a few days and take their time as they uncover the area’s many attractions. There are plenty of accommodation options locally, ranging from plush resorts with swimming pools, to log cabins in wineries and quaint B&Bs.
Sports lovers will enjoy the championship golf course in the village and there are also a number of galleries, full of landscape paintings and sculptures by local artists, which make a great souvenir of your visit.
Of course, there’s only one reason most people come to Pokolbin, and that’s to visit the famous wineries of the Hunter Valley. It’s where wine production began in Australia and there are now more than a dozen top-class vineyards in and around the village. Favourites include Saddler’s Creek, Mistletoe and Pepper Tree wineries. Many people come by organised bus tour, with lunch and wine-tasting included. If you’d prefer to do it yourself, then pick up a map and brochures in the information centre just outside town, and rent a car to visit the cellar doors.
If you’ve brought the kids, make sure to stop by the Hunter Valley Gardens in the centre of town, where they’ll come face-to-face with statues of some of their favourite nursery rhyme characters in a tranquil garden setting. Pokolbin is 11 kilometres to the north of Cessnock, and there is a regular bus service between the two.