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Short breaks in NSW

Hunter Valley
If you?re a bit of a foodie, and love a good drop of wine then a short break at the Hunter Valley is a must-do. Although it?s merely two hours drive from Sydney, the Hunter Valley feels like a world away. Rolling hills surround picturesque valleys, manicured lawns and rugged countryside. Dotted throughout the landscape are myriad wineries however from a distance, most are hidden from view. It?s easy to navigate around the Hunter. There are more than enough wineries to keep you occupied around the central street of Broke Road, however if you choose to go further afield, you can find some gems with the benefit of smaller crowds than the bigger centres.


Semillon is the speciality of the Hunter, so on the first day or our weekend we compared at least half a dozen versions of popular vino. Also popular is the spicy Hunter Shiraz, and of particular note is the Chateau Pato variety which specialises in Shiraz and is only opens for tastings by appointment (Email hunterwinecountry@bigpond.com or contact the winery on (02) 4998 7634) If food is more your style, don?t leave the Hunter without a trip to the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory. Not only can you taste the most decadent Brie, Fromage and Cheddar, but you can also try out delicious dips, mustards and chutneys.


Of course, wine tasting is tiring business and as the sun began to set, we realised it was time for a well earned break and a snooze before dinner. As we drove through the impressive gates of the Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley, we knew we would be well rejuvinated after our day of wine tasting. This colonial style boutique hotel features 71 individual guest rooms and suites with verandas overlooking the gorgeous gardens and countryside.


After a quick break, we were ready to indulge in an evening meal. There are almost as many great meals as there are great wines in the Hunter and it?s a difficult to choose which restaurant to visit. As we?d had a decadent lunch at Pepper?s Guest House, Polokin, we decided for a more relaxed approach and readied ourself for a pub meal at Harrigans Irish Pub. Cook your own BBQ or choose from the menu in this enormous pub and enjoy a few more of the local wines. You?ll soon find yourself dancing the night away with big groups of hens, couples and friends who are away for a weekend of eating, drinking and having a good time at the Hunter!


The Snowies in Summer
The Snowies is a great destination to get away from it all in Summer. Skip the queues, the noise and the many others who flock in droves for the winter and take a break that truly gets you away from it all. There’s plenty of activities to keep you busy from white water rafting to sampling liquor at the Brumby Schnapps Distillery…or you can just chill out with a book, it’s up to you.


Novotel Lake Crackenback offers a 3 Night Indulgence package which includes:
3 nights accommodation in a luxury lakeside apartment
Breakfast each morning of your stay for each guest
A bottle of champagne on arrival
Chocolate and strawberries on arrival
2 x 1/2 hour massages
Use of Resort health club, gym and sporting facilities
Access to Resorts walking trails
Validity Dates: 18 Sept 05 – 4 Jun 06
From $390 per person 2 share
*Conditions apply. Subject to Availability.

Continued: More short break ideas