Surrounded by verdant countryside, Cessnock is the largest town in Australia’s oldest wine region and the perfect place to explore the acclaimed wineries and cellar doors. Many Hunter Valley wine tours begin in Cessnock where you’ll also find great family attractions, such as Hunter Valley Zoo and Werakata National Park.

Only 6km from the Hunter Valley vineyards, Cessnock is the gateway to wine country. There are many fun and informative tours, from shuttle services to personal chauffeurs. Mr Wilson's Hire Car Service offers private tours in a 1969 Ford Galaxy Convertible, and Hunter Valley Classic Carriages also operate in style.

Lunch with scenic vineyard views at Bistro Molines, Hunter Valley

Dine at the award-winning 221 Restaurant & Bar in the 1922-built Royal Oak Hotel, as well as classic country pubs with restaurants such as the 1904 Peden’s Hotel and the historic Abermain Hotel. The acclaimed Bistro Molines is just outside of town. Savour Hunter Beer Co’s craft brews at Potters Hotel Brewery Resort.

At the Hunter Valley Zoo, hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies and get up close to koalas, big cats and meerkats. Bring the family for a picnic and enjoy one of the daily shows. There are also picnic spots in nearby Werakata National Park. From Astills picnic area a mountain bike track winds through spotted gums.

Boy with kangaroos at the Hunter Valley Zoo in Cessnock

Surrounded by rich history, explore the town’s colonial past on the heritage walk. Architectural gems in Cessnock include a timber-sawn home, circa 1885, that now houses the Marthaville Arts and Cultural Centre. In Yengo National Park you will see Aboriginal engravings at one of Australia’s finest Aboriginal cultural sites.

Why not combine a midweek or weekend break with a show and a wine tour? Check out the lively events calendar for wonderful shows at the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre.

Dance performance at the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre

Perfect for a midweek or weekend escape, getting to the heart of Australia’s oldest wine region in Cessnock is easy. Only two hours’ drive north of Sydney and 50 minutes west of Newcastle Airport, trains also depart from Sydney for Singleton, via Newcastle.

Places to stay suit various budgets, from a heritage guesthouse and lovingly restored federation cottages. You’ll find a number of classic country pubs with accommodation including Peden’s Hotel and the Abermain Hotel in nearby Abermain.


Newcastle Airport

Fly into Newcastle Airport 

The Hunter Valley is within easy reach of Newcastle Airport. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rentals, limousines and shuttle buses as well as group and private transfers. Public transport options are available from the airport to Australia’s oldest wine region.

Newcastle Airport offers direct flights to and from eight destinations throughout southeastern Australia. Jetstar flies to Brisbane, Melbourne and the Gold Coast; Virgin Australia flies to Melbourne; QantasLink flies to Brisbane; and Regional Express flies to Sydney. FlyPelican flies to Ballina/Byron, Canberra, Dubbo and Taree. Virgin Australia also operates seasonal direct flights to Auckland, New Zealand, between November and February.

Things to Do and Places to Stay