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.
Wineries and 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.
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 and 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.