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  • The New South Wales City and Wine Touring Holiday

     

     The New South Wales City and Wine Touring Holiday

    6 Nights / 7 Days 
    Sydney – The Hunter Valley

    About this tour
    The New South Wales City and Wine Touring Holiday is the perfect holiday for those interested in exploring the wineries of the Hunter Valley, whilst also allowing time to sightsee and experience Australia’s most iconic city. It is a perfect extension to an existing touring holiday, or a great shorter holiday in its own right. Over the course of 6-nights, you will experience the thriving metropolis of Sydney as well as some Australia’s best wine, food and landscape in the Hunter Valley. It is easily extended into a larger touring holiday in Australia.
    Highlights 
    This list includes optional activities possible in the featured locations of the tour, they will entail an additional cost on the base price of the itinerary.
    • See the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge
    • Hit the beaches of Bondi and Manly
    • Eat, shop and stroll around Circular Quay, The Rocks and Sydney CBD
    • Drive through the stunning wild and pastoral scenery of rural New South Wales, and past the beautiful beaches of the Central Coast
    • Sample the delights of Australia’s oldest wine region in the Hunter Valley
    • Enjoy expert tastings and sample the delectable produce of the region by journeying from cellar door to cellar door
    • Taste the classic highlights of Semillon, chardonnay and shiraz, in addition to many new varieties, with a backdrop of UNESCO World Heritage national parks. 
    Tour description
    Starting on the iconic beaches and coastline of refreshingly laid-back Sydney, this tour will allow you to experience the delights of this stunning metropolis. Complete with a gleaming CBD, the bustling Circular Quay, the historic Rocks district, and a wonderful hinterland, Sydney is an iconic place to stay and a great base for local exploration. Some for example may choose to escape the heat of the city for the wilderness of the Blue Mountains or the beaches of the South Coast. Next, you will drive north into Australia’s most historic wine producing region – The Hunter Valley. Here, excellent natural assets have resulted in the production of some of Australia’s finest Semillon, chardonnay and shiraz, and now an exciting mix of up-and-coming varieties. 
    Our range of accommodation includes everything from luxury boutique hotels, to remote wilderness eco-lodges, and safari-style luxury camping. Hand-crafted experiences make your bespoke holiday to Australia even more special, and a seemingly infinite number of possibilities are available upon request. Please do not hesitate to get in touch and let us know how we can further personalise your once-in-a-lifetime tour Down Under. 
    Prices
    From £2,650 per person for stays in our ‘value hotels’.
    From £3,450 per person for stays in our ‘luxury hotels’
    Please see our hotel lists for more information on our hotels, and what is included in these base rates. 
    Dates
    This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings may vary depending on the month and day of the week. 
    What’s Included
    • Return scheduled flights with British Airways, Qantas or Emirates from London to Sydney in economy class.
    • Transfers and car hire where specified in our itinerary. 
    • Accommodation sharing a double or twin room. Please see our suggested list of hotels for details of base accommodation type. 
    • The meals included with your tour will vary by chosen accommodation. Please see our hotel suggestions for included board basis. 
    What’s not included 
    • Meals and drinks, except as specified in our hotel suggestions. 
    • Optional tours and activities within each location, except where explicitly specified as included in our itinerary, or by hotels in our hotel lists. 
    • Personal expenses. 
    • Insurance.
    • Visa and Passport. 
    You will need a full British passport with at least six months validity, and a Visa for travel to Australia. Visas requirements should be checked with the Australian authorities. More details are available from www.eta.immi.gov.au

    Day One: Sydney
    Arrive in Sydney. You a met upon arrival and transferred to your accommodation by private chauffeur.
    Day Two: Sydney
    Enjoy a day of leisure as you explore this iconic city. Soak up the sun in Circular Quay or the historic Rocks district and revel in the stunning vistas over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Take a leisurely stroll through the wonderful botanic gardens, Darling Harbour or to the wonderfully fashionable shopping districts of Queen Victoria Building, the Strand Arcade or Pitt Street. Alternatively, choose from a range of optional tours to delve a bit deeper into what makes this iconic city great. For more scenery, choose from a day at the world-famous Bondi beach, perhaps enjoying the stunning Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, or head to one of the two National Parks that fringe the urban area.
    Day Three: Sydney
    With the world’s largest harbour on your doorstep, today you could explore the stunning scenery of wider Sydney. Choose from a range of optional excursions, perhaps taking a ferry to the beautiful community of Manly. Built on a narrow peninsula that ends at the dramatic cliffs of North Head, Manly is the jewel of the North Shore. It boasts a harbour and ocean beaches, fantastic snorkelling and surfing, and a refreshingly laid-back ambience. On your way back to central Sydney, marvel at the stunning skyline, sparkling in the last of the afternoon sunshine, and the hues of gold twinkling on Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Elsewhere, you could even take a day trip to the Blue Mountains National Park where some of New South Wales most inspiring scenery is found. Step into the bush landscape through a range of optional excursions and marvel at the breath-taking waterfalls, sublime vistas, iconic wildlife and Aboriginal artwork of the area. The mystical blue tinge of the eucalyptus trees will only further mesmerise you in this deeply spiritual place.
    Day Four: Sydney onwards to the Hunter Valley 
    Pick up your 4x4 hire car and drive north through rolling pastoral scenery, pristine bush, and most importantly, the beautiful beaches of the Central Coast. This is Australia as is often imagined, where white-sand beaches, great surf, national parks, adventure sports and alternative lifestyles find their home. Be sure to take several right turns on the Pacific Highway to find gorgeous, deserted beaches, sleepy towns, and stretches of beautiful forest. Another choice is the city of Newcastle, which is often touted as Australia’s most liveable. Stop here to find great beaches, and a thriving little city which has removed the industrial shackles of its past and is now enjoying life as a rejuvenated cultural hub. In the evening, arrive in the Hunter Valley and enjoy your first taste of the outstanding local produce as you enjoy dinner under a sky full of stars. 
    Day Five: Hunter Valley
    With fertile soils fed by the Hunter, Goulburn, Williams and Paterson Rivers, and a temperate climate, the Hunter Valley is home to some of the most enviable natural conditions for producing wine. It was this discovery that makes the Hunter Valley one of the oldest wine producing regions in Australia, and now a wealth of varieties are found in the area. In addition to the classic highlights of Semillon, chardonnay and shiraz, a range of exciting new varieties are now being planted, including arneis, albarino, fiano, tempranillo and touriga nacional. Today you could journey from cellar door to cellar door, tasting an interesting mix of these varieties, whilst often sampling the great food that is lovingly prepared at each vineyard. You could do this by bicycle, or else drive by car on the scenic ‘Tourist Drive 33’ (otherwise known as the convict trail) between Sydney and Wollombi.
    Day Six: Hunter Valley
    The Hunter Valley, with over 150 wineries, is impressive in its range and scale, and therefore for the connoisseur it is only right that you spend a second day sampling the bounty of this region. Cellar doors are found from Wollombi, Broke and Denman in the west to Lovedale, Polkobin and Rothbury in the heart, and near Cessnock in the South Singleton in the North and Maitland in the east. You could visit some of the big names of the region that include Tyrrell’s, Mount Pleasant, Thomas Wines, De Luliis and Krinklewood, or else find a collection of boutique producers at the Small Winemakers Centre in Polkobin. An idyllic rolling landscape which is fringed by the Brokenback Mountains is an achingly pretty backdrop for sampling some of Australia’s finest produce. In the evening, raise a glass to your time in Australia.
    Day Seven: Return Home
    Wake to sample the last of the scenery and climate before driving back to Sydney to drop off your hire car and return home. Of course, this tour could form a smaller component in a larger touring holiday of Australia. In which case join the next chapter of your tour today.

    The New South Wales City and Wine Touring Holiday Map

    Value Hotels
    Sydney
    Spicers Potts Point
     
    Spicers Potts Point is a beautifully restored set of traditional Sydney town houses on a leafy boulevard in Potts Point. Expect a truly boutique ambience and explore the city like a local. We include breakfast and accommodation for two sharing 1 x King Room. 
    Hunter Valley
    Kirkton Park Hotel Hunter Valley

    Located minutes away from the wineries of the Hunter Valley, the Kirkton Park Hotel Hunter Valley is a traditional Australian mansion of colonial heritage set in 70-acres of beautiful manicured gardens, agriculture and walking trails. We include accommodation for two sharing 1 x Superior Room.
    Luxury Hotels
    Sydney

    Park Hyatt Sydney
    The Park Hyatt in Sydney is an iconic hotel offering sublime views over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, an exclusive atmosphere, and a wonderful location from which to explore the city. We include Full Breakfast and accommodation for two sharing 1 x Harbour View Room.
    Hunter Valley
    Spicers Vineyards

    The Spicers Vineyards Estate is a luxurious guesthouse in the heart of the Hunter Valley. All 12 rooms enjoy spa facilities, and the beautiful estate also boasts its own vineyard, as well as rolling views over the Brokenback Mountains. We include Full Breakfast and accommodation for two sharing 1 x King Spa Room. 

    All about Australia 
    Australia is a vast landscape of contradiction and variety. From the distinct, dusty red of the outback in Ayers Rock to the tropics of the Daintree Rainforest in the Far North Queensland, from the superb ski resorts of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, to the humid plains of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. For this reason, the only true way to visit Australia is by undertaking a touring holiday. To travel between the dynamic corners of this magical continent, and to make the most of the multifarious activities on offer. You have to be prepared to travel far, but you will be richly rewarded with awe-inspiring landscapes that exist on a scale that is barely imaginable. 
    Surrounded by 18,000km of beaches, this is a nation that thrives on the outdoors. From sailing in the Whitsunday Islands to Aussie Rules football, from skiing in the Snowy Mountains to scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and everything in between. Yet in contemporary Australia, the thriving cosmopolitan city centres are also important sites of interest in their own right. Here you will find distinct local cultures, outstanding food and wine, and a refreshing al-fresco café culture that is typically laidback. From the chic and fashionable Melbourne to the elegance and sophistication of Adelaide, not to mention Sydney, Hobart or the up-and-coming bustle of Perth.
    Australia facts 
    Location: Australia comprises the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania, and is neighboured by Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east. 
    Time difference: Canberra has a time zone of GMT + 10 hours. There are several time zones within Australia. 
    Language: English. 
    Population: 24.889 million.
    Size: 7,692,024 km2, roughly 2,290 miles from north to south and 2,500 miles from east to west. 
    Currency: Australian Dollars (about 1.82 to the pound) 
    Capital: Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory between Sydney and Melbourne. 
    Geography and climate 
    Australia’s size results in a variable climate. The expansive interior is hot throughout the year but can often be very cold at night. The southern third of the country enjoys warm summers (December – March) and mild winters (June – August), although there are extremes of this, such as in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, where ski resorts are found. The Far North of the country has just two seasons because of its position on the monsoon belt – hot and wet, and hot and dry. 
    Cities and Culture 
    Australia is often thought about in terms of its natural bounty. The mind quickly wanders to images of beaches, landscape, wildlife and weather. Yet modern Australia is also home to a rich tapestry of cultures, and a wonderful array of buzzing urban centres. To the East, the iconic Sydney stands proud in its beautiful Harbour home, where miles of waterways, the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and a gleaming CBD coincide invitingly. To the West lies pretty and friendly Perth, the most isolated city in the world, located closer to South East Asia than any other Australian city. Here, find a rich and relaxed quality of life, where great food and wonderful scenery are perched on the banks of the Swan River. In the South, fashionable, sporty and arty Melbourne has cemented itself as the centre of the Australian cultural sphere, whilst elegant, sophisticated and green Adelaide boast the country’s best food and wine, and an enviable Mediterranean climate. With so many other exciting destinations on offer, such as the historic and alternative Hobart, or the sparkling CBD and gorgeous sunshine of Brisbane, clients will find exceptional stays in the many cities of this wonderful country. 
    Landscape and Coastline 
    Whilst many minds would simply conjure an image of a beach and a eucalyptus tree, Australia’s landscapes are more varied than one can truly comprehend. From the distinct, dusty red of the outback in Ayers Rock to the tropics of the Daintree Rainforest in the Far North Queensland, from the superb ski resorts of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, to the humid plains of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. To the same degree, the coastline of Australia matches this variety. For example, two extensive areas of coral reef are found here; Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef in the North East, each with warm, calm and crystal-clear water. Yet elsewhere, the coastline can take on a decidedly temperate tone, such as is found on the Great Ocean Road of Victoria and South Australia, where striking and jagged limestone cliffs bravely stand to the onslaught of the Southern Ocean. 
    Wildlife and Ecology 
    For nature enthusiasts, Australia offers a pilgrimage unlike any other. Its geographical isolation has resulted in more than 80% of the flowering plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs being unique to Australia, along with most of its fresh water fish, and almost half of its birds. Within this unique list, iconic species are often members of the marsupial family, and these include classic images of Australia such as its friendly and inquisitive kangaroos, koalas, wombats and wallabies. Elsewhere, you may encounter the weird and wonderful animals that are unlike anything found on earth. In the Tropical North of Queensland, for example, the Cassowary is an elusive and beautiful flightless bird which is often seen through the densest patches of rainforest. In freshwater, other guests may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a platypus, a wonderful creature that has challenged taxonomies of the natural world for years. With so many more interesting species on offer, from echidnas to crocodiles to emus, wherever you are in Australia, the variety of landscapes will have provided an entirely unique assemblage of species that have captured the imagination of naturalists the world over. 
    Underwater, things are even more interesting still. In the North East of the country, the Great Barrier Reef lies in the shallow, warm and calm waters of the Coral Sea. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, such is the scale of the Barrier Reef that it can clearly be seen from space. Here, 3000 individual reef systems are host to an astonishing variety of coral and reef animals. Yet it is not the only series of coral reefs in Australia. To the North West, one can find the spectacular Ningaloo Reef, a favoured home of pelagic species such as Whale Sharks, Cetaceans and Manta Rays, whilst Lord Howe Island in the South Pacific Ocean contains the southern-most barrier reef found anywhere in the world. Elsewhere in Australia, these warm and tropical waters meet the nutrient richness of the temperate zone, creating a home for a wonderfully vibrant array of species. The crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay, for example, provide a playground for seal colonies and tropical fish species alike. Again, due to the scale of Australia, a wide variety of marine ecosystems are found which provide a totally unique assemblage of species to explore wherever you may find yourself. 
    Also calling Australia home, however, are of course the snakes, spiders, crocodiles, sharks, jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus and various creepy crawlies that send chills down the spines of many would-be-tourists. In truth, these animals are rarely seen by anyone who isn’t explicitly searching for them, and the majority of trips to Australia are trouble free. Expressions Holidays recommend that clients follow local advice when travelling within Australia, to best avoid incident with potentially dangerous animals. 
    Food and Wine 
    Australia has recently established itself as a great culinary destination, a result of excellent local produce and immigration. ‘Modern Australian’ describes the country’s new cuisine – a blend of east and west. Dishes are generally unfussy, with often bold and interesting flavours. Whilst cuisine does not really alter from region to region, there are some obvious influences such as Southeast Asian in Darwin and Italian in Melbourne. Undoubtedly Australia’s best food is seafood, which is taken from some of the purest waters and usually cooked with great care. Especially prized are Sydney rock oysters, sea scallops from Queensland, fantastic rock lobsters and sweet mud crabs. Meat is also excellent, tender and full flavoured. Very few dishes can be called uniquely Australian but the range of cuisines on offer here span the globe – from Indian and Vietnamese to Fijian and Jamaican – it can all be found in Australia. The size of Australia means that there is some incredible and varied produce on offer – from sublime Tasmanian strawberries to highly prized lamb from the lush Gippsland of Victoria and plentiful mangoes in Queensland. Elsewhere, the ‘bush tucker’ of Aboriginal Australia is on offer to adventurous tourists in the Northern Territory. 
    With vineyards found in every state of Australia, and a total cultivated land mass of 160,000 hectares, Australia’s wine scene has matched the rise of its gastronomic fare. A varied climate, and a history of geographically diverse immigration, have resulted in a full range of wines, from full-bodied Merlot to the scintillating acidity of Sauvignon Blanc. Indeed, a whole suite of regions have become iconic as part of this trend, including the Barossa Valley in South Australia, the Yarra Valley in Victoria, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, and the Margaret River Valley in Western Australia. Each boasts spectacular rural scenery, and undoubtedly first-class cuisine to match the fruits of the land. 
    Government advice 
    The UK government has an excellent website www.fco.gov.uk which you must use to obtain up-to-date information about worldwide destinations. This site gives details about trouble spots but also general advice about most countries. We advise most strongly that you check notices about your intended destination before you book and travel. 
    Passport and Visas 
    A full British passport is required for travel to Australia. Please bear in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid and still has six months validity before you book your holiday and it can take some time to obtain a new one. Each individual needs his or her own passport so if you are thinking of taking an infant, allow plenty of time to get a passport. Visas are required for travel to Australia, and the details of this should be checked with the Australian authorities. You may be eligible for an Electronic Travel Authority which can be arranged very quickly on-line. More details from www.eta.immi.gov.au Visas are not required for Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai or Malaysia. Visitors may enter the USA as part of the visa waiver scheme, details of which should be obtained from www.usembassy.org.uk 
    Health 
    There are no required vaccinations for travel to Australia but you should nevertheless always check with your doctor before travelling. A leaflet is available from the Department of Health called ‘Health Advice to Travellers’, by telephoning 0800-555777. If you are suffering from any disability or illness, this should be communicated to us at the time of booking. Please note that pregnant passengers are not accepted by airlines usually after about 28 weeks into the pregnancy. You should check this with us before you make a booking. 
    Insurance 
    It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are adequately insured for your holiday. Please refer to our statement on insurance in our booking conditions. Insurance for the activities you choose to undertake during your holiday is also your own responsibilities. Additional requirements are needed for scuba diving, such as a doctor’s certificate. 
    Security and personal safety 
    When travelling you should take sensible precautions wherever you are and take care of money and personal valuables when passing through crowded and public places and cities in particular. In Australia, you should advise your accommodation when you set out on a long walk, drive, or venture into the wilderness. It is sensible to top up with petrol whenever you are about to leave a town for a long rural drive. 
    Wildlife hazards 
    In Australia, you should heed local advice as far as crocodiles, sharks, spiders, snakes, jellyfish and other species are concerned. Mosquitoes are a fact of life in the tropics. In fact, it is advisable to take your own anti-mosquito creams and lotions with you. Other insects (large beetles, cockroaches, sand flies etc) and some rodents are also common in tropical places. We cannot prevent these creatures from entering your accommodation. If this is a worry, perhaps a holiday to the tropics is not right for you. Guide books available will give you more advice on wildlife hazards. 
    Getting around 
    Main roads in Australia are very good. Some roads are not surfaced, particularly side roads, rural roads and private roads. These often lead to lodge accommodation. 
    What to wear 
    Due to the incredible diversity in climate and landscape, a trip to Australia will require a range of clothing. We advise you check local recommendations. 
    Tipping 
    Tipping us generally expected for many services throughout Australia. Around 10 per cent of the bill is sufficient. This does not apply to your hotel stay.

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