Scenic Drives in the Upper Hunter

A wonderful way to explore the charming Upper Hunter is on scenic drives. You can do a loop and visit picturesque country towns or split the beautiful region into a couple of drives, branching off to enjoy cellar doors, vineyard restaurants, heritage walks, fun festivals and spectacular wilderness.

With plenty of places to stay, enjoy a short break or longer sojourn in the area famous for its thoroughbred horses such as Winx and its delicious food and wine. The wineries are part of the Hunter Valley wine region. You can even time a road trip with the exciting and delightful festivals:

Goulburn River National Park - Upper Hunter

A good place to begin a self-drive tour is Muswellbrook, on the banks of the Hunter River and only three hours’ drive north of Sydney. You can catch a train to the town and rent a car, or fly into Newcastle Airport for the 90 minutes’ drive to Muswellbrook, home to tasty Hunter Belle Cheese.

Stretch your legs on the Muswellbrook Heritage Walk and visit the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre. The art gallery is home to the Max Watters Collection of influential Australian artworks by John Perceval, Grace Cossington-Smith, Ken Whisson and Charles Blackman, to name just a few.

Small Forest Wine - Denman - Upper Hunter

For cellar doors, enjoy a pretty drive southwest to Denman, via olive oil producer Pukara Estate. Around Denman are Two Rivers Wines, Small Forest and Hollydene Estate Wines, where you can enjoy lunch at the Vines Restaurant. West is James Estate Wines in Baerami, near Sandy Hollow.

From Sandy Hollow take a gorgeous drive on the Golden Highway to Merriwa, where you can branch off and enjoy the Lees Pinch lookout walking track or the Big River drive in the Goulburn River National Park. Merriwa is home to the Cottage Museum and the annual Merriwa Festival of Fleeces.

North of Muswellbrook is Aberdeen, which celebrates its Scottish heritage with the annual Aberdeen Highland Games. Two lovely drives from Aberdeen are northeast to shimmering Lake Glenbawn – a popular spot for fishing, boating and camping - and north to Scone, the horse capital of Australia.

North of Scone, on the way to Murrurundi at the foothills of the Liverpool Range, is a naturally burning coal seam at Burning Mountain Nature Reserve and Towarri National Park’s Washpools waterhole. Murrurundi hosts the annual King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge and Bush Festival.


  1. Denman Farmers Market

    Saturday 07 July 2018 to Saturday 06 April 2019 , Denman

    The Denman Farmers Market is a genuine producers market in the heart of the Hunter Valley, held on the first Saturday of the month. Located a short drive from Muswellbrook, Denman offers the best in local produce including wine, cheese, …

    07 Jul - 06 Apr
  2. Aberdeen Highland Games

    Saturday 07 July 2018 , Scone

    The annual Aberdeen Highland Games take place on first weekend in July each year and are run in conjunction with the Scottish Australia Heritage Council's Heritage Week. During the day a number of events take place together with stalls pr…

    07 Jul
  3. Winter Feast

    Saturday 04 August 2018 , Denman

    The Vines Restaurant at Hollydene will be hosting a Winter Feast this August. A magical night filled with wine, great music, dancing and an indulgent feast! So save the date for this decadent evening. Transport will be available.…

    04 Aug
  4. Scone Literary Festival

    Friday 09 November 2018 to Sunday 11 November 2018 , Scone

    The Scone Literary Festival aims to promote books and to nurture a love of literature, learning and writing. What is the future of publishing? Will the printed word become obsolete? Will paper books become dusty items relegated to antique …

    09 Nov - 11 Nov