On the banks of the beautiful Hunter River, Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter is only three hours’ drive north of Sydney. You can also catch a train from Sydney to this rural town and rent a car and enjoy scenic drives to cellar doors, charming rural towns and villages, and spectacular wilderness.
The food and wine experiences in this part of NSW are delectable. Visit Hunter Belle Cheese in Muswellbrook for cheeses made by hand from the milk of local Swiss Brown cows. A fine selection of cheese awaits, from creamy camembert to crumbly cheddars to Blue Moon, a blue-vein cheese.
On the Muswellbrook Heritage Walk explore the colonial architecture and grand residences on a 4.5 km trail. Stop at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, home to the Max Watters collection of works by influential Australian painters and impressive exhibitions throughout the year.
A great base for exploring the region, you’ll find motels and other accommodation options in town, and plenty of places to stay in the region, from luxury retreats to campgrounds. Just 15 minutes’ drive southwest of town, on the way to the vineyards of Denman, is olive oil producer Pukara Estate, which has a tasting room.