Escape to flourishing wine country, where world-famous wineries, acclaimed restaurants, delicious local produce and luxurious hideaways await. Surrounded by magnificent natural beauty, and only two hours from Sydney, the Hunter Valley is an unrivalled destination that has delighted since vines first thrived in the 1820s.
Wineries and cellar doors
With more cellar doors than any other wine region in Australia, one of the great pleasures of wine tasting here is the incredible breadth of flavour and character. While Hunter Valley semillon and shiraz have long been world-famous, you’ll also sip distinctive and innovative wines, from classic to newer varieties.
A wine tour is a great way to enjoy the vineyards of the valley. Take a sensory excursion and gain insights into wine making, meet passionate winemakers and enjoy a memorable experience. Book a tour by horseback, classic car or carriage, or soar gently over the vineyards in a hot air balloon.
As well as producing some of the world’s best wines, you’ll find delicious hatted restaurants, like Muse Kitchen, Bistro Molines and Margan. Other acclaimed restaurants include Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant Botanica. The annual Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival is a celebration of the delicious local produce.
Things to do
The kids will love the fun family activities. You can meet big cats and meerkats at the Hunter Valley Zoo near Cessnock. At the idyllic Hunter Valley Gardens in Pokolbin, discover the enchanting Storybook garden. Enjoy bushwalking and mountain bike trails in World Heritage-listed Yengo National Park near Broke and Wollombi.
Find out more about historic river ports in Paterson and Morpeth, where the Arnott’s biscuit dynasty began. Trace colonial heritage on the convict-built Great North Road that linked Sydney to the Hunter Valley. Explore ancient Aboriginal rock art and other indigenous heritage on the Finchley Cultural Walk.
Getting there and where to stay
Perfect for a midweek or weekend escape, getting to Australia’s oldest wine region is easy. It’s only two hours’ drive north of Sydney and 50 minutes west of Newcastle Airport. You can also catch the train from Sydney to Morisset, Maitland and Singleton, then catch a connecting bus or taxi to wine country.
Accommodation options suit various budgets. There are campgrounds and caravan parks, vineyard cottages and guesthouses, as well as retreats and luxury resorts adjacent to championship golf courses with mesmerising views. Check out the events calendar and make the most of your trip.