Today we decided on a “country road trip” I did not particularly want to go to the Hunter Valley wine areas as we explored there a couple of years ago. (link to those posts) but rather have a look a the towns between Newcastle and the Hunter Valley – Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and Maitland were on the list.

We had briefly considered buying here when had made the decision to sell the block of land in Hobart.  It would have been close to the kids and I thought it would be nice…BUT…then I found out that the Hunter Valley does not get cold !!!

I spoke to a friend of mine who lives in Scone and he said that the Hunter Valley wine region is mediterranean  climate rather than the cool climate wine regions I am familiar with in Stanthorpe and Tasmania.  So…that was a big NO to the Hunter Valley 😀😀😀

I did, however, find the information centre on the outskirts of the Hunter Valley that I decided to look at to see what I could find for the towns we wanted.  link to info centre

Sadly, I did not find anywhere extra to go that I had already found, so off we went to Cessnock.  I am not sure what I expected, but let’s just say we were glad we decided to stay with the idea of buying in Hobart 

We were hoping to have a “Pub Lunch” but nothing was open.  We looked a two pubs only to be told that the kitchens were closed the lunch.  So that was Cessnock …. On to Kurri Kurri and again the town was underwhelming.  

Surely Maitland would prove different… Nope.. everything closed.  We did comment that it seemed unusual for a county town to have a narrow main street.  Usually we have seen towns have very wide streets and have always wondered why founding fathers built huge wide streets in country areas and tight roads in the captial cities.

We decided to head back to Lake Macquarie where we knew places were open, being a bit more of a tourist area.  

It worked…we had a lovely lunch at Pippi’s at Speers Point which is the next suburb around the lake from Warners Bay where we are staying.   We were given a choice of where to sit, with one of the choices being a very flash round booth up on a pedestal.  Mick said it was the penthouse of dining.  I said it looked like a  “Fat Tony” mob boss table.

Mick had a very nice Caesar Salad and I have  roast Lamb loin and veges. 

After lunch we drove along the lake toward our motel.  As it was quieter and not much traffic, I was hoping I would get a carpark so we could investigate the many cafes and shops.  There were not many, but turning left we found a large carpark behind all the shops.   We wandered along and checked out a few menus for the next time we are here.  

Back at the car, I noticed the Warners Bay Hotel.  I had seen ads for it but had not seen where it was.  We went in and found the dining room upstairs.  It is really lovely, and we be certainly have a meal here at some stage.  

We saw that the hotel had accommodation, so we asked if we were able to see a room.  We could!  We were shown two rooms, a family room and a standard Queen room.  They were nowhere near as nice as the Esplanade Motel, but it is always good to look at options.

We popped into Coles and got McCain microwave dinners for tea, went back to the motel and had a quiet night before we checkout tomorrow.