Things To Do In Pokolbin
Pokolbin is a town that is situated along numerous vineyards and a premium wine making territory that is complemented by the presence of the Brokenback Range in the background. This quiet town in the Greater Newcastle region is home to the best brands of Australian wine and living up to its title as “The Wine Lovers Paradise”. The most prominent vineyard and tourist attraction here in Pokolbin is the Hunter Valley Gardens (blessed with more than 4,000 hectares of land and more than 80 wineries). It occupies a huge territory and it has a wide range of wineries over a large area.
There is a map provided at the information booth on which you can go around the many wineries and vineyards and get acquainted with the local varieties and brands of Australian wine and of course participate in the wine tasting. This scenic nature park and winery are also ideal for couples; it’s recognized as one of the most romantic places in Australia. If you come during the Christmas holiday season and festive events in Pokolbin, this park gets nicely illuminated and there are amusement rides all around. Don’t miss the “Aqua Golf” and the equally entertaining feature called the “Beer Tunnel”.
When To Go:
The town of Pokolbin is a tourist destination for all seasons that attracts tourists from all over the world because of its wine and idyllic landscape. It’s not only about the agreeable weather why it is widely visited, but because of the events that are celebrated on certain months of the year. The wine festival is usually held yearly every August and October, and during these peak season, expect outdoor events like; concerts, wine fairs, competitions, jazz shows, and entertainment shows performed at the vineyards.
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Pokolbin’s weather is characterized by the standard four seasons with the summer season being experienced from December until the last week of February. These three months of tolerable dry season has temperatures ranging from 20 to 26F. The beaches are pretty much occupied around these months along with the shopping centers that have extended shopping hours for the Christmas and holiday season. The weather is not that humid, but it is still advisable to wear enough sun protection during the day.
After summer, the rainy season comes next and occurs during the months of March up to the first week of June. However, the weather is still tolerable enough and the rains are not that frequent and the humid weather still prevails. These low season months have fewer crowds (locals and tourists) with the temperatures ranging from 18 to 20F.
The winter season in Pokolbin (June to August) is the coldest in this part of Australia with average daily temperatures ranging from 15 to 18F. If you don’t like hot weather this is the ideal time to go. It is during these peak season months when the atmosphere in the town is more festive, lively, and colorful, because of the numerous festivities celebrated during this time of the year.
The autumn months of September to November is also an ideal time to go because there are not much crowds, the kids had gone back to school, and the weather is fantastic for a whole day stroll along the wineries.
These are the top attractions and things to do in the town of Pokolbin…
Hunter Valley Gardens
Upon entrance to the Hunter Valley Gardens, the staff will give you a friendly welcome and lead you to the ticket booth to pay the admission fee. Once your ticket is validated, you must proceed to the garden, which is divided into different areas. The 1st part is the entrance section, which is framed by the stream. Next to this is the obligatory rose garden, which presents a manageable variety of rose species. The third part is a children's book garden, which illustrates several little rhymes and stories with popular characters and music from fairytale books. After here, you walk further in the Asian garden with a tea house, pond, and colorful Kois. The fifth is the oriental part made from a wooden building with ornaments along with animal topiaries that you can take pictures with. This nature garden is the largest in the southern hemisphere and even if you visit in the middle of winter, the atmosphere is lovely and magical.
The entire garden is well maintained and lovingly created. It may look radiant and less diverse than many European counterparts, but that is not surprising with the Australian weather conditions. There is also a café, which offers very tasty snacks and cakes at affordable prices. The distance between the individual wineries and the park is great. You will have enough time to observe everything, from the vineyards, winemaking, up to the site where the wines are aged and processed. The experience is truly unique and incomparable and here in Pokolbin; it is worth a detour!
The Bimbadgen Winery not only produces good wines, it also has a beautiful view of their vineyards and winemaking facility. The name of the winery literally means “a place with good views”, and it truly lives up to it because of its excellent architecture. Inside their tasting room, you'll see all of their neatly arranged wines in the cellar section and with an attentive staff who will readily offer you a glass of wine. You sip the wine while admiring the pleasant view of the valley and the row of vines cultivated in this wine making facility. The wines of the winery are very good, especially the white Signature Chardonnay and Semillon Signature Palmers Lane. Wine tasting is best done in groups and they have discount for group tours in their winery exhibit.
Every wine festival, there are concerts set up in their estate and vineyard, which is mostly attended by top international performers. One of the most exciting part of the tour is getting to the wine processing area, seeing the wine getting transported in oak barrels, and having an aged red wine direct from the barrel itself and drawn by their staff. The garden area serves as an events place that caters weddings and birthdays. When in Pokolbin, be sure to visit this exciting winery with pleasant surroundings and the best tasting wines.
If you’re looking for more exquisite wine selections, you have come to the right place because, there are more varieties of red and white wines made available to the public at Brokenwood Wines. Wine tasting is included in the entrance fee, and a total of three wines can be tasted per section. The staffs here are very polite and will gladly explain the story behind every bottle that is laid out in their tasting room.
They even take time to explain the variety of grapes that they grow and what type of wine is produced by each kind. The staffs here are very welcoming and give generous samples of wine provided you have emptied your glass. The rewarding part of the visit is you get to purchase their wine at a price that is more affordable than anywhere else in Pokolbin. If you need a relaxing day out and learn more about wine making, check this winery and you will truly appreciate the quality of the best Australian wine.
Its interesting features and fine wines are just a few of the valid reasons why tourists frequent the Mistletoe Wines. Aside from learning so much about wine making in Pokolbin, the sculptures sprawled along the garden area is what makes tourists linger and wander along its vicinity for more than three hours. There is art behind every piece and interesting details to look out for if you’re very observant.
Some are made from recyclable materials and it’s advisable to go around these open air gallery with a guide who can tell the artist and inspiration behind every art and craft work. You can visit this area and access is allowed after the wine tasting and wine facility tours. The most popular photographed piece here is the Sparkling Rose.
If you want to taste the world’s best tasting Semillon wine (2011 winemaker of the year award) this is the right place for you. The McGuigan Wines is synonymous with excellent wine production on this side of the Greater Newcastle region. This multi awarded wine making facility in Pokolbin is worth the detour and you will also have the opportunity to sample the best Australian cheese to go with your wine. The cheese shop is adjacent to the winemaking facility and a great variety of Hunter Valley cheese is made available for tasting and can also be purchased at the cheese shop. The wine cellar is well lighted, spacious, neat, and the tasting process is well organized.
The Black Shiraz wine is one of their bestsellers. While tasting wines, you have a great view of their manicured lawns and well tended vineyards right across the observation deck of this winery. You can pose for pictures beside their three level wine cellars and on top of the two biggest oak barrels outside the facility. What sets their tasty wine apart from the other wineries here in Pokolbin is the exclusivity of their Summer Shiraz. It is only here where you can find and buy this rare and exquisite wine. However, they offer exclusive membership with affordable fees and allow you to have 20% off on the total price and a chance to buy the 12 case varieties. If you want an authentic bottle of Shiraz wine, this is the best place to buy it.
Hunter Valley Cadillacs
The Hunter Valley Cadillacs is your best bet if you want to have a thrilling ride and a pleasant tour in the vineyards of the Hunter Valley. The tour begins with a brief introduction from Debbie and how she and her Cadillac will help you discover all the important points of the Hunter Valley. Her expertise on the road and the ability to connect with her audience and answer their questions about the tour makes the trip even more fascinating.
The visits to the various wineries are excellent and you will definitely lose count of how much red and white wine tasting you have passed because of the curiosity to know all of the wineries and their distinctive qualities. They all have something different to offer to everyone and there are freebies to take home after each visit. Getting around the town of Pokolbin and the vineyards in the back seat of the Cadillac and with Debbie on the driver seat guarantees a day of total relaxation under the scorching sun of the Hunter Valley. If you come with your friends, there is a lot of fun involved even if you don’t get out of the car, for the ride itself makes the tour truly memorable.
Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours
The Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tour provides the chance to spend seven hours of fun exploring the wine and beer tasting in the Hunter Valley. What makes the experience worth trying is to go around the four most visited wineries, brewery, and cheese factory along the Hunter Valley. The resident driver and guide is Graham, who gives his personalize and entertaining tour along this famous region in Australia with lots of funny anecdotes and facts about the wine making process in Pokolbin. Everywhere you will be greeted with great enthusiasm and hospitality. Lunch is included in the package, and it is very good with lots of delicious local specialties. The tour with the Two Fat Blokes is good value for the money and strongly recommended when in Pokolbin.
The Cheese & Wine Tasting is part of the partnership of Two Fat Blokers (which has a deli in a beautiful building in the grounds) & De Iuliis (a winery). All of their products are excellent and can only be bought here. There are 9 types of cheeses presented (mounted on a single board in tasting portion - a very thin biscuit and a piece of cheese on top) and for each cheese, there is a matching wine to it. The professional who conducts the tasting is excellent and has great knowledge about dairy making the experience extremely enjoyable and enlightening. They deliver an interesting guide about the "marriage" of food, which involves what type of cheese matches what kind of wine. At the end, you buy as much cheese as well as the wines you liked. When you’re in Pokolbin, make sure to include a visit to the Two fat Blokes Gourmet Tours for that exciting gastronomic journey of the popular products of Australia in this region.
Leogate Estate Wines
The Leogate Estate Wines look very nice and welcoming and aside from tasting wines, it is an ideal place to have a decent lunch after going around the numerous wineries here in Pokolbin. The warm welcome at the wine tasting area is really impressive and although everything is free, the staffs are very polite and look after your needs before leaving the table.
The waitress will next bring in the menu and explain their variety of dishes. The winemaker will then present to you the different wines that they offer here and briefly discuss what food goes best with what type of wine. You will feel their passion and dedication as they promote the wines produced from this modern wine making facility.
Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard
At the Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard, you will be impressed at the cellar door staffs who know the history and detail of every winery in and around the Hunter Valley region. This tour is ideal for couples engaged on a honeymoon trip in Pokolbin. They can arrange a romantic sunset picnic exclusive for couples on the lawn. The views are fascinating and the wines produced here are exclusive and can only be purchased at the shop. If you are new to the wine tasting arena, they will teach you the techniques to determine if the wine is authentic. The guides also give valuable tips on how to hold the glasses with a touch of class and elegance.
Hunter Valley Cycling
The Hunter Valley Cycling is the other choice if you want to explore the Hunter Valley area in a slow and leisurely pace. You can book the ahead once you arrive in Pokolbin. The bikes are subject to availability, but if you coordinate well with their site online, they can reserve the bikes according to your specification. The path is not too hilly and if you are physically able to manage a half day of going around on a bike, this tour is made for you. Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen and to hire a guide. There is a map provided about the wineries covered by the Hunter Valley region if you choose to embark on your own tour. It is not only wine tasting that waits for you here, but at the same time you get to exercise your leg muscles while going from one winery to another.
In Pokolbin, the chance to see and taste a variety of wines along with admiring their vineyards is the true essence of a worthwhile visit. You get to also meet passionate people who put dedication to their craft and earning world class accolades, but remain humble with their status. In this town you get to know their history, culture, and love for their native produce. The top notch quality of their wines and the innate creativity of the people are the best things you will love and not forget about Pokolbin.
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