A place of verdant valleys peppered with ancient vineyards, the Hunter Valley is renowned for its world-class cellar doors and gourmet dining.
With its rolling greenery and mountainous backdrop, Australia’s oldest wine region has become so much more than its impressive line-up of cellar doors. It’s a place filled with culture, art, food, drink and music – meaning, there is no shortage of things to do in the Hunter Valley.
Perfectly positioned just a few hours from Sydney’s buzzing metropolis, the Hunter Valley is as much for the romantics as it is for the whole family. From bushwalks, horse riding and helicopter flights to gourmet dining, winery tours and markets. Yet, wander outside of wine country, and you will discover charming country towns steeped in colonial and mining history.
From Broke to Pokolbin to Maitland, the Hunter Valley may be tranquil for its meandering countryside, but it’s packed full of things to do. So, whether you’re looking for family-friendly fun, heart-thumping activities, foodie delights or places to retreat to for rest and relaxation, the Hunter Valley has it all. And trust us, you’re going to need more than a weekend to explore this gem.
With over 150 vineyards sprinkled throughout the Hunter Valley, it’s near impossible to narrow down the list of cellar doors to visit. But in a region, that’s renowned for its Semillons and Shiraz’s; you can’t go past Briar Ridge, Tyrrell’s Wine, Brokenwood and Tulloch Wines. Jump on a wine tour or go it alone and visit small boutique wineries where you get to speak with passionate wine-makers, while you sip on the wine that’s made from the very grapes you look out over.
When you combine a delectable foodie scene with a dose of country hospitality, you know you’re in for a real treat. Within Hunter Valley’s wine country, you won’t find any major food chains. Instead, amongst the vines, you will discover paddock-to-plate fine-dining, award-winning restaurants, courtyard cafes, cheesemongers and chocolatiers. Circa 1876 is a date-night destination, EXP Restaurant for degustation menus, Harrigan’s for a classic pub meal, and stocking up on supplies at Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop is a must.
Needing a break from the cellar doors? No problem. There are plenty of things to do in the Hunter Valley away from the vineyards. And yes, hiking Brokenback Ranges many trails is a big drawcard, but it’s the scenic helicopter flights, hot air ballooning, sprawling golf courses and horse-riding trails that truly delight.
The Hunter Valley may be a romantic weekend destination. Still, families have caught on how kid-friendly this region actually is with outdoor activities in abundance, vineyards with dedicated kid zones, and well-equipped hotels. Pop into the Hunter Valley Zoo, marvel at the glistening Christmas lights at the Hunter Valley Botanic Gardens, straddle a horse at Hunter Valley Horse Riding and Adventure, or to truly win the kids over, visit the Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory.
There’s so much more to the Hunter Valley than its wineries. From markets that shine a spotlight on local artists and producers to music events that showcase national and international talent amongst the vines. But step away from Pokolbin, and you will discover a world of murals, museums and heritage shopfronts and landmarks that depict times past.
In the Hunter Valley, boutique stays are as sought after as quality drops. And much like the vineyards, there is a range of accommodation options in the Hunter Valley to choose from. Where cosy fireplaces and vineyard views are highly prized, the Hunter Valley has an abundance of couples-only retreats, destination vineyards, lust-worthy resorts, rustic cabins and holiday properties that embrace country living. And it’s all within easy reach of the many cellar doors.
Vineyards with cellar doors to botanic gardens to gourmet dining and delectable treats – there are so many things to do in the Hunter Valley.