Cessnock is the entry point (gateway) to the delightful Hunter Valley Wine Region. Cessnock is also a very busy service town to a rapidly growing region fed by the Greater Newcastle wealth. And that is no wonder; Cessnock is a really nice town and would be a highly desirable place to live, and importantly to visit.
Cessnock was named after an 1826 grant of land called Cessnock Estate, which was owned by John Campbell. The local area once known as "The Coalfields". The transition to wine service centre from a once prosperous mining town has been a long and at times difficult process. The coal fields’ legacy memorial is a sobering place. Allow time when visiting.
Pastoralists commenced settling the land in the 1820s. The establishment of the South Maitland coalfields generated extensive land settlement between 1903 and 1923. Whilst mining was the principal industrial base and source of employment in the Cessnock area for the first half of the 20th century, a slump which commenced about 1960 forced the closure of many mines. Consequently, many areas have undergone a change in character, with rural lifestyle and vineyards becoming popular. Wine growing has since taken off.
When visiting be sure to allow a day or two at a minimum. Longer if the vineyards are tempting.