Just over two hours north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley is home to more than 150 wineries, making it one of Australia’s most famous wine growing regions and is a perfect daytrip from Sydney. However, the Hunter Valley has a lot more to offer tourists than just wine tasting and picturesque views. So if you take this itinerary into consideration when planning your Hunter Valley weekend you’ll be sure to experience the best of what this region has to offer.
Weekend in the Hunter Valley: Day 1 | 10 am
After checking into your Hunter Valley accommodation, make your way out for a late, leisurely breakfast. With a day of wine tasting ahead of you, it’s vital you have something delicious and substantial. One of the luxuries of having a weekend away is that you can sit back and enjoy a leisurely breakfast and with some of the best chefs around at your doorstep this is sure to be an enjoyable experience.
There are many amazing restaurants and cafes that offer breakfast in the Hunter Valley, however they are all usually very busy on the weekends so be sure to book ahead once you’ve made your decision. Try a ham breakfast board at Cafe Enzo, or maybe the fluffy pancakes topped with banana, honeycomb butter and maple from Emerson’s is more your thing. Either way, there are plenty of food options available in the region that will be sure to satisfy!
Weekend in the Hunter Valley: Day 1 | 1pm
You can’t travel to the Hunter Valley without visiting at least one of the many wineries that the region has to offer. With wineries as far as the eye can see, you can just walk outside and pick one that’s right for you. If you’re struggling to choose just one, then I recommend participating in a Hunter Valley wine tour. This is a really fun and informative way of seeing the area and tasting world class wines. Some tours often include lunch or gourmet tastings as well.
There are many different wine tours on offer in the Hunter Valley so you need to do your research and definitely book in advance. The tour company, Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tours offer half and full day tours with many different options to customise the perfect tour for you! If you’re pressed for time, there are also options for Hunter Valley wine tours departing from Sydney.
Weekend in the Hunter Valley: Day 1 | 7pm
After a big day of wine tasting and traveling around the wine country of Australia, it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy some great food. It’s a weekend night so there’s a lot happening in and around the Hunter Valley. If you are after some good food, reasonably priced drinks and live entertainment, look no further than Harrigan’s Irish Pub right in the heart of Pokolbin.
With an open fireplace and large outdoor terrace, this is the perfect way to end your day in either summer or winter. Try an Irish classic like the Beef and Guinness Pot Pie or just grab one of their delicious pizzas, there is something here for everyone to enjoy!
Weekend in the Hunter Valley: Day 2 | 6am
No one wants to be up this early on a weekend, but I promise you that this view is going to be worth it. Balloon Aloft is one of the many companies that offer hot air balloon flights over the gorgeous wine region at sunrise.
The flight lasts for approximately one hour, travelling over Lovedale, Pokolbin, Broke or Rothbury, followed by a champagne breakfast at one of the gorgeous nearby wineries. This is the perfect start to your last day in the Hunter Valley.
Weekend in the Hunter Valley: Day 2 | 11am
Forget lunch today because it’s time to taste some of the best gourmet cheese and chocolate the region has to offer. If you’re a foodie like myself, you are really going to enjoy this part of the trip! Make your way to the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory tasting rooms and select the best option for you.
There’s the simple 5 cheese tasting plate all the way up to the Cheese Appreciation option which includes cheese recipes and a lesson in the history of cheese making. If cheese isn’t one of your favourite things perhaps you should head to Cocoa Nib Artisan Chocolate or Hunter Valley Chocolate Company to impress that inner chocoholic.
Weekend in the Hunter Valley: Day 2 | 3pm
If you’re feeling a little sluggish after all that cheese then perhaps a little physical activity will get you going. Hunter Valley Aqua Golf allows you to hit golf balls into a 5000 square metre lake. Aim for the floating targets for your chance to win money and various vouchers, which makes the game just that little bit more competitive. This is a really fun and relaxing activity that all will enjoy, while gazing at the beautiful surroundings that the Hunter Valley Gardens has to offer!
Weekend in the Hunter Valley: Day 2 | 7pm
What better way to end your trip than with some delicious food! You’ll never go hungry here in the Hunter Valley with some of the best gourmet food the country has to offer. If you are after a fine dining experience then you’ll have to experience Muse, located in the Hungerford Hill winery in Pokolbin. With an exquisite menu offering dishes like slow cooked lamb and butter-poached scampi tails, it’s easy to see why this restaurant has been coined the Hunter’s best fine dining destination.
If you’re wanting something a little less formal then you’ll have to check out Muse Kitchen, Esca or the Verandah Restaurant. With all the passion, quality local produce and talent the region has to offer it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever be disappointed with a meal.
Weekend in the Hunter Valley: Getting there and around
Located just 2-3 hours drive away from Sydney, the Hunter Valley is perfect for a weekend away for couples and families. The best way to get there and around is to drive – if you don’t have your own wheels, rent a car for the weekend instead. Otherwise, public transport options include bus or train. Rover Coaches operate public buses from Morisset Train Station, with departures timed to train arrivals. To travel by train in the Hunter Valley, the best departure stations are Maitland in Sydney, Newcastle or Morisset, using City Rail connections.
Weekend in the Hunter Valley: Accommodation
Hunter Valley accommodation is generally a mix of resorts, rustic farm stays and charming bed and breakfasts – there’s plenty of choices! The Sebel Kirkton Park is a sprawling hotel set amidst lush gardens, with modern rooms overlooking stunning views. Alternatively try Pokolbin Village, a Hunter Valley resort stalwart with a pool and plenty of food options onsite. For those looking for a back to nature retreat, the Hill Top Country Guesthouse and Villas offers hiking, horseback riding, winery tours and expansive views across the Hunter Valley. Kangaroos have been seen grazing next to the horses on the 300 acre property.
FEATURED DISPATCH | About Olivia
I’m Olivia, author of Great Lost and an adventurous traveler who just wants to explore all the world has to offer. I’m an American who has slowly made my way to the beautiful land down under, Australia and I’m loving every minute of exploring this ever so scenic country, one state at a time. With my feet moving and my fingers typing, I love sharing all the gems that I discover with the world so they can enjoy them as well!