March 3, 2015
The lure of travel can be intoxicating, but the thought of having to plan an extravagant itinerary can be enough to sap your inspiration. This easy guide samples the best of the region and will help you plan your journey. New South Wales is a trove of experiences that unfolds the rich cultural fabric of Australia. As you meander down the Central Coast toward the Blue Mountains, you will be fascinated by history and discover some unique locations.
Imagine dolphin or whale watching on a scenic cruise around the majestic Port Stephens harbour. After your cruise, take some champagne and enjoy Port Stephens’ finest quality oysters. You don’t have to own a boat to enjoy the facilities at Soldiers Point boat ramp; a picnic table and a little sandy beach make for a great lunch spot. Alternatively, alfresco dining set against a waterside backdrop will not disappoint.
Price: $28 per person
SPICERS VINEYARDS ESTATE
Arrive at Spicers Vineyards Estate for a 2pm check-in. Over the next two days, relax into an array of rejuvenating activities. Perhaps you’d enjoy a scenic hot-air balloon ride as you breathe in the crisp morning air, or else you can choose to see the Molly Morgan Range from horseback or visit the vineyards on a horse-drawn carriage tour. At Spicers Vineyards Estate, enjoying life can also be as effortless as simply appreciating the latest vintage.
Price: $1,240 (2 night romantic getaway package) (Hot air balloon ride additional $284 each, horse ride additional $55 each)
Travel: 1 hour 13 minutes from Port Stephens
KEN DUNCAN GALLERY
As you travel along the New South Wales Central Coast on the third day of your journey, pay a visit to the Ken Duncan Gallery. This state-of-the-art gallery showcases amazing imagery from Australia and the world, captured by Australia’s most renowned panoramic landscape photographer, Ken Duncan. Ken’s Central Coast Gallery offers a panorama of Australia’s most idyllic and striking landscapes through vision and sound.
Travel: 1 hour 20 minutes from Spicers Vineyards Estate
Check-in at Spicers Sangoma Retreat at 2pm, where you’ll be cocooned by the natural serenity of the Blue Mountains. Over your two-night stay, explore the array of facilities available for your rejuvenation and enjoyment:
Aptly named after the Zulu word for healer, Sangoma is a place where you’ll discover complete rejuvenation and true reconnection.
Price: $1,200 (Romantic Getaway package)
Travel: 1 hour 45 minutes from Ken Duncan Gallery
SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC HISTORICAL TOUR
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music represents 200 years of Australian history. Opened in 1815, it’s a musical icon that existed long before the Sydney Opera House. Uncover remnants of the earliest colonial settlement, as you explore the only castle in Sydney. You will be guided through a maze of teaching studios, practice rooms, performance halls, and the largest music library in the southern hemisphere, all of which are hidden beneath the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. At the end of the tour, you will be treated to a short live concert.
Price: $25 for adults or $18 for concession card holders
Travel: 1 hour 45 minutes from Spicers Sangoma.
Spicers Vineyards Estate
Spicers Sangoma Retreat