New South Wales by car
Trip Start Jun 20, 2011
17Trip End Jul 09, 2011
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I woke up at 7AM and we met up with the delegations and home stay families for a breakfast. When breakfast was over I left with Ray and Gwen on a long day of sight seeing. We began with a stop at nearby Caves Beach. Guess what was there? If you guessed caves on a beach then you would be correct! They were beautiful! I enjoyed exploring the caves as any given turn could lead to an exit out to a marvelous view of the sand and ocean. With low tide there were many large green rocks littered over the beach. The view was great! I could have easily spent all day here and I was actually disappointed to leave so soon, but as I found later it provided us with an opportunity to see so much more today.
Our next stop was at Blackbutt Reserve. This was a cool place with a variety of Australian wildlife. I saw a plethora of birds and mostly ones that I had never seen before. There were larger animals too like emu, wallaby, mongoose, kangaroo, and koalas to name a few.
Around 1PM we began a long drive inland. It was a great opportunity for me to see many little cities along the way. Around 2:30PM we made it to the Hunter Valley, home to over 150 wineries. We visited three of them. Wine growing began in this region in 1828 when George Wyndham planted the first vines (wine was 1st introduced to the country in 1788. The views were great and everyone was so friendly in the tasting rooms. My favorite stop was at the Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard. They have been making wine there since 1866! I guess there long existence would explain how they had the most amazing view of grapes being grown over rolling hills with a terrific view of the mountains in the background.
Following our time here we made a long drive back. On the way we stopped in Newcastle. This city is the world's largest coal export harbor. We drove along the water on Wharf Road. From Nobby Head there were great views of the coal ships, but also a panoramic view of the city. Rather than drive back on the highway we continued the ling drive back along the water, driving past Newcastle Beach, Bar Beach, through King Edward Park and past many other beaches.