Driving From Sydney To The Hunter Valley – Tours Drive 33
You will soon arrive at The Hawkesbury River! With restricted development along its banks, many areas have not changed in 1000’s of years. You may see a few recreational boats out fishing however it’s certainly not Sydney Harbour. Public Toilets are located on the north side of the bridge.
You will then, not long after leaving The Hawkesbury River, have the option of turning off at Peats Ridge. Take it! It’s a longer route, however it’s beautiful and certainly worth the extra time.
Our Recommended Half Way Stop – Walkabout Park
Just as you turn off Peat Ridge Rd, you are then about half way to The Hunter at this point so we would recommend you stop at Walkabout Park. This is a beautiful park very few Sydney locals know about and is worth a trip to on its own. Set in natural bushland the owners are as passionate about animal welfare as anyone can be. Most of their animals free range over the 80ha of untouched bushland they own. They also do a lot of work with animal rescues and rehabilitation. They are a small but valuable operation and certainly worth supporting during these difficult times where low tourism has hit small businesses hard. We think it’s the best place around Sydney to have an Australian animal experience! No big crowds, beautiful natural landscape, friendly staff and the most relaxed, happy mob of kangaroos, wallabies and emus you will meet.
Tourist Drive 33
You then follow Tourist Drive 33 all the way to Wollombi! A route originally built by the convicts to access the fertile lands of the Hunter Valley, it’s now our preferred road to get to the Hunter Valley. A mix of dense forest, fruit orchards and farms, this country trail sets the tone as you transition out from traffic, high speed and crowds to a slower, quieter scenic world of the countryside.
We usually make out next stop Wollombi village, a quaint tiny country village that can be explored quite quickly (it’s really only one street), and the perfect place for a snack, drink or meal. Why not try the infamous Jungle Juice from the local pub, Wollombi Tavern!?
And then as you continue towards wine country, there are various cellar doors set on beautiful country properties along the way so you may begin your wine journey! Tourist Drive 33 officially finishes in Branxton however we have only ever used it to get to Cessnock, Mount View or Pokolbin.
In all it adds about 30mins (without stopping) to your time to The Hunter Valley. It is, however, time spent on a beautiful road and with plenty to see and enjoy along the way. The only concern we’d add is that it can be quite a long winding road. This may give some people a little motion sickness (most should be fine though).
And if you have taken this route and have a stopping suggestion, please, let us know!