The Hunter Valley, located two hours north of Sydney, is one of Australia‘s earliest grape-growing regions. However, this gorgeous locale offers enough for travellers searching for something different such as dining is an especially high point! At Hunter Valley farmers markets, foodies will find a delectable selection of farm-fresh produce and artisan foods, as well as top-notch restaurants serving everything from multi-course tasting menus to sumptuous country meals and high tea.
This lovely valley is known for its picturesque landscapes, sophisticated day spas, golfing facilities, and the World Heritage Wildness regions of Wollemi and Barrington Tops.
There are also many family-friendly activities in the Hunter Valley. Hovering over the area in a hot air balloon or riding a horse are excellent ways to take in the landscape. Children enjoy interacting with Australian animals at the Hunter Valley Zoo.
Other worthwhile attractions in the Hunter Valley include the Wollombi Heritage Trail, the Hunter Valley Gardens in Pokolbin, and Bathers Way, Newcastle’s famed coastal promenade.
With so many unique Hunter Valley tourism attractions and activities, it’s simple to see why this enticing region is one of Sydney’s most popular weekend escapes. Use our list of the best activities in the Hunter Valley to plan your trip!
Take part in the Kangaroo feeding at the Hunter Valley Zoo
The Hunter Valley Zoo is home to kangaroos, Koalas and monkeys, among other animals. Visiting here is a great activity for families and a way to get up close and personal with some local species.
Touch a koala, hand-feed kangaroos, and stroll through the aviary as the feathered wonders flutter all around you. Other exotic highlights include white lions, cheetahs, and ring-tailed lemurs. You may sign up for a pleasant encounter with an emperor tamarin, a marmoset, a meerkat, and a lemur or squirrel monkey. Children will enjoy seeing the farm animals and feeding them special treats!
There are free grilling facilities on the grounds, and you may also plan a picnic to enjoy!
Wollemi National Park kayaking
Wollemi National Park, about 100 kilometres from Newcastle, is a World Heritage-listed landscape of mountains, canyons, and rushing rivers. Nature lovers may unwind with a picnic or kayak the untamed waters of the Colo and Wollemi Rivers, surrounded by vast pristine wilderness.
Ganguddy, also known as Dunn’s Swamp, is a mist-shrouded swamp surrounded by beehive-shaped rock formations. On a guided kayak tour, you may explore this gorgeous area while learning about the park’s Aboriginal heritage and distinctive fauna. Some kayak tours include a short hike. Kayak rentals are also offered for self-guided tours during peak visiting seasons.
Hiking the wilderness trails and rock climbing along the granite escarpments are two more popular activities in Wollemi National Park. Wollemi National Park is particularly well-known for its Glow Worm Tunnel Walking and Tracking,
Yengo National Park, which borders Wollemi National Park, is another beautiful wilderness location to explore, including Aboriginal rock art and popular paths for hiking. The Finchley Cultural Walk is a popular hike in the area!
Take Advantage of a Delicious Meal
The Hunter Valley is a foodie’s paradise. Cheeses, chutneys, sweets, grapes, fragrant oils, olives, and honey are just a few of the specialities produced in this fertile valley, which has several well-regarded restaurants.
Seasonal chef’s tasting menus are available at top restaurants in Pokolbin such as EXP., Circa 1876 Restaurant, and Muse Restaurant; eat fresh farm-to-fork fare at a rustic cafe in a historic home, or dine outside with views of kangaroos grazing at sunset.
Attending a cooking class is another way for foodies to experience excellent produce. The Hunter Valley Culinary School at Hunters Valley Resort and The primary Lane Cooking School, specialising in Thai street food and slow-smoked delicacies, are excellent options.
Sabor in the Hunters is a distinguished dessert bar serving a popular high tea for those with an affinity for sweetness!
View the Gallery at Maitland Regional Art Gallery
The Maitland Regional Art Gallery, housed in a Federation Gothic tower, is a family-friendly attraction. This light-filled exhibition hall house works by well-known Australian and global artists, including luminaries like Sidney Nolan.
The museum’s primary concentration works on paper, although it also houses carvings, installations, pictures, and other works. The Art Factory, which offers free kids’ creative experiences and special holiday courses, occupies a portion of the museum dedicated to children.
Evocative bronze works of art surround the museum, and temporary exhibits ensure that there is always something fresh to see. When it’s raining, this is one of the finest things to experience in the Hunter Valley. Take the educational audio tour and snack at the renowned cafe to maximise your stay.
Another excellent gallery to visit is the Newcastle Art Gallery, which houses a significant collection of Australian art, particularly from the nineteenth century, and the Southern Hemisphere’s largest collection of modern Japanese ceramics.
Unwind at a Luxury Spa
The Hunter Valley is a popular spot for Sydney residents to unwind and revitalise; spa treatments are the ideal complement. Many spas in the countryside provide a variety of treatments inspired by local materials, as well as dual treatment suites for couples and friends.
The Chateau Elan Day Spa is one of the most popular spas. It has a hydro-lounge with two Jacuzzis on a mountain-view deck, a calm reflection area, and soothing services.
The state’s largest day spa, Day Spa at Elysia Wellness Retreat, is recognised for its Watsu Aquatic Bodywork. The premises have 26 wet and dry treatment rooms, a sun-drenched garden, and a wonderful outdoor pool!