The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's most famous wine-growing regions. It is a major tourist destination with around 2.5 million visitors each year, keen to sample wines, play golf, enjoy excellent accommodation and restaurants and attend world-class musical events.
Pokolbin has the most concentrated number of vineyards, restaurants and shops, but other parts of the valley are geared to tourism as well.
Sydney Seaplanes operates out of Rose Bay in the city's east and offers Cessna Caravan amphibious seaplane flights to Cessnock in the heart of the Hunter Valley. Scenery en route is spectacular as you fly over the northern beaches of Sydney, the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie, Australia's largest inland saltwater lake.
A vehicle awaits you on disembarkation to take you on a wine-tasting experience or a round of golf at Cypress Lakes course. If you choose the wine experience, you will have the chance to taste and purchase wines and ports at boutique wineries, as well as indulging in a spot of cheese tasting.
A highlight of the day is a gourmet lunch at Bimbadgen Estate's Esca Restaurant. There you will not only enjoy delicious food and wine, but wonderful views across the estate's vineyards. There is also a hard-to-resist visit to the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company which has a range of premium hand-made chocolates.
If you choose the other option, you will be taken to the 18-hole Greg Norman-designed Cypress Lakes Golf Course. With the dramatic Brokenback Range as a backdrop it is one of Australia's best courses and was designed to complement the area's natural environment.
The 6310m par 71 course is bordered by Beggars Bridge and Bimbadgen vineyards, and winds gently around wetlands, lakes and eucalyptus trees.
At the end of the day you are transported back to Cessnock Airport for the flight south to Sydney, tracking directly over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House before landing at Rose Bay.
From Rose Bay in Sydney to Cessnock in the Hunter Valley.
Sydney Seaplanes return flights from Rose Bay to Cessnock, luxury wine tour with guide and three-course lunch at Esca Bimbadgen or golf game at Cypress Lakes is $735 per person. They operate on weekends departing at 10am and arriving back at 4pm.
Prices correct at October 9, 2008.
For further information
Sydney Seaplanes Pty Ltd
PO Box 30
Rose Bay 2029
Ph: 1300 732 752 or (02) 9388 1978
Fax: (02) 9371 0047
Cypress Lakes Resort
McDonalds & Thompson Roads
Ph: (02) 4993 1555
Fax: (02) 4993 1598
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