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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Winter Magic for Couples in Port’s Hinterland


Shed your winter woolies for a magical getaway in the hinterland of Port Macquarie, a warmer 4.5hours north of Sydney. It all begins 20 minutes from the coast, where country villages and 40,000 hectares of lush green valleys and forests, are one of the state’s best kept secrets. Stay in luxury accommodation, and save up to 50% off, unwind at winery events, indulge in cooking classes, or get outdoors on a horse-trail or micro-light flight.

The hinterland’s four star Telegraph Retreat is offering a ‘Luxury Winter Getaway’ package until 30 September 2009. Second and additional nights are 50% off (AUD$150) when you spend $300 on your first night in a romantic self-contained Spa Cottage with a breakfast hamper for two people. Add on bonuses include a half hour massage for two people or a two-course fireside dinner with chocolates and a bottle of Bago Vineyard wine. Plus enjoy fresh flowers, fluffy robes & complimentary slippers, therapeutic wheat packs, scented bath salts and hand-made oil soaps. Set on eight rural acres, and with a heated swimming pool, this is tranquillity at its best.

During the day, enjoy the crisp mountain air at Bellrowan Valley horse-riding, where you can join a two hour trail ride or overnight Pub Ride. The ‘Bellrowan experience’ offers magnificent vistas, through vast eucalypts, rainforest and fresh damper and tea at the Bush Inn on your return. For the more adventurous fly like a bird with Midcoast Micro-lights which offers scenic flights in an open two seater aircraft.

The Hinterland’s Bago Vineyards is a must-do wine experience. The cellar door overlooks the Bago Hedge Maze, which when fully grown will be the largest hedge maze in NSW. Enjoy a wine tasting and sample regional produce including 16 local cheeses, Lorne Valley Macadamias, honey and olives. On the second Sunday of every month ‘Jazz in the Vineyards’ offers live music on the manicured lawns amongst the vines. Bago is a great venue for private events and functions.

One of the hinterland’s best food experiences is at The Company Farm with its weekly program of four-hour cooking classes in the commercial kitchen. Local and guest chefs show you their skills with produce freshly picked from the farm, a sit-down lunch and stunning views through glass windows to the Hastings River. The program includes cheese-making, vegetarian, seasonal, international and cooking with allergies.

At the heart of the hinterland is Wauchope, a thriving rural town with cafes, restaurants, accommodation and the Hastings Farmers Market on the fourth Saturday of every month. From here take a scenic drive to Comboyne via Byabarra, where the green patchwork hills could be Yorkshire, England. At the dairy-farming Comboyne, enjoy lunch at the Udder Cow Café and cheese-tastings at Comboyne Culture Cheese.

Port Macquarie is a 4.5 hour drive north of Sydney and is serviced by regular QantasLink, Brindabella Airlines and Virgin Blue flights, just 40minutes from Sydney.

For more information and to book any of these activities contact the Greater Port Macquarie Visitor Information Centre on 1300 303 155 or book on-line at www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au.

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