Few places are as magical as Australia’s Hunter Valley. Located just two hours north of bustling Sydney, in New South Wales, the Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s most illustrious wine regions – a place for foodies and nature lovers alike. Apart from a Hunter Valley Wine Tour, the area boasts several incredible things to see and do including cycling, day spas, golfing, hot air ballooning, cooking classes, art galleries, and boutiques.
Hunter Valley Wine Tours are made possible by the Hunter River, which serves to irrigate this otherwise arid terrain. Viticulture has played an important role here since the first vines were planted in the 1820s. The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region and has over 150 cellars. Though the region produces several types of wine including chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and verdelho, it is perhaps best known for its superb quality shiraz and semillon varieties.
Spending a day or leisure weekend doing a Hunter Valley Wine Tour is the perfect getaway for wine enthusiasts. Whether you choose to get a budget car rental from Sydney, or join a small boutique group tour, you’ll want to soak it all in, which is why we suggest you plan ahead to maximize your time there.
We can vouch for the three wineries we visited, which include Iron Gate Estate, Ernest Hill Wines, and Peacock Hill Vineyard. All three are located in Pokolbin and each has unique, excellent products. To see our episode featuring these wineries, click HERE.
Luckily for visitors, the Hunter Valley has several award-winning restaurants. The Hunter Valley Garden Village in Pokolbin is the ideal pit stop for lunch and a bit of shopping. This charming outdoor mall has a café, candy shops, gourmet cookie shop, delicatessen, convenience store, clothing boutiques, and the excellent Cellar Restaurant serving up contemporary Australian fare. Once you’re done, head to the Hunter Valley Cheese Company across the street if you still have room in your stomach to taste some amazing farm fresh cheeses.
We recommend dedicating a full day to experience the Hunter Valley, and contracting a driver or book a tour if you don’t feel like you can drive yourself after a couple of wine tastings. For a full experience, stay the night and spend the second day getting pampered in the luxurious Chateau Elan Hunter Valley Day Spa or strolling the gorgeous Hunter Valley Gardens.
The truth is that no matter how you decide to spend your time in the Hunter Valley, your experience will be memorable and unique. If you find yourself in Sydney, we encourage you to check out Australia’s oldest wine region in style! Here are some additional resources.
Sydney Boutique Tours is offering a 10% discount on all their Hunter Valley Wine Tours to readers of David’s Been Here. Simply mention the offer when booking to claim your discount.
Have you visited the Hunter Valley or NSW? Tell us about it! Leave us a comment below.