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Barrington Tops And The Hunter Valley
 
waterfallThe Hunter Region of New South Wales can simply be summed up in one word; breathtaking! The Barrington Tops of this region are a stunning highlight and are defined by sheer drops, mountainous views and brilliant rainforest walks. This is an area overflowing with natural attractions and scenic spots and is an ideal destination for your next campervan holiday.

The best way to embark on your journey of the Hunter is to pick up your campervan in either Sydney or Newcastle, which are both located within only 2 hours of the region. The World Heritage Listed Barrington Tops is most famous for its fast flowing rivers and waterfalls that run through steep gorges and are surrounded by dense rainforests. There are plenty of bushwalks available, with most roads sealed and easily accessible by campervan.

The climate is generally cooler than the coast throughout the year, but every season brings a lovely and noticeable change to the region. Winter brings with it heavenly sights of snow capped mountains and crystal clear mountain streams. Summer is very pleasant and is perfect for bushwalking in high altitudes. It is still advisable to come prepared with lots of warm clothing in case of sudden temperature changes because this area is renowned for these.

When it comes to finding a place to stay in the Hunter Valley, look no further than Camp Cobark. However, if you are after something a little more isolated, at Gloucester in the Devil's Hole Camping ground (located 1400m over sea level) you will find a great place to park your camper, which also offers great fishing spots and amazing views. Nights bring much wildlife, and it’s the perfect time to see the Milky Way at its best.

Since the region covers more than 80,000 hectares, the scenery is extremely wild and diverse. The Barrington Tops Forest Road is famous for its many different types of rainforest, including the ancient Antarctic Beech Forest. This drive will rewards you with many fantastic lookouts such as the Devils Hole, Moonan Lookout, and the Polblue plateau which is a great place to have a picnic stop and enjoy the views. The Chichester State Forest has incredible wildlife and a stunning rainforest trail including the largest oak tree recorded in NSW. Cobark Forest Park is also a great place to relax and offers a fantastic walking track for families of all ages.

There are also a string of ‘must do’s’. There are cycling and bushwalking circuits to suit all ages and fitness levels. Walks range from just an hour to two weeks, for those fitness fanatics out there. Canoes and kayaks are also available for hire along the Barrington River, with trout fishing another popular leisure activity. The historic towns of Gloucester and Dungog in the Hunter valley are great for a stroll and feature quaint antique shops that will please all shopping lovers out there. The Barrington is also popular for horse riding, with extensive trails and horses to suit all ages. White water rafting is another favourite for the adventurous on the Barrington River in the Upper Hunter Region. The Hunter Valley has an extremely laid back and relaxed atmosphere and this is one of the main reasons people are attracted to its towns, national parks and natural beauty. Amazing vineyards stretch from the Barrington Tops in the north to the Wollemi National Park in the south. The three national parks in this region are equally unique with amazing wildlife and scenery. The area is also home to some amazing Aboriginal sites for a great cultural experience.

Pokolbin is the central hub of the Hunter Valley wineries and is located west of Cessnock. This region is home to over 50 wineries in which all produce many well known wine labels, such as Linemans, Tyrell’s Vineyards and Wyndham Estate. The best way to discover the finest wineries is to have chat with the locals who are experts on the local food, wine and general atmosphere of the valley.

Driving through the Valley, you will come across colourful towns such as Branxton and Greta, which are most famous for their markets and festivals. Kurri Kurri also has a fascinating mining museum which the kids will love and the adults will be able to enjoy. The historic town of Wollombi will take you a few steps back in time. Surrounded by bushland, it is a great place to stop for a while and enjoy the quiet pace, while soaking up your majestic surrounds.

With so many natural attractions, and diversities in landscape and appeal, the flavour and quietness of the Hunter Valley is a great contrast to the heights of the Barrington Tops. With so many choices of things to do and places to see, the entire region is the ideal destination for your ‘wilderness’ campervan holiday.

Christine Barton




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