Now’s the time to start dreaming of an escape to New South Wales’ wine country, the Hunter Valley. A place where world-famous wineries, acclaimed restaurants, delicious local produce and luxurious hideaways await. Surrounded by magnificent natural beauty, and only two hours from Sydney, the Hunter Valley is an unrivalled destination that has delighted since vines first thrived in the 1820s.
With more cellar doors than any other wine region in Australia, one of the great pleasures of wine tasting here is the incredible breadth of flavour and character. While Hunter Valley Semillon and shiraz have long been world-famous, guests will also sip distinctive and innovative wines, from classic chardonnay to newer varietals including Sangiovese and tempranillo.
Use this destination guide to start planning your future visit to this beautiful region.
- If you’d prefer to curate your own wine trail, take up the challenge of exploring one, or many, of over 150 wineries and cellar doors in the region, including Brokenwood, Pepper Tree Wines, Tyrrell’s Wines, Gundog Estate, Usher Tinkler Wines, Tamburlaine Organic Wines and Hungerford Hill.
- If it’s wine education you’re after don’t miss Tulloch Wines’ Mystery Wine Tour, Brokenwood Wines’ Soil to Cellar Behind the Scenes experience and The Ultimate Margan Experience at Margan Wines.
- The Hunter also boasts some of the most innovative craft brewers and distillers in the country. Head to Ironbark Hill Brewhouse for beautifully crafted beers, Pokolbin Cider House for a crisp Classic Apple Draught and Hunter Distillery, a certified organic distillery producing a range of spirits including vodka, liquor and schnapps.
- The Hunter Valley boasts an abundance of fresh local produce making it the perfect place to pick up some goodies to take home. Pop into Binnorie Dairy for delicious soft cheeses and labneh made from locally sourced milk and explore the range of delectable smoked meats and fish from Lovedale Smokehouse.
- For those sweet tooths, try some of the beautiful artisan chocolates from Cocoa Nib, including their signature bon bons and colourful chocolate blocks.
- For freshly baked bread or an all-day breakfast menu, pay a visit to Fawk Foods Kitchen & Bakery – the casual eatery and bakery from EXP. Restaurant chef Frank Fawkner.
- For lunch, visit one of many local restaurants such as Leaves and Fishes, Yellow Billy Restaurant, Muse Kitchen or The Wood Restaurant, located onsite at Brokenwood.
- Alternatively, collect your bottle of handpicked wine along with a picnic hamper of local produce to share and enjoy a picnic in the vines, courtesy of Audrey Wilkinson.
- After a day of exploring, enjoy dinner at one of many world-class restaurants in the Hunter Valley, each of which showcases local produce, including Muse Restaurant at Hungerford Hill Winery, Bistro Molines and Margan Restaurant.
- For a truly magical experience, join a sunrise flight with Balloon Aloft and soar high above the vineyards as you enjoy panoramic views of the region.
- Keep things simple and join a tour with Two Fat Blokes. Take your pick of a half-day or full-day tour and spend your time exploring multiple vineyards, meeting the makers and learning all about the wines and surrounding region.
- Murchessons Horseback Wine & Dine Tours start at Wynwood Cellar Door and include wine tastings, brunch, lunch or dinner plus a tour of the vineyard on horseback.
- Learn some local epicurean secrets at one of Hunter’s many cooking schools such as Major’s Lane Cooking School, which covers every cuisine from Thai to Mexican.
Hunter Valley is home to a range of accommodation offerings suitable for all budgets, styles and group sizes, with everything from vineyard cottages, to luxury guesthouses and expansive resorts. Some classic resort-style options include Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley or for those eager to check out more boutique properties visit Spicers Guesthouse, Degan Estate, H Boutique Hotel and Estate Tuscany. For larger groups looking for their own private oasis, check out Corunna Station, Allawah Estate and Arenridge.
A selection of images is available via this link.