Hunter Valley, Australia

The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's premier wine growing districts and also a varied and interesting tourist region in New South Wales. Whether you're a lover of wine and great food, an enthusiast of natural beauty and wildlife, or a keen golfer, the Hunter Valley has it all. It all begins just two hours by car from Sydney, Locals, interstate visitors and overseas tourists have enjoyed this fabulous region for years. Perhaps you're looking for a weekend away from the city, or wish to sample the wine grown from the many vineyards, then the Hunter Valley is the destination you've been looking for. Visit some of the 80 wineries located in the Hunter Valley, sample the finest cuisine in the state outside Sydney, stay in beautiful country hotels and guesthouses, go aloft in a hot air balloon at dawn. A Hunter Valley holiday has something for everyone… The Hunter Valley wine country is made up of several regions. Almost all of the Hunter falls within an east-west strip about 80 kilometres wide beginning 160 kilometres north of Sydney. It is a very large area at 12,000 square kilometres and a car is recommend if you plan on exploring the Hunter area during your stay, if not you can relax comfortably at one of the many resorts or guesthouses. Transfers from Sydney are available, as are local winery and vineyard tours.

Cessnock is the southern gateway to the Hunter Valley wine region. Pokolbin is a town about 6 kilometres west of Cessnock and is the major centre in the region. It is surrounded by resorts and guesthouses, which add to the choice of restaurants and cafes in the town. Barrington Tops is a nearby area approximately 2 hours from Sydney, and 1 and half hours from Pokolbin. The Barrington Tops National Park features pristine rainforests with miles of hiking trails abound with native animals and birds, where you'll find peace, quiet and superb scenery and traditional country hospitality. Perhaps you're looking for a weekend away from the city, or wish to sample the wine grown from the many vineyards, then the Hunter Valley is the destination you've been looking for. Visit some of the 80 wineries located in the Hunter Valley, sample the finest cuisine in the state outside Sydney, stay in beautiful country hotels and guesthouses, go aloft in a hot air balloon at dawn. The Hunter Valley has something for everyone…

Scenic Highlights:

Hunter Valley Wineries The Hunter Valley is now recognised as the birthplace of the multi-billion dollar-a-year wine making industry. The Hunter is renowned for its full-bodied white wines, 'medium weight reds' and some excellent ports. Some of the vineyards belong to big name companies such as Lindemans, McWilliams, Rothbury, Wyndham Estate and McGuigan. Others, like Tyrells and Draytons, are very old Hunter Valley family concerns, which have been there for several generations and remained independent. The range of wines in the Hunter Valley is endless.

Blue Mountains: It is one of Australia's natural wonders. Stretching for over one million hectares the Blue Mountains is an inspiring mix of rainforest, canyons, tall forests and heathlands, combining eight individual conservation reserves. It is a nature lover's paradise with an abundance of colourful bird and animal life, the greatest concentration of eucalypt diversity on the continent, and landscapes ranging from rainforest to heathland.

Hunter Valley Gardens: Located in the heart of the Hunter vineyards at the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges are the spectacular Hunter Valley Gardens. Spanning over 25 hectares, be amazed by the sensational sights, colours and fragrances of the twelve stunning feature gardens. Explore each garden one by one and enjoy an exciting journey through flowers, trees and shrubs with an air of discovery at every turn.

Activities:

- Indulge in a winery tour of the world famous Hunter Valley region
- Enjoy the beautiful scenery from the air, in a hot air balloon
- Experience the grandness of the Blue Mountains on a private or group tour.
- Discover traditional and contemporary art and crafts at the local galleries
- Visit a championship golf course and have a round
- The Hunter Valley Cheese Factory invite you to taste their range of fine handmade and preservative free cheeses.
- Experience the countryside than by taking it all in on horseback.
- Take a tour of the Bluetongue Brewery at Hunter Resort
- Enjoy a horse and carriage winery tour
- Aboriginal Rock Art sites can be visited on foot or horseback and some of these are located near the township of Wollombi but there are a number dotted across the countryside.
- Take a tour of the great wineries in the area by helicopter
- Enjoy a day at the Rusa Park Zoo
- Go on a 4WD tour of the Hunter Valley Region
- Whatever you decide to do, Hunter Valley is the perfect place to relax