We took a drive to the nearby town of Dungog, about 25km away. To get there we had to navigate the gravel ‘main road’ over the forested Monkerai Nature Reserve.
And then across the pastured valley leading up to the town.
Dungog seemed to be the hub of the district, with the usual amenities, and the local high school too. We were there at 3pm when school ended for the day, and the line of school buses were endless. There was even one to Monkerai, near Riverwood Downs.
Back on the main street, there was the usual cross-road cairn and selection of quaint pubs. This pub was located, as you would expect, opposite the oldest bank in town. Unusually, in this age of bank conversions, it was still a bank.
The arts/crafts/antiques set had also arrived, but hadn’t totally dominated the main street like in other towns.
And there was an assortment of cute cottages about too.
Dungog was perhaps how the Hunter Valley used to be before viticulture took over; laid-back, quiet but still with a good supermarket and a few cosmopolitan cafes (the one we went to for lunch served a good vegetarian selection and was dog-friendly).