Hunter Valley holiday travel diary

Last month Easylink went on its first holiday! Read all about it in our travel diary.

Day One

Excitement is in the air as customers embark on Easylink’s 2022 Hunter Valley holiday. Pick-ups begin mid-morning as two buses with 20 customers and 5 Easylink staff members head north.

The drive up the highway is the first time many customers have left the Northern Beaches since before the pandemic. To break up the drive, we stop off at Cowan’s famous ‘Pie in the Sky’ café where we stretch our legs and enjoy some lunch.  Then we are off again, this time our Easylink drivers take the scenic route west of the highway, and we meander through the countryside, taking in the vast bushland.

We arrive at Wine Country Motor Inn in the mid-afternoon. We settle into our rooms and appreciate the free time before dinner, many of us taking the opportunity to unpack after the journey. Others choose to do some shopping and explore the town of Cessnock instead.

Dinner is at the Hunter Valley’s famous Irish pub, Harrigan’s. We enjoy a delicious (& filling!) a la carte menu and talk loudly amongst the frivolity and bustle of the pub. After dinner, we head back to our motel and hit the hay, very much looking forward to day two!

Day Two

After a restful and comfortable night sleep, we enjoy a hearty motel breakfast. Not long after, we head off to the beautiful and vast Hunter Valley Gardens. The sky is blue and the sun is high as we explore the award-winning gardens - with the Storybook and Oriental gardens amongst our favourites!

As the morning progresses, the weather is becoming warmer which is the perfect time to get back onto the buses and head just down the road to the charming Hunter Valley Village. There, we spread out, grab some lunch, explore a few cellars and look through the quaint cottage-style boutiques.

Soon the buses are back and we excitingly go along to our pre-booked wine tastings. Half of us go to Peterson’s House - a rustic and romantic winery that specialises in sparkling wine; while the other half of us go to the striking, modern winery - Brokenwood Wines - for a sampling of white, reds, sparkling and rose’s. Everyone agrees that both tastings were fabulous!

The day has become scorching, so it is perfect that we all have free time back in our air-conditioned motel rooms. We meet up again in the motel lobby before heading to dinner. Dinner is booked at the lovely Baume’ restaurant… and is undoubtedly the best meal of the trip! We all indulge in delicious share plates and are very well looked after. We can’t believe this is our last night of holidays. We all agree it’s been wonderful.

Day Three

We meet up again for our final breakfast in the Motel. We’ve had a wonderful stay. Even though we are heading home today we still have a few more places to visit on the itinerary. We pack up the (now very full) buses and are on our way.

First stop – much to the excitement of all – is to the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company. We pick up bags full of sweet treats for our friends and family. Oh, who are we kidding? For ourselves more like it! The staff at the store are very helpful and it is hard to walk away from the incredible assortment of fudge on display.

Our final stop off is at Roche Estate, a landmark in the Hunter Valley which looks like a giant concert arena. We grab a quick bite to eat at The Smelly Cheese Shop before settling in for the long drive back to the Northern Beaches.

After such a fun holiday, we are feeling reflective and happy as we drive back down the highway. We stop off at Mooney Mooney to stretch our legs before continuing our way, and yes, the buses are definitely a lot heavier than they were a few days ago!