Paterson is a picturesque riverside town with fascinating heritage, grand colonial buildings and vintage trains. Soak up the ambience as you relax in old country pubs and explore the historic walks of this charming town, once a busy inland port in colonial times.
Heritage and homesteads
Explore the historic town on the Paterson self-guided walk, a tour of colonial churches, homesteads and a First World War memorial. The Paterson Court House Museum, open on Sundays, contains intimate collections of local history, including an exhibition on Australian poet Dorothy Mackellar.
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.
Steam trains and taverns
For fantastic rail memorabilia, don’t miss the Paterson Rail Motor Museum. It was the arrival of the railway in 1911 that ended the steam boats travelling between Paterson, Morpeth and Newcastle. You can also explore old steam and diesel trains at the Rail Motor Society.
Relax afterwards at the historic Paterson Tavern, with a Hunter wine and meal. There is also a great picnic area in John Tucker Park, overlooking the river. For a nine-hole round on the green, visit the nearby golf course. Check the events calendar for other year-round events.
Getting there and where to stay
Perfect for a midweek or weekend escape, getting to the historic town of Paterson in Australia’s oldest wine region is easy. Only two hours’ drive north of Sydney and 50 minutes west of Newcastle Airport, trains also depart from Sydney for Maitland and Singleton, via Newcastle.
There’s a huge range of accommodation in the Hunter Valley within easy reach of Paterson, from hotels and resorts to cottages, houses and B&Bs. Check out the delicious events calendar for foodie festivals, markets and events, and plan ahead for a memorable getaway.