The Pokolbin district, in the Lower Hunter Valley in New South Wales, is one of Australia's premier wine regions. Viticulture in the region has a long history, the first vineyards being established in the 1850s.
Pokolbin is something of a cross between a village and a district: it's a collection of vineyards and very small villages (Lovedale, Mount View and Rothbury), it doesn't have a single center that could be thought of as a township.
- 1 Hunter Valley Gardens, 2090 Broke Rd, ☏ . Daily 9am-5pm. These magnificent gardens are of a horticultural standard you won't see elsewhere in Australia.
- 1 Hot-air ballooning, 1/26 Lodge Rd, Lovedale NSW 2325, toll-free: 1800 028 568. Hunter Valley Hot-Air Ballooning.
- Jazz in the Vines. A popular event held in October, hosted by Tyrrell's Winery.
- A Day on the Green. A concert hosted each year by Bimbadgen Estate.
Wine is the most obvious item to buy here, although the estates and farms also offer cheese and olives.
- Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard, DeBeyers Rd, ☏ . M-F, 9.30am-5pm. Widely regarded as the first vineyard in the Pokolbin district.
- 1 Bimbadgen Estate, 790 McDonalds Rd, ☏ .
- 2 Brokenwood Wines, 401-427 McDonalds Rd, ☏ , fax: .
- Hermitage Road Cellars at Hunter Resort, ☏ . Daily tours at 9am, 11am & 2pm (booking required).
- McGuigan Cellars, McDonalds Rd, ☏ . The McGuigan's complex houses McGuigan Fine Wines, the Hunter Valley Cheese Company and the Chocolate and Fudge Shop.
- Lindemans Ben Ean, McDonalds Rd, ☏ . Open for tastings M-F 10am - 5pm, closed Christmas Day, Good Friday and New Years Day..
- McWilliams Mount Pleasant Estate, Marrowbone Rd, ☏ . Daily 10am-4.30pm. Established in 1921, McWilliams is the largest Australian family owned wine company in the country. Guided tours $2.20/person.
- Oakvale, Broke Rd, ☏ , fax: . Often has value for money wines at the cheaper end of the price range.
- 3 Pepper Tree Wines, Halls Road, ☏ . Open M-F 9am - 5pm, Sa & Su 9.30am - 5pm.. The tasting room is surrounded by beautiful grounds and gardens. A good place to follow up wine tasting with a picnic.
- Rothbury Estate, Broke Road, ☏ . Open 7 days 9.30am - 4.30 pm..
- Tower Estate Wines, Cnr Halls and Broke Rd, ☏ . Open 7 days 10am - 5 pm..
- Tyrell's Vineyards, Broke Road, ☏ . Open M-Sa. One of the region's oldest vineyards. Winery tours are held at 1.30pm.
Be aware that many restaurants pay to be listed in tourist guidebooks and are exhorbitantly priced. It may be better to ask a local for recommendations. Rock Restaurant and Bistro Molines at Tallavera Estate are the only restaurants in Pokolbin to be awarded a chef's hat and both have a very good reputation. Other excellent restaurants are Shakey Tables, Esca at Bimbadgen Estate (especially for the wood-fired duck, which is the restaurant's speciality) and Cracked Pepper at de Iulius Estate.
- The Mill Restaurant, Tuscany Wine Estate, cnr Hermitage Rd & Mistletoe Lane, ☏ , fax: .
- Amanda's On the Edge Restaurant, McDonald's Rd, ☏ . A very popular restaurant with Australian menu. It seems to be the only restaurant in this part of the Hunter Valley that is not a winery too.
- 1 il Cacciatore, ☏ . Italian restaurant. Pizza for takeaway.
- The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley, 336 Oakey Creek Road, ☏ . Hunter Valley hotel offering boutique Hunter Valley accommodation in Pokolbin. Located 2hrs from Sydney, this Pokolbin hotel is ideally positioned to experience Hunter Valley wineries and attractions.
- Mercure Grand Hunter Valley, Vintage Drive, off MacDonalds Road, Rothbury NSW 2320, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Contemporary one and two-bedroom apartments with gas fireplaces, doonas and fully self-contained. Apartments cost approx $230 - $390 per night.
- Visit the historic village of Wollombi.