Happy in Denman
Nestled in the heartland of the New South Wales Upper Hunter Valley is the friendly town of Denman. Situated on the banks of the Hunter River, it was settled by William Ogilvie, who named it Merton after his English family home. Interestingly, it was originally settled on the opposite side of the river, but as the town grew, people gradually moved closer to the river and soon crossed it. In 1853 the town changed its name to Denman after Lord Denman, who later became Governor General of Australia. To escape regular floods, the population shifted away from the river and up Ogilvie Street towards the hills. A levee bank was eventually built in 1988. Ogilvie Street has survived numerous floods and a fire but still retains its historic charm and is worthy of a stroll. You can enjoy a splendid coffee, home made chocolates or browse the collectables shops.
Denman’s location in the Hunter Valley leads to thoughts of outstanding wine and fine food. So much so, that the town hosts a popular annual festival in the first weekend of May. ‘The Upper Hunter Valley Wine and Food Affair’ offers tempting samples of wine and food from the region. For two days the main street turns into a feast for the taste buds with a range of gourmet foods, the finest wines and entertainment. Throughout the year, local produce can be purchased at the farmers market held in the main street on the first Saturday of each month.
There is an abundance of wineries within a short drive of Denman that offer wine tastings and sales. I was particularly impressed to find one conveniently located within walking distance from my caravan park. For something different, you can visit local thoroughbred studs or explore scenic Wollemi National Park.
A ten-minute drive north of Denman brings you to the picturesque village of Sandy Hollow. Set at the base of imposing sandstone cliffs, you can enjoy true country lifestyle and hospitality. Visit the unique art gallery and marvel at the outdoor sculptures, mosaics, and paintings while sipping coffee and munching on a scrumptious homemade lemon tart.
I stayed in a well-appointed caravan park snuggled on the banks of a creek and within an easy walk to Denman’s town centre.
Denman in located on the Golden Highway, 250 km north of Sydney and 130 km northwest of Newcastle.
For more information contact Denman Visitor Information Centre on 02 6547 2799 or visit www.visitdenman.com.au
Text Eva Stovern. Photos Thom Stovern. Extract from ‘Caravan Chef on the road’. Please visit www.caravanchef.com