On the banks of the beautiful Hunter River, Morpeth in the Hunter Valley is home to National Trust-listed colonial buildings and a fascinating heritage walk. Just two hours’ drive north of Sydney and 30 minutes from Newcastle Airport, the historic town was a bustling river port in colonial times.
Amble along pretty tree-lined streets and cobbled paths, enjoy browsing and shopping in delightful boutiques in 19th century buildings, and discover more than 30 significant heritage sites, including Queen’s Wharf and hitching posts for horses. Morpeth Museum is in the former court house.
Stop for a cool drink at the Commercial Hotel, home to the Morpeth Brewery and Beer Co, which produces hand-crafted beers. You’ll find plenty of things to do, such as lunch at a riverside cafe. At the beautifully restored Campbell’s Store are specialty craft and gift shops and a tearoom.
In the heritage-listed Arnott Bakehouse is Morpeth Sourdough, where baker Stephen Arnott follows the family tradition started by his great, great, great grandfather William Arnott, who, along with his brother David, made bread and ship’s biscuits. Arnott’s biscuits became a household name.
Places to stay in Morpeth include gorgeous cottages. An enchanting base for exploring Australia’s oldest wine region, begin your discovery at the Morpeth Wine Cellar and Moonshine Distillery. There are also plenty of tours of the region's cellar doors. A memorable way to experience Morpeth’s historical river past is on a day cruise with Nova Cruises from Newcastle, NSW’s second-largest city.