Hunter Valley

Things To Do in Hunter Valley / Region (2024)

Nestled in the heart of Australia’s wine country, there are many things to do in Hunter Valley. Uncork the region’s rich flavours as you embark on a wine-tasting journey through its world-renowned vineyards. Immerse yourself in the lush landscapes, where sprawling vineyards meet rolling hills, offering a picturesque backdrop for hot air balloon adventures.

For the adventurous soul, soar to new heights with a thrilling skydiving escapade, capturing panoramic views of the vine-covered terrain below. Delve into the vibrant local culture by exploring artisanal markets and indulging in farm-to-table dining experiences. The Hunter Valley or Region isn’t just a destination; it’s a symphony of flavours, landscapes, and unforgettable moments waiting to be savoured.

Hunter Valley

My love affair with wine began some years back, and that passion still holds true today. The intricate dance of flavours, the aromatic symphony, and the artistry of its creation have always fascinated me. Upon my relocation to Sydney, discovering the proximity of the Hunter Region was like uncovering a treasure trove. The mere prospect of a day trip to Hunter, indulging in wine tastings, and returning with an assortment of bottles to last for months filled me with absolute joy. Accessing such a renowned wine haven made my vinous heart leap with excitement.

For fun big things to see on the way, read 11 big things to see in NSW.

PIN for later reference – Things To Do in Hunter Valley

PIN for later reference - Things to do in the Hunter Region
PIN for later reference – Things To Do in Hunter Valley

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About Hunter Valley and Region

The Hunter Region, or Hunter Valley, stands as a prominent wine destination in Australia, renowned for its plethora of wineries and exceptional Shiraz wines. Situated within the bounds of New South Wales (NSW), this region encompasses four key cities: Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Maitland and Cessnock. Additionally, it features other vibrant centres such as Kurri Kurri, Singleton, Scone, Dungog, Gloucester, Muswellbrook, and Reymond Terrace.

For those looking to immerse themselves in the wine-making experience, the optimal time to explore Hunter Valley is during the summer season, spanning from December to February. This period coincides with the grape harvesting season, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to witness and partake in the essence of winemaking in full swing.

How to Get to Hunter Valley?

  • By Road – The Hunter Valley is about 170 kilometres from Sydney and takes close to 2 hours by car. The easiest way to reach the Hunter Valley is by driving.
    • The route has toll roads.
  • By Public Transport – There are train routes that connect Sydney and the Hunter Valley. One needs to take a Newcastle train line from Sydney Central train station to Newcastle train station. And then change the train at Newcastle train station to the Hunter Valley towns (Maitland and Singleton).
    • Up-to-date information on train timings and routes can be found on the Transport of NSW website.

Hunter Valley Wine-Tasting Tours

It is estimated that the Hunter Valley has more than 150 wineries. The region is famous for the different kinds of wines that are made from a variety of grapes, most famous being the Shiraz.

Hunter Valley

Many tour agencies organise one-day trips from Sydney. The best and cheapest way to find a tour agency is by finding a deal on Groupon website. The tour agencies take the visitors to say 4 to 5 wineries throughout the day where the wineries provide a brief overview of the wines produced at the winery and immerse the wine drinkers into a wine tasting experience. Usually, wine drinkers are provided with at least 3 or 4 best wines that the winery produces.

  • I have taken the one day wine tours many a times with different tour agencies. I have had good experiences with everyone and has never had any issues.
  • One day tours with wine tasting costs around AUD 69 to AUD 119 depending on the deal.

Things To Do in Hunter Valley for Non-Drinkers

Would you believe if I said there are things to do in the Hunter Valley even if you do not drink alcohol? Yes, the good news is there are plenty of things one can do even if you are not a wine drinker.

Picnic at Hunter Valley Gardens

The Hunter Valley Gardens is an amazing place to hang out on a beautiful sunny afternoon. A picnic at the Hunter Valley Gardens is an amazing way to spend an afternoon where one can have a beautiful lunch listening to live music. There are also many restaurants and cafes in the area.

Picnic at Hunter Valley Gardens
  • There are many other things to do in the Hunter Valley Gardens. Its a complex with woolen and Christmas shopping, restaurants, cafes and sit outs.
  • The gardens have public toilet facilities.
  • There are plenty of public free parking in the complex.
Hunter Valley Gardens

Ride the Hot Air Balloon

Riding the hot air balloon is rated as one of the best experiences in NSW. Watching the sunrise over the Hunter Region is definitely a dreamy experience one can do.

  • The sunrise flights depart everyday.
  • The best way to book the experience is either on Adrenaline or Red balloon websites.
  • Hot air balloon activity happens in the Lovedale NSW.

Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to take the hot air balloon over the Hunter Region.

See the Horses at Glenworth Valley

The Glenworth Valley sits as a gateway to the Hunter Valley region. The place is owned by Lawler family and it spans for around 3000 acres of land. The Glenworth Valley is just about 50 kilometres from Sydney and has a horse farm. It is one of the most magical places I have seen with so many horses around.

I do not encourage riding horses so I have not tried horse riding at Glenworth Valley.

Horse at Glenworth Valley

Shopping

There are many cute shops that sell souvenirs, clothes and many pretty things. So, it is a great place to shop for local products.

Chocolate and Cheese Tasting

There are many shops and factories that sell chocolates and cheese in the Hunter Valley. The best combination with wine is always chocolates, so you do get best home made chocolates. And there are different kinds of chocolates.

Chocolate tasting

Visit Barrington Wilderness Cedar Lodge

Barrington wilderness cedar lodge is located in the Barrington Tops national park of New South Wales in Australia. The Barrington Tops National Park is a protected area in the Hunter Region and is about 3 hours drive from Sydney. As the name suggests, staying at Barrington wilderness cedar lodge was truly staying in the midst of the wilderness. It had creeks, forests, colourful birds and the wallabies.

There are many walks in the Barrington Tops National Park. The Gondwana Rainforests of the Barrington Tops National Park is the World Heritage listed site.

How to Book the Lodge?

There are 3 ways to book the lodge:

  1. Online on their website (UPDATE – Unfortunately, their website is not working) – This requires minimum number of nights stay, as we were staying for 2 nights we booked through the phone.
  2. Phone – Call Tony Skimmings at 0413264314
  3. Email: t.skim@bigpond.com

Cost for Staying at the Lodge

The up to date prices can be found on their website. We stayed in a duplex cottage, that costed us approximately AUD 350 for 5 people.

Is Hunter Valley Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

The Hunter Valley is very safe for solo female travelers. I have been a few times alone and have never had any issues whatsoever. However, be cautious and know your surroundings, especially at nights.

Hunter Valley

Closing Notes

Even though I do not drink wines now, I still love visiting the Hunter Valley and seeing the wineries. The wineries and the landscapes are extremely beautiful and provide a great background for photographs. One must surely visit the Hunter Valley when visiting Sydney.

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    PIN for later reference – Things to do in Hunter Valley

    PIN for later reference - Things to do in the Hunter Region
    PIN for later reference – Things to do in Hunter Valley