NSW has an amazing array of rural towns just waiting for you to visit them and soak up their charm and hospitality.
As part of our Drought Aid campaign, I jumped in the car with my dad Gary for a scenic and exploratory trip from Sydney to Glen Innes hoping to discover hidden gems while highlighting the effects of the Drought on rural towns. #ruralroadtrip
After the obligatory stop at the Twin Caltex we turned left and headed towards Polkolbin in the Hunter Valley. Though it was only 8am and not late enough in the day for any wine tasting, a drive around the Hunter Valley reminded me of the things I love about this region. Along with the myriad of wineries, cellar doors and gourmet food tastings there is always the much loved Hunter Valley Gardens. These are beautiful every day of the year but my favourite activity there is the Christmas Lights Spectacular. A delight for adults and kids, this will bring out the child in everyone. Grab a hot chocolate and take your time exploring the Gardens at night. Be captivated by worldwide icons including the Opera House, Eiffel Tower and a Giant Globe all made from lights. Be transported into a fairytale at the Princes Castle, be dwarfed by the 8m Snowy The Snowman and check out Santa’s Workshop where you can even write a letter to Santa.
The Chapel at Hunter Valley Gardens is worth a visit for its beautiful view, take in a game of mini golf along with a long leisurely lunch.
Turning onto the New England Highway through Singleton we checked out Bayswater Power Station before making our way past the Drayton Coal Mine to Scone.
40 minutes North of Scone is Murrurundi you will find the most delicious pie shop Life Of Pie on the Highway. You need to add this to your “must visit” list. The best sausage rolls I’ve tasted in years and the cakes – we shared a few as we couldn’t decide on just one. Plenty of parking along the road for cars and caravans and you can sit inside or outside to enjoy your baked goods.
Staying on the New England Highway we drove around the outskirts of Tamworth on our way to Uralla. Uralla has captured my heart and again should be on your ‘must visit’ list. The Trader Store Uralla serves delicious Mexican food, great coffee and cakes. Say hi to Nathan when you are there and grab a take away coffee or drink before you leave. Uralla has a brilliant new kids park around the corner from The Trader Store which is perfect the perfect place to relax while the kids burn off some energy.
Uralla is an RV friendly town – actually Uralla and Armidale, Guyra and Glen Innes, are RV friendly towns. Uralla has both paid caravan parks and free camping available and the facilities available around town are great. Dale at Dale’s Downtown Meats will cryovac meats for caravanners and travellers. He also makes his own delicious Beef Jerky that is worth grabbing a pack to share in the car. There are plenty of options for food and shopping in Uralla and the locals are exceptionally friendly and like to have a chat.