Hunter Valley: What to See, Do and Try

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No matter if you’re a wine lover or just a curious traveler eager to get to know Australia and all its beauties, make sure to put Hunter Valley on your itinerary. Gorgeous vineyards, fresh produce, beautiful nature and interesting sites will definitely make your adventure worthwhile. Let’s see the absolute must-see, do and try things in Hunter Valley.

Check it out from above

You’ll never know just how beautiful Hunter Valley is until you see it from the bird’s perspective. So, wake up at dawn and go on a hot air balloon ride as the sun rises over the valley. You’ll get to fly 600 meters over the vineyards of Pokolbin, Lovedale, Broke and Rothbury. This is really a one of a kind experience that will be pleasant for everyone—nature lovers, wine lovers and adventure lovers. Even those scared of heights will forget all about their fear when they lay their eyes upon Hunter Valley!

Have a light hike

No matter if you’re a seasoned hiker or a total beginner, the Great North Walk to Pokolbin is an easy and fun way to see Aussie nature up-close. Your walk starts in Millfield, takes you through interesting bushland littered with fossils, over the Hunter Valley Dry Rainforest (one of the last ones of its kind) and ends at Tinklers Winery. You will also get to check out the Bimbadeen Lookout that overlooks the magnificent nature and Cessnock City. The route is around 13 kilometers long, so you’ll have a nice and light walk.

Go on a road trip

Honestly, one of the best ways to explore this beautiful region is to grab some wheels and go on a lazy road trip. When you’re traveling by car, you can explore at your own pace and make as many stops as you want. Plus, Hunter Valley is one of the tamest parts of Australia, so you’ll not have any issues on your trip. Take a Peats Ridge exit off the M1 and you’ll be treated to a windy road through pretty farmland and drive next to country houses, barns, cattle and sheep and pass various stalls selling local produce. Just make sure to contact a mechanic in Hunter Valley to check your vehicle and ensure that it’s ready for a road trip. As long as your car is in top shape and you have a designated driver, you’re going to have a wonderful and relaxing journey.

Get a tour of a winery

Hunter Valley is Australia’s most famous wine region, so you’ll probably come across some amazing varieties of wine. But, if you don’t know your Shiraz from your Merlot, it’s a great idea to take an educational winery tour. The famous 1866 Audrey Wilkinson winery is one of the best places for Semillon tasting, while Oakvale Wines holds some amazing Chardonnay and Shiraz. At Moorebank Vineyard, you can also have chocolate and cheese tastings to go with your wine! All in all, there are so many amazing wineries in Hunter Valley, you really can’t go wrong.

Explore Hunter Valley Gardens

Just outside Pokolbin, you can visit a unique site in the Southern Hemisphere—Hunter Valley Gardens. This complex contains 10 themed gardens, each one different but equally beautiful. The gardens have over 8 kilometers of pathways that will take you past 600,000 shrubs and over one million ground covers carefully planted and tended for years. It’s really a sight to see! When you get tired of exploring, have a picnic or grab lunch at The Garden Terrace.

After you’re done with your Hunter Valley exploration, check into one of its spas, stayed in one of the many great short term rentals and relax your body and your soul. Spa Elysia’s Pamper Package or Château Élan’s hydro lounge and Swedish massage will make you feel recovered and reenergized, so you can do the entire Hunter Valley tour all over again!

by Diana Smith