Hunter Valley Hideaways Friends Excursion
On Wednesday 11 April, the Friends of the Mosman Art Gallery left the hustle and bustle of Sydney behind and having meandered their way along the historic Great North Road, spent a golden autumn day exploring the Lower Hunter Valley.
It was an exciting case of ‘touch and go’ but after skillful negotiation of the water causeway that leads to sculptor, Paul Sellwood’s property, the coach driver transported the Friends safely across the creek to the undulating green ‘outdoor rooms’ of Paul’s expansive sculpture park that is situated near the historic village of Wollombi. Here they enjoyed morning tea and an artist talk and then afterwards, wandered through Paul’s Sculpture Park which includes up to 50 medium to large scale sculptures and 50 marquettes in his studio and house. Paul was the winner of the Sculpture by the Sea Bondi 2011 exhibition.
The Friends stopped in Wollombi for a light lunch at Panino’s Italian Restaurant and afterwards, stepped back in time when they visited the facinating Endeavour Museum which, from 1840, was the local court house and lock up. In 1970, with the support of the Cessnock Historical Society, the Museum was establised and still features cedar fittings and original cells.
A short drive in the coach took the Friends to the picturesque and peaceful Gate Gallery and Sculpture Garden where they wandered amongst garden beds of fragrant lavender and fascinating sculptures.
As the day came to a close, the Friends settled in for a cellar door experience at the quaint Stonehurst Winery before a smooth return journey along the M3 Freeway.