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 

The Hunter Valley is within easy reach of Newcastle Airport. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rentals, limousines and shuttle buses as well as group and private transfers. Public transport options are available from the airport to Australia’s oldest wine region.

Newcastle Airport offers direct flights to and from eight destinations throughout southeastern Australia. Jetstar flies to Brisbane, Melbourne and the Gold Coast; Virgin Australia flies to Melbourne; QantasLink flies to Brisbane; and Regional Express flies to Sydney. FlyPelican flies to Ballina/Byron, Canberra, Dubbo and Taree. Virgin Australia also operates seasonal direct flights to Auckland, New Zealand, between November and February.


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