Hunter Valley Destination Guide
Hunter Valley Holidays
Once home to a thriving coal mining industry, the Hunter Valley has since transformed into one of Australia's finest wine-producing regions. Though its largest city Newcastle enjoys a scenic seaside location, most of the region's major towns are situated in the fertile hinterland to Newcastle's west. Towns like Pokolbin, Scone and Maitland have helped make Hunter Valley tourism one of the region's fastest growing industries, as tourists flock to enjoy a temperate climate, world-renowned wineries and picturesque rural scenery. Boasting some of the best boutique accommodation in Australia, it's little wonder the Hunter Valley is fast becoming one of the nation's top tourism destinations.
Most Hunter Valley tours begin in the region's largest city Newcastle, which boasts long stretches of sandy beaches and a thriving cultural scene. 21 miles north-west of Newcastle is the town of Maitland, which was once one of Australia's largest towns. Dotted around the major town of Cessnock are some of the Hunter Valley's finest vineyards, many of which are located around the scenic towns of Pokolbin and Rothbury. Vineyard tours are one of the most popular things to do in the Hunter Valley, with the region's award-winning wines generally regarded as some of the best in the nation. The Hunter Valley is also home to a growing range of adventure activities, including hot-air ballooning, skydiving and even helicopter tours.
Eat and Drink
As befits a famous wine-producing region, Hunter Valley restaurants are renowned for their range and sophistication. Many are located in the charming town of Pokolbin, including popular duo Restaurant Botanica and Muse. Bistro Molines in Mount View is another local favourite and is just one of several such restaurants located on a vineyard. Finding a drink in the Hunter Valley is as simple as turning in any direction and heading straight to the nearest vineyard. Some of the best include David Cook Wines at Pepper Creek, Brokenwood Wines in Pokolbin and Tallavera Grove, the latter of which enjoys a spectacular Mount View setting.
As a collection of diverse towns and villages, Hunter Valley shopping offers a suitably broad range of options. Pokolbin Village features a range of speciality stores which are a great for picking up some souvenirs of your trip, including gourmet cheeses and your favourite bottles of Hunter Valley wine. Pick up some unique wine glasses at the Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village or indulge your sweet tooth at the well-stocked British Lolly Shop in the heart of the wine country.
Hunter Valley Like a Local
While the region's world-renowned vineyards are lauded as its centrepiece, the Hunter Valley is also home to some of Australia's most scenic coastal towns. The once isolated Port Stephens and its surrounding suburbs have transformed from sleepy villages into bustling seaside communities, attracting thousands of former city dwellers eager for a seachange. Home to a variety of marine life, whale and dolphin watching excursions are popular local activities and scuba divers are a common sight in the shallow waters off Nelson Bay. The region's tranquil beaches are also a great place to relax, making Port Stephens a popular getaway destination for locals and visitors alike.