Historic town in the Hunter Valley.
The charming town of Wollombi is a tribute to yesteryear and has lots of lovely old heritage buildings. It is also set in the heart of the idyllic Hunter Valley Wine District. Tree-covered peaks surround the valley and emphasise the beauty of the setting. Wildlife is plentiful in the locality and visitors may espy wombats, wallabies and kangaroos roaming around.
The town's historic walk takes in the majority of the 19th century buildings and sandstone churches. The churches are popular venues for out-of-towners to stage their weddings. The Endeavour Museum is housed in the old courthouse and houses a great collection of exhibits and photographs that illustrate local history.
The boutique wineries in the rural areas surrounding Wollombi are a must for viticulture fans. It is worthwhile timing your visit to coincide with the annual Sculpture in the Vineyards Festival. This runs between October and January. Koolang Observatory is 15kms south of town and a family-friendly facility with cutting-edge telescopes. Demand for views of the galaxies is high and visitors need to pre-book their slot.
The observatory is 15kms down the notorious Great North Road. This route was built by convict labour in the 1820s and linked Sydney and the Hunter Valley. A drive along parts of the 240km road where it was hewn out of solid rock gives glimpses into the hardships faced by the convicts. The road skirts the eastern edge of Yengo National Park.
Yengo together with the nearby Watagans National Park are ideal for bushwalks. The city of Newcastle is only one hour away by car or bus and has a diverse range of draws which include eight beaches and Fort Scratchley Historic Site. Accommodation in Wollombi covers the whole gamut from cosy bed and breakfasts to fully equipped vineyard cottages. There are also peaceful campsites at the Yengo and Watagans national parks.