Getting to the Hunter Valley

Planning a weekend escape or gourmet getaway? Only 170km north of Sydney, the world-famous wineries, delicious restaurants and tranquil towns of the beautiful Hunter Valley are easy to get to by car, bus, train or plane.  

By car 

The most direct route from Sydney to the Hunter Valley is via the M1 motorway. Head north out of the city, then follow the Cessnock/Hunter Valley Vineyards exit sign to Cessnock. This drive takes around two hours. For a scenic road trip, exit the M1 at Calga (just past Gosford) and take Tourist Drive 33 through historic Wollombi and then on to Pokolbin. This drive takes around 2.5 hours. Discover the best stops on a Sydney to Hunter Valley road trip.

The Hunter Valley is around 60km west of Newcastle. Take the Hunter Expressway/M15 from the city and follow the signs. The drive takes around an hour. 

Couple pulled over to watch the sunrise in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley

Couple pulled over to watch the sunrise in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley

By train & bus

You can catch a suburban train from Sydney to Morisset Station, using your Opal card to pay. Connecting buses run to Cessnock twice a day, one early in the morning and one in the evening. The whole journey takes around three hours. Regional TrainLink trains run between Sydney and Maitland, with regular buses running to Cessnock. The trip takes around 4.5 hours and you’ll need to book ahead. 

The Hunter Line starts in Newcastle and trains run to Maitland (30 minutes) and Singleton (1hr), where you can transfer to Cessnock. It also connects towns in the Upper Hunter, like Paterson and Dungog. You can use your Opal card to pay on this line as well. 

Coaches offering day tours and wine-tasting tours depart from Sydney and Newcastle daily. You can also organise a pick up in towns or accommodation across the Hunter. Helicopter tours, with golf and dining packages, are also available from Sydney. 

Sunset over Tyrrells Wines - Pokolbin

Tyrrells Wines, Pokolbin

By plane

Newcastle Airport is the closest to the Hunter Valley. There are regular direct flights from Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth. Book a transfer from the airport or hire a car for the easy 50-minute drive. 

Couple enjoying a private tour and tasting at Tyrell's Wines in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley

Tyrrell's, Pokolbin

Getting around

Once in the Hunter Valley, you can drive yourself or join a tour. For romantics, Hunter Valley Classic Carriages and Hunter Valley Horses offer horse-drawn carriage tours. You can hire bicycles and pedal to wineries. The Hunter Valley Visitor Centre, near Pokolbin, will help you plan your trip.

Plan your trip