Famous for rolling vineyards, acclaimed family-owned wineries and the fabulous Long Lunch, Lovedale is a Hunter Valley gem. Perfect for a weekend escape or romantic getaway, you’ll also find wonderful adventure, from horse riding to hot air ballooning, in the heart of Australia’s oldest wine region.

Entrance to Crowne Plaza Lovedale, with hot air balloons in the distance

Crowne Plaza, Lovedale

Wineries & cellar doors

The wine grapes grown in Lovedale range from the local classics of semillon, chardonnay and shiraz, to exciting alternative varieties such as barbera and tempranillo. You can visit the cellar doors yourself or take a wine tour with a difference on a three-wheeled motorbike with Hunter Trikes.

You’ll find distinguished and award-winning varietals at leading vineyards such Allandale Winery, Capercaillie Wines and Wandin Valley Estate, which also offer accommodation in self-contained Tuscan style villas. At Domaine de Binet vineyard and winery, try their boutique range of alternative varieties and blends.

Local produce

For mouth-watering smoked and cured meats, visit Lovedale Smokehouse Gourmet Pantry, which has a cafe and courtyard with sweeping vineyard views. The Major Lanes Cooking School specialises in Asian cookery. Lovers of chocolate will also find tempting treats at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company.

The deliciously popular Lovedale Long Lunch is a two-day festival in May, serving gourmet wonders from some of the region’s finest vineyards, including Gartelmann Wines, Saltire Estate, Emma’s Cottage, Sandalyn and Tatler. There is also plenty of local entertainment for a memorable weekend of foodie fun.

Things to do

Take your morning to new heights by watching a glorious sunrise in a hot air balloon high above the vineyards with Beyond Ballooning. Hunter Valley Horse Riding and Adventures also offer trail rides for beginners and advanced riders, with spectacular views of rolling wine country from the Molly Morgan Range.

Getting there & where to stay

Getting to historic Lovedale is easy. It’s only two hours’ drive north of Sydney and 50min west of Newcastle Airport. Trains also depart from Sydney for Maitland, Morriset and Singleton, where you can catch connecting buses to Wine Country or hire a car to explore.

You’ll also many beautiful places to stay, from cottages among the vineyards to sprawling resorts. Check in to the luxurious Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley resort and you can tee off at the beautifully curated golf course in the Hunter Valley Golf and Country Club.

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. Link Airways operates direct flights between Canberra and Newcastle six days a week. 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