Rab & Lesley's Second Big Trip

Days 6 to 9 - Hunter Valley

Day 6 - Friday 7th December 2018
At The Entrance, NSW

Kirsty hired a car and drove us to Cessnock in the Hunter valley where we are staying this weekend
but we stopped for lunch at 'The Entrance' a small unimaginatively named town at the sea inlet of Tuggerah Lake

This is the actual entrance

The mudflats are a good habitat for sea birds and others. you can't miss the pelicans

but there are also heron, little egrets and Spoonbills

One 'attraction' here is the daily feeding of the pelicans who obligingly pose

Same one posing for my daughter Kirsty

The lunch club gathers

and lunch is served

Day 7 - 8th December 2018 Part I

Day 7 was a very early start, leaving the cottage before 4 a.m. to watch our transport get ready

Finally we were off...

and so were the other two ballons in our group

Five more balloons rose from other sites

But our group stayed close

All too soon it was time to come back to earth

And all before breakfast

Day 7 - 8th December 2018 Part II

After catching up on sleep and a late pub lunch we made our way up to Hunter Valley Gardens

Where there is a Christmas lights show similar to the one Kew has run for a few years
But at 30 degrees instead of 3

Well we started today with balloons...

Food stalls galore - even a pizza oven in the back of a van

Couldn't not take this one

Off to bed now - Winery tours tomorrow

Day 8 - 9th December 2018
Hunter Valley Wine Tour

Daughter Kirsty volunteered to drive us around the wineries around the Lovedale and Polkolbin area
We visited 6 or 7 as well as a cheese centre, craft market and a Dessert Cafe

Ivanhoe Wines had the best view

And had the best sculpture outside  

but the very best view was however back in the cottage when we unpacked our haul

Day 9 - 10th December 2018
Newcastle NSW

Kicked off today completing the booze cruise with a visit to the Hunter Valley Distillery

Sadly they only do gin and vodka - no whisky so we moved on
This was the farm where our balloon landed yesterday

The stage was for a Shania Twain concert last night. When we drove past on the way to Hunter Valley gardens there were thousands of cars parked along the highway, some over a mile from the entrance
Moved on to Newcastle for lunch at the Customs House on the waterfront

Finally got back to Sydney to see this Sea plane turning towards Five Dock Bay

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