The beautifully diverse Upper Hunter is in the Hunter Valley wine region and is one of the most famous horse-breeding areas in the world. From the cellar doors and champion mares to heritage towns and fun festivals, you’ll discover wonderful experiences only a few hours north of Sydney.
A memorable way to explore the charming towns, rolling vineyards and acclaimed horse studs is on scenic drives in the region. The food and wine attractions are deliciously enticing, from wine tasting at cellar doors to handmade cheeses, olives oils, gourmet condiments and fresh produce markets.
The natural beauty of the Upper Hunter is incredible. UNESCO World Heritage wilderness borders the west and east and the striking Liverpool Range is in the north. In the Burning Mountain Nature Reserve is a 5,500-year-old natural underground fire woven into local Aboriginal Dreaming stories.
One of the best freshwater fishing spots in NSW is Lake Glenbawn. On the foreshore is a holiday park with cabins, bungalows and camping sites. You’ll find plenty more places to stay throughout the region, from luxury retreats to cottages, motels, farm stays, caravan parks and campgrounds.
Washpools campground is in the Towarri National Park, home to wallabies, gliders, powerful owls and glossy-black cockatoos, and pockets of rainforest, snow gums and casuarinas. The rugged national park is great for bushwalking and you can cool off in the pretty Washpools waterhole.
Begin your discovery in the main town of Muswellbrook, home of the Max Watters Collection of paintings by influential Australian artists. The extraordinary collection is in the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre. The cellar doors around Denman and Sandy Hollow are a short drive away.
Denman hosts the annual Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair, a street festival in May. Check out the other festivals in the exciting events calendar, including the 10-day Scone Horse Festival in Scone, known as the horse capital of Australia. The Scone Cup Carnival is a thrilling two-day race meet.
North of Scone, near the Liverpool Range, is Murrurundi and the King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge. West of Scone is Merriwa, which celebrates its heritage with the Merriwa Festival of Fleeces. South of Scone is Aberdeen, where Scottish heritage is on display at the Highland Games.