Travel on one of Australia’s oldest roads, Tourist Drive 33, and enjoy a variety of interesting and historic stopping points. We feel that this is one of the best scenic drives for campers and travellers, due to the multitude of fun activities (we have listed some of them to get you started) it offers and stunning county vistas!
This journey in itself is just as interesting as each destination. Travelling on the Great North Road you’ll notice along the roadside historic viewing points, which include convict buil t bridges and culverts. These stopping points also provide information boards about these sites. With a variety of towns, events and festivals to see along Tourist Drive 33, from postcard-perfect grassy paddocks to lush vineyards, Australia’s renowned wine region – the Hunter Valley, is the perfect end destination.
Best Stopping Points and Places to Visit
Each town is quaint and unique, some even include wine boutiques, markets and galleries. Here is a list of towns and their main attraction, in order and correlation with the Tourist Drive 33 Map. All cafe venues listed are easily seen from the road (for more information on where to eat and where to shop on Tourist Drive 33, see our guide).
- Calga – Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park
- Peats Ridge – has a variety of outdoors activities, from abseiling, kayaking, horseriding to quad biking, see Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures website and for camping options too
- Kulnura – Gerry’s Cafe; includes a small and quirky outdoor gallery, this is a popular stopping point for motorcyclists
- Laguna – The Great Northern Trading Post; the GNTP is another quaint and quirky, yet historic cafe, includes a mini-store and music venue
- Mulla Villa – this is not a town, but a must do experience – just to view this historic homestead (top photo). This property includes a cafe, a walking track and historic sites to see, such as convict holding cells and a convict built bridge. When you arrive at Wollombi, this will be the first stopping point before you approach the village (there are signs for Mulla Villa, you’ll see the property from the road)
- Wollombi village – there are two main markets (and festivals, listed below), for more detail see our article: A Guide to Wollombi Village and its Market; one held every second Sunday of every month, one larger market held on Monday of every public holiday. Popular places; Grays Inn, includes – accommodation, restaurant and Noyce Brothers Cellar Door, Harp of Erin Gallery and Cafe, a general store, art gallery, Wollombi Endeavour Museum – which is included in the Historic Wollombi Walk – stroll the streets and learn about the town’s history. Or hire bikes from Myrtle House and explore a little more. Wollombi Tavern will be the first destination you will spot when you arrive in this historic town (often there are rows of shiny motorcycles parked out the front). A three-minute drive from the village is Wollombi Wines; vineyard and wine tasting room.
- Cessnock – with numerous suburbs surrounding Cessnock, this is the Hunter Valley Wine region, explore the many boutique wineries and vineyards surrounding this region.
- Hunter Valley Wine Festival (Lovedale) – held in June. Camp at Big 4/Igenia Holiday Park
- Wollombi Music Festival (Wollombi) – held in September. Camp onsite
- Sculptures in the Vineyard (Wollombi village) – held in November. Camp at Wollombi Tavern
- A Day on the Green (Pokolbin) – held in December. Camp at Dashville, campground only open during particular festival events, check the website
Camp and Set Up
There are two main areas for camping along or close to Tourist Drive 33:
Wollombi – Wollombi Tavern (is on The Great North Road) in the heart of historic Wollombi and provides free camping on the pub’s grounds, a convenient spot, camping couldn’t be any easier here, the Tavern provides popular drink choices and substantial meals – a popular spot for motorcyclist’s. Amenities include toilets, no showers.
Cessnock – Big 4/Ingenia Holiday Park, (is on Mount View Road, a two-minute drive from Wollombi Road) this one is popular with the children, and includes a pool and spa, onsite BYO Thai Restaurant, Kids Club, Jumping Cushions, toilets and showers. The supermarket (this is a great place to stock up on food supplies etc) is a short drive away, as with most places here, such as wine boutiques, and other restaurants and cafes – you’ll need a car to get around town, or you can hire bicycles.
All that’s left to do, is to find that perfect camp spot, sit back and relax. Don’t forget to take your chairs and table, or better still an easy picnic blanket, one perfect for everything!
Warm and Waterproof Picnic Blanket
When you’re travelling you need items that are easy to carry, versatile and suitable for all weather situations. Aptly named the ‘Down Under Outdoors’ blanket ticks all the boxes! It’s perfect for not only picnics, and festival events, but should you be caught in unexpected rain – turn it over and you’ll be kept dry, and you’ll stay nice and warm too! See our review for more information about the Down Under Outdoors picnic blanket.
Click on the image or link to view or buy now!
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Shelley Ann Morgan has published a variety of online articles. With a master’s degree in Special Education, this has allowed her to write in the area of Education, through platforms such as the Huffington Post. Being an outdoor enthusiast, she is currently writing for the Weekender Travel and Kombi Lifestyle. She is keen to share her knowledge and enjoys writing informative articles that help the discerning traveller prepare for road travel and holidays in Australia. Shelley is the founder and editor in chief of Kombi Lifestyle.