In picturesque riverside Paterson you’ll discover fascinating heritage, from grand colonial buildings to pretty parks, vintage trains and famous poetry. Enjoy old country pubs, delightful cafes and cosy accommodation in this charming town in the beautiful Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine region.

A busy inland port in colonial times, Paterson’s eponymous river rises in the nearby Barrington Tops, which is part of the UNESCO Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. The arrival of the railway in 1911 ended the steam boats travelling between Paterson, Morpeth and Newcastle.

The historic two-storey Tocal Homestead in Paterson, NSW, Australia

You can take a scenic railway trip from Sydney to Paterson, via a train change at Hamilton Station in Newcastle. The train journey takes about four hours. Alternatively, the drive north from Sydney is a little over two hours and about 45 minutes from Newcastle Airport, where car rentals are available.

A delightful way to explore the historic town is on the Paterson self-guided walk. There are 20 points of interest, from colonial churches and homesteads to early 20th century buildings and a First World War memorial. At lovely John Tucker Park are picnic tables and barbecue facilities by the river.

Countryside in East Gresford, near Paterson in the NSW Hunter region

In the Paterson Court House Museum, open on Sundays, is a permanent exhibition on Australian poet Dorothy Mackellar, who as a teenager visited the family retreat at nearby Torryburn. A breaking drought in the area inspired the memorable lines in her famous poem My Country.

One of Australia’s finest collections of colonial farm buildings, dating back to 1822, is at Tocal Homestead. Set among fig trees on a vast rural property overlooking the river, the homestead is open on Sundays from March to November. Groups may tour at any time by appointment.

For rail memorabilia, Paterson Rail Motor Museum is intriguing. On the third Saturday of the month, explore old steam and diesel trains at the Rail Motor Society Open Day. You’ll find other charming events during the year. There is a nine-hole golf course, and the vineyards are a scenic drive away.

Newcastle Airport

Fly into Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport is only 25km from the city centre. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rental, limousine and door-to-door shuttle buses. Public buses operate from the airport to the city, Stockton Ferry Wharf, Nelson Bay, Greenhills and Raymond Terrace. There are also public transport options to the Hunter Valley. Please check the timetable.

Newcastle Airport offers direct flights to and from east coast cities and Adelaide.

Jetstar flies direct to and from Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. QantasLink operates direct flights to and from Brisbane. Virgin Australia flies direct to and from Brisbane and Melbourne.  FlyPelican operates direct flights to and from Adelaide, Dubbo, Mudgee, Ballina-Byron Bay, Canberra and Sydney. Regional Express also flies to and from Sydney.


Filter by categories


  1. Back to Back Wool Challenge

    Sunday 09 June 2019 , Dungog

    With all the fun of a shearing, spinning and knitting race, the Back to Back Wool Challenge is a fundraiser for cancer. At Tocal, the funds raised on the day are presented to the Mater Cancer Research Unit Newcastle. This year the …

    09 Jun
  2. Rail Motor Society Open Day

    Saturday 15 June 2019 to Saturday 21 December 2019 , Dungog

    The Rail Motor Society Open Day is held on the third Saturday of each month. It is an opportunity for the general public to view the operations of the Rail Motor Society Depot and Museum at Paterson. The Rail Motor Society was establish…

    15 Jun - 21 Dec
  3. Peek into the Past

    Sunday 28 July 2019 , Dungog

    Peek into the Past is when Tocal Homestead comes alive with the sights and sounds (and smells) of yesteryear. It is a wonderful old fashioned day out for all the family. Grandparents will reminisce, there's nostalgia. The sounds of…

    28 Jul