Hit the road and head north from Sydney to explore some of NSW’s most drinkable destinations. From the breweries of the Central Coast to the vineyards of Australia’s oldest wine region, the Hunter Valley, you’ll never have to travel far between tastings.
Journey: Voyage to the Valley
Duration: 4-5 days
Tour an oyster farm
Visit the famous wineries of the Hunter Valley
Microlight flight over the Central Coast
Learn to make boozy rocky road
Luxury accommodation at Bells at Killcare
Tastings at four breweries
Day 1: Hawkesbury & Killcare
A 45min drive from Sydney to the Hawkesbury will lead you to some of the best oysters in the country.
At Broken Bay Pearl Farm, take the 90min Oyster Farm Tour for an authentic tasting experience. Leave room for lunch at nearby Saddles at Mt White, named after a local artisan saddler. Try their tasty meat pie made with grass-fed beef.
From here journey to Firescreek Winery where aromatic fruit and flower wines are paired with chocolates for a decadent sampling. Next stop is Six String Brewing Co. for craft beer and rock’n’roll tunes. Stay overnight at Bells at Killcare, with a delightful nautical style and luxurious atmosphere.
Enjoy breakfast in the sunshine overlooking the beautiful grounds at Bells and fuel up for your next adventure with a menu based on ingredients from their kitchen garden.
An extraordinary way to seethe Central Coast is from above on a two-seat flying trike with Microlight Adventures. Your knowledgeable pilot and tour guide will give you a unique perspective of this pretty part of NSW. For lunch, the Wyong Milk Factory Tavern serves up delicious pub fare. The décor is quirky with the industrial former factory dotted with colourful fittings.
Linger over your complimentary continental breakfast at Spicers then head to aCandy Making Class at Hunter Valley Resort, where you’ll learn to make boozy rocky road!
Then it’s time to hit the iconic wineries of the Hunter Valley with a tour and tasting at Tyrrell’s Wines, where you’ll get a glimpse into the history of this iconic winery, family owned since 1858. Brokenwoodis just minutes away and has an outdoor tasting deck, charcuterie platters and plenty of their famed Brokenwood Cricket Pitch range to try. Wine House Hunter Valley showcases a variety of boutiques wines – settle in for the Hunter Valley Icon Tasting.
Or drop by Hope Brewery at Hope Estate to try a paddle of their award-winning craft beers, or order a full flight with matching cheese. Cheese lovers will also savour the huge range of artisan Aussie and international cheeses at the Smelly Cheese Shop. Get some wrapped to go then freshen up at your luxury room at Spicers Guesthouse before dining at Circa 1876 – enjoy tasting menus in this historic cottage.
The 24 hectares of superb gardens, surrounded by vineyards, are home to themed gardens like the magical Storybook Garden. The first winery to visit today is Usher Tinkler, housed in a beautiful restoration of the original Pokolbin church from 1905; winemaker Usher makes wines that are both authentic and adventurous. After your tasting, sit down to a casual Mediterranean lunch at Baumé (pronounced bow-may).
Go on a brewer’s tour of Hunter Beer Co., or simply sit back with a schooner of one of their handcrafted, traditionally made brews. If you have children, Tulloch Wines is a must visit. The Junior Tasting experience serves soft drinks with matching snacks, and the Kombucha Tasting Experience is a great option for teens or other non-drinkers, paired with a delicious local cheese box.
Add more foodie fun into the afternoon with the entertaining Two Fat Blokes – they offer a one-hour cheese and wine matching experience. Stop across the road at IronBark Hill Brewhouseto try their craft beers and ciders, and on Friday nights you can order woodfired pizza at the Brewhouse Kitchen. Or have dinner back at your retreat – Éremo at Spicers offers modern Italian fare crafted by hatted chef Cameron Matthews.