Explore the delights of the beautiful Hunter Valley, from award-winning wineries and acclaimed restaurants to tasty festivals and fresh local produce. A lovely escape only two hours’ drive north of Sydney, Australia’s oldest wine region is surrounded by magnificent natural beauty.
Exceptional heritage and exciting innovation define the winemaking, producing some of the best wines in the world such as the iconic Hunter Valley Semillon. The success of the pioneering family-owned wineries inspired new vignerons making new wines from emerging European grape varieties.
With more cellar doors than any other wine region in Australia, one of the great pleasures of wine tasting is discovering what you like. From the classic valley wines to the newer varieties, you’ll find the experience both fun and informative, and you can visit the wineries directly or with wine tours.
For a bird’s-eye view of the vineyards and beyond, gently soar in a hot air balloon. A highlight of the events calendar is the annual Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival, a celebration in May and June of the elegant wine and diverse produce. Colourful markets and vineyard concerts are popular, too.
Perfect for a midweek break, weekend escape or romantic getaway, accommodation options suit various budgets. There are campgrounds and caravan parks, vineyard cottages and guesthouses, as well as retreats and luxury resorts adjacent to championship golf courses with mesmerising views.
The kids will be thrilled, too, with all the fun family activities. You can meet big cats and meerkats at the Hunter Valley Zoo, near Cessnock. At the idyllic Hunter Valley Gardens in Pokolbin, discover the enchanting Storybook garden. In the national parks, enjoy bushwalking and mountain bike trails.
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Yengo National Park is near Broke and Wollombi, which traces its colonial heritage to the convict-built Great North Road that linked Sydney to the Hunter Valley. You can explore ancient Aboriginal rock art and other indigenous heritage on the Finchley cultural walk.
In colonial times the Hunter River was a transport artery. Find out more about river ports in Paterson and Morpeth, where the Arnott’s biscuit dynasty began. In Maitland is a heritage walk and tour of the old Maitland Gaol. For military history, visit the Australian Army Infantry Museum in Singleton.