Escape to flourishing wine country, where world-famous wineries, acclaimed gourmet restaurants, delicious local produce and luxurious spa retreats await. Surrounded by magnificent natural beauty, and only two hours from Sydney, the Hunter Valley is Australia's oldest wine growing region. The district is home to some of Australia’s most distinctive and outstanding wines, most notably Hunter Valley semillon. It is also famous for producing outstanding shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, verdelho and chardonnay. Enjoy paddock-to-plate meals, beautiful vineyards and olive groves, live music festivals, hot air balloon rides, horse riding and walking.
Wine tours and wine tasting
Home to more than 120 wineries and more cellar doors than any other wine region in Australia, one of the great pleasures of wine tasting in the Hunter Valley is the incredible breadth of flavour and character. A wine tour is a great way to enjoy the vineyards of the valley. Take a sensory excursion, gain insights into wine making and meet passionate winemakers.
One of the country’s oldest vineyards, Audrey Wilkinson is a ‘must visit’. Perched on the foothills of the Brokenback Range, it has stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. Picnic among the vines, tour the cellar or stay in a guest cottage on this historic working vineyard.
Audrey Wilkinson, Hunter Valley
Audrey Wilkinson, Hunter Valley, De Beyers Ro...
Less than a 10-minute drive away is Brokenwood Wines – one of Australia’s most reputable premium wine labels. Established in 1970, key offerings include the famous Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, ILR Reserve Semillon and Cricket Pitch Range. Other highlights include a state-of-the-art tasting facility, museum, cafe and restaurant.
Brokenwood Wines, McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NS...
A selection of boutique wines awaits you at McGuigan Wines Cellar Door, in the heart of the Hunter Valley. McGuigan wines have won White Winemaker of the Year four times in London at the International Wine Competition. Another beautiful winery is Tyrrell's — one of Australia's most distinguished family owned wine companies. Established in 1858, Tyrrell's is home to some of Australia's most awarded wines, including the iconic Vat 1 Semillon.
McGuigan Wines, Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW, Aus...
Tyrrell's Wines, Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW, Au...
For those who like liquor, don’t forget to visit Hunter Distillery — the only certified organic distillery in the Hunter Valley wine region. Locally owned and operated, they produce an exceptional range of top shelf spirits, including gin, vodka, liqueur, schnapps and the award-winning Copperwave distilled gin.
Hunter Distillery, Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW, ...
There are plenty of family activities in the Hunter Valley. Visit the idyllic Hunter Valley Gardens and appreciate nature. There are eight kilometres of walking paths winding through 14 hectares of picturesque gardens, including the ‘Instagram-worthy’ and enchanting Storybook Garden, which takes visitors on a journey through childhood dreams, memories, and fantasies.
Hunter Valley Gardens
Hunter Valley Gardens, Broke Road, Pokolbin N...
There’s also the opportunity to go horse riding through the vineyards with Hunter Valley Horse Riding and Adventures and play golf at Hunter Valley Aqua Golf and Putt Putt. Alternatively, hire a bike, go on a Segway tour and enjoy bushwalking.
Hunter Valley Aqua Golf
Hunter Valley Aqua Golf, Broke Road, Pokolbin...
Dine in the vineyards
As well as producing some of the world’s best wines, you’ll find delicious hatted restaurants in the Hunter Valley region. With an ‘estate-grown, estate-made’ ethos, Margan Restaurant is a pioneer in agri-dining in the Hunter Valley. The menu is centred around what they harvest from their one-acre kitchen garden and orchard to maintain a truly seasonal focus.
Located in Mount View in the Hunter Valley, Bistro Molines combines the finest food with European influenced serenity. They serve sophisticated yet rustic French Provincial dishes.
Bistro Molines, Mount View Road, Mount View N...
Other acclaimed restaurants include Esca Bimbadgen and Muse Kitchen.
Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant
Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant, McDonalds Road, Po...
Muse Kitchen, Deasys Road, Pokolbin NSW, Aust...
Taste cheese and chocolate
Any trip to the Hunter Valley, should include a visit to the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop. This famous institution offers the finest local cheese and artisan cheese gourmet delights, cured meats and accompaniments.
Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop
Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop, Broke Road,...
It is also home to the Hunter Valley Gelato Company, featuring traditional Italian gelato made onsite with imported Italian ingredients and a 200-year-old recipe. Continue your cheese tasting at Binnorie Dairy: one of Australia's premiere soft cheese suppliers. To satisfy your sweet tooth, head to the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company, which produces delicious and delicate chocolates. Established more than 20 years ago, they use only the finest Belgian couverture chocolate, together with Australian dried fruits and nuts.
Go hot air ballooning over the vineyards
One of the most popular activities in the Hunter Valley is hot air ballooning —there’s even a fiesta in October: Balloon Aloft Hunter Valley Balloon Fiesta. Take in the spectacular views and watch the sunrise over the picturesque Hunter Valley wine region with a glorious Balloon Aloft flight. The magnificent flight is followed by a delicious gourmet breakfast and champagne celebration at the famous Peterson House winery and Restaurant.
Balloon Aloft Hunter Valley
Balloon Aloft Hunter Valley, Lodge Road, Love...
Festivals in the valley
During winter, there is the annual Snow Time in the Garden Festival with a giant ice-skating rink, mega ice toboggan and snowman building along with carnival rides, hearty food and warming beverages.
The Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival showcases the epicurean pleasures of this iconic food and wine destination during May and June. From incredible gourmet dinners at award-winning restaurants to vineyard tours, winemaking masterclasses, hands-on cooking classes and cosy evenings beside an open fire with family and friends, the festival has something for everyone.