Hunter Valley Luxury Escapes
For the discerning traveller, the Hunter Valley is an exquisite escape where exceptional heritage and extraordinary innovation meld with natural beauty and luxury resorts. From the world-class wines and restaurants to UNESCO World Heritage wilderness, Australia’s oldest wine region is impressive.
Some of the best wines in the world are made in the valley, which is two hours’ drive north from Sydney – even quicker in a chartered helicopter – and 50 minutes from Newcastle Airport. Enjoy wine tasting on private tasting tours to cellar doors and meet the winemakers and cellarmasters.
A deliciously splendid food scene will enliven your sensors, with talented chefs creating moreish dishes using the region’s fresh local produce. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide features a number of restaurants and awards chef hats – similar to Michelin stars – to the following:
- Muse Restaurant at Hungerford Hill Wines in Pokolbin
- Muse Kitchen at Keith Tulloch Winery in Pokolbin
- Bistro Molines in Mount View
- Margan Restaurant at Margan Hunter Valley Winery in Broke
Other featured restaurants are Esca Bimbadgen at the Bimbadgen winery, EXP.restaurant at Oakdale Wines and Restaurant Botanica at Spicers Vineyards Estate. You’ll find many more quality restaurants in tranquil vineyards in the valley, where vines were first planted in the early 1820s.
Places to stay include elegant resorts with beautifully curated golf courses, such as Chateau Elan, Oaks Cypress Lakes and Crowne Plaza. There are secluded retreats as well as cottages in vineyard estates, including Spicers Vineyards Estate, and well-appointed holiday houses in serene settings.
A memorable way to begin the day is watching a glorious sunrise from a hot air balloon. Balloon Aloft, Balloon Safaris, Beyond Ballooning and Wine Country Ballooning each offer the exhilarating experience of soaring above the vineyards for a spectacular panorama of the valley and beyond.
West is the Yengo National Park in the Greater Blue Mountain World Heritage Area and north is the Barrington Tops National Park in the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests. You can marvel at the wilderness and the valley on joy flights with Slattery Helicopters and Hunter Valley Helicopters.