Scattered with vineyards and cellar doors, the Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine-growing region and situated around two hours’ drive from Sydney. It’s renowned for its Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignons, with boutique restaurants serving locally-sourced produce overlooking the rolling landscapes.
Visit the well-known wineries at Lindemans and Tyrrells and discover the boutique cellar doors at Tullavera Grove and Brokenwood. You can opt to join an organized wine tour or self-drive through the Hunter Valley, with bicycles also available for rent in the charming town of Cessnock.
Barrington Tops National Park serves as a magnificent backdrop to the Hunter Valley, with this UNESCO World Heritage-listed landscape including ancient Gondwana rainforest and picturesque waterfalls. Don’t miss a visit to Wollemi National Park, which is one of the largest wilderness areas in New South Wales and home to the famous Wollemi pine. Go hiking to discover the rugged landscape of canyons and cliffs, as well as rock engravings and scarred trees that have long been sacred to the local Aboriginal people.
Spend an afternoon at the Hunter Valley Gardens that sprawl across 25 acres in Pokolbin. Admire the thousands of roses on display in the Rose Garden, witness the waterfall cascading into the Sunken Garden and meet your favorite characters in the Storybook Garden. Another great destination for kids is the Hunter Valley Zoo where you can hand-feed kangaroos and pat cuddly koalas, interact with marmosets and meerkats, and attend keeper talks about the resident lions and capuchins.