A bustling port in colonial times, Morpeth is an historic town on the banks of the Hunter River. Today you can take a boat from Newcastle, sample local wines and browse boutique shops in heritage 19th century buildings, including the bakehouse where the Arnott’s family biscuit dynasty began.
Discover fascinating heritage sites, including Queens Wharf and colonial hitching posts for horses, on the Morpeth Heritage Walk. The picturesque Queens Wharf was one of Australia’s most important inland wharves before the railway. Relax at the beautifully restored tearoom at Campbell’s Store.
Nova Cruises offers a delightful day cruise on selected dates throughout the year. Aboard the river boat you’ll pass under the vertical-lift Hexham Bridge. The historic town is a delight to explore. The Morpeth Museum is in the former courthouse, and is home to exhibitions on river port’s history and other heritage.
Begin your wine tasting at the Morpeth Wine Cellar and Moonshine Distillery, where a selection of local wines is available. 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.
The Historic Arnott Bakehouse is on Swan Street and is now home to Morpeth Sourdough. The family business began in 1847, when baker and confectioner William Arnott arrived from Scotland. From small beginnings, Arnott’s biscuits became a household name. Take a baking class with current owner and ancestor Stephen Arnott.
Perfect for a midweek or weekend escape, getting to historic Morpeth in Australia’s oldest wine region is easy. It’s only two hours’ drive north of Sydney and 50 minutes west of Newcastle Airport. You can also take a river boat from Newcastle, NSW’s second-biggest city, to Morpeth.
Places to stay in Morpeth include gorgeous cottages, heritage homes and boutique hotels. Stay on the Hunter River with the village cafes, shops and galleries right on your doorstep. Check out the delicious events calendar for foodie festivals, markets and events, and plan ahead for a memorable getaway.