Hunter Valley (accommodation?)

So, I know there was a recent thread about Hunter wines, but I’m asking here for any ideas on where to stay.

The good news (re that thread) is that we can make it to both Clonakilla and The Hunter, as the former is, I discovered, only 2.5 hours from Milton, where we will be for five days (a bit of relief we can get away for a day).

The bad news is that when we visit Hunter Valley our schedule dictates we stay in (presumably) Pokolbin on a Saturday and Sunday night. Accommodation seems crazily expensive, some places well over $1,000/night.

Last time we were there it didn’t seem horrendously expensive, but that was 1988.

Any recommendations, either from our resident Aussies or from those Brits who I know have stayed there.

I’m hoping as it will be summer there will be some wineries open on a Sunday.
 
We always stayed at Cypress Lakes. Weekends more expensive due to Sydney-sider weekend trips. Can you shuffle and go midweek?
It’s immensely frustrating, Simon, but we have two weeks in NSW visiting K’s Australian family and the Hunter trip just happens to be a two night slot when we are free (to escape!). We shall be sure to book somewhere soon because I’m sure it will be very busy.

I’ll check out Cypress Lakes. We really just need a nice room to sleep in as we will be out and about fitting in visits to wineries.
 
It’s immensely frustrating, Simon, but we have two weeks in NSW visiting K’s Australian family and the Hunter trip just happens to be a two night slot when we are free (to escape!). We shall be sure to book somewhere soon because I’m sure it will be very busy.

I’ll check out Cypress Lakes. We really just need a nice room to sleep in as we will be out and about fitting in visits to wineries.

Might not be for you as it’s more of a resort, so probably a bit OTT.

By the way when I lived in Oz (more than 10 years ago) the two hunter wineries I always made the trip to were Mount Pleasant (which you will know) and de iulius (which I don’t think you can get easily in UK). The de iulius wines would be worth checking out.
 
Yes, the de Iulius wines were good, as was Margan's a little further north. They made a brilliant Barbera in the '05 vintage and the shiraz-mourvedre was startlingly good and cellar worthy.
 
David, check out the AirBnB listings. We stayed in one over this past June holiday long weekend and it was very reasonably priced (3 bedrooms, $270 per night) and very nice. There seem to be quite a few in Cessnock and surrounds
 
David, check out the AirBnB listings. We stayed in one over this past June holiday long weekend and it was very reasonably priced (3 bedrooms, $270 per night) and very nice. There seem to be quite a few in Cessnock and surrounds
Thanks Matt. Usually we do look at Airbnb (just booked one around Sydney Harbour for our last few days before flying home). My wife did look, but I think her search criteria may have been wrong as everything came up around $1,000 to $1,500. We'll check it out again. I'm guessing November being early summer a weekend in Pokolbin etc is popular.
 
Hi David. I had a quick look on ABnB and there are places around for a reasonable price (say $500- $700 or so for two weekend nights) in early to mid November, especially in Cessnock. So might be worth another look. It is more expensive though on the weekend of 16/17 November because there is a concert in one of the vineyards in Pokolbin.

If that’s your weekend then that’s a shame as the concert can gum up downtown Pokolbin on the Saturday — and it can make accommodation a bit harder to come by. There’s still some stuff on ABnB but it seems to be a bit further out

Good luck!
 
Hi David. I had a quick look on ABnB and there are places around for a reasonable price (say $500- $700 or so for two weekend nights) in early to mid November, especially in Cessnock. So might be worth another look. It is more expensive though on the weekend of 16/17 November because there is a concert in one of the vineyards in Pokolbin.

If that’s your weekend then that’s a shame as the concert can gum up downtown Pokolbin on the Saturday — and it can make accommodation a bit harder to come by. There’s still some stuff on ABnB but it seems to be a bit further out

Good luck!
Useful to know, Matt. Thanks. Sadly we can only go that weekend because in a trip visiting my wife’s Australian family it’s the only window we reasonably have with a car. We will be in Sydney for five nights after that, but most of that time we are staying with more relations and seeing my wife’s ex-colleagues from her multinational years.

How far (remind me) is Cessnock from Pokolbin? We will arrive up there some time early afternoon Saturday and I was hoping to get a visit in before dinner, then two or three on Sunday.

In any event we do plan to try to book something this weekend.
 
Hi David

Cessnock is about a 10-15 minute drive from Central Pokolbin — it’s the closest main town to (and I would guess the biggest population centre in) the Hunter Valley. It’s not the prettiest part of the HV by any means but some of the houses for rent have some old school country Australia charm. It’s also well serviced with supermarkets and the like which can be handy for self catering

Matt
 
Oh btw, I always find Sunday afternoon pretty good in the Hunter, even on busy weekends. Many people head home to Sydney after lunch, meaning that tastings after 2 are less frenetic; and many places will have opened some good stuff for members over the weekend and some will be happy to pour it out before shutting up on Sunday. Indeed, I’ve even been given the remains of good bottles to take away on Sunday afternoon!

If you’re staying Sunday night as well, then Monday morning is also a good time to taste as all the cellar doors will be open and pretty quiet.

Oh, and it would be a good idea to book in advance if you want to go somewhere nice for dinner on Saturday night and/or Sunday lunch

Have fun!
 
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Oh btw, I always find Sunday afternoon pretty good in the Hunter, even on busy weekends. Many people head home to Sydney after lunch, meaning that tastings after 2 are less frenetic; and many places will have opened some good stuff for members over the weekend and some will be happy to pour it out before shutting up on Sunday. Indeed, I’ve even been given the remains of good bottles to take away on Sunday afternoon!

If you’re staying Sunday night as well, then Monday morning is also a good time to taste as all the cellar doors will be open and pretty quiet.

Oh, and it would be a good idea to book in advance if you want to go somewhere nice for dinner on Saturday night and/or Sunday lunch

Have fun!
All your information has been really helpful, Matt. Thanks.
 
As others have said big concert weekends tend to drive the prices for accommodation into silly territory sometimes. We often stay in an Airbnb in cessnock these days. It's not the prettiest but usually more reasonably priced and only a 15min drive to the wineries.
Can highly recommend muse for lunch or dinner
 
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