There are plenty of things to do in the Hunter Valley, but most of them will tend to focus on wine. To make a plan of the wineries that you would like to visit, an essential starting point is Pokolbin's Hunter Valley Wine Country Visitors Information Centre. Here you can pick up maps of the vineyards. And if you'd like to avoid driving after wine tasting, hop aboard a Wine Rover Bus.
As Australia’s oldest wine-growing region and with over 150 cellars, vineyards and wineries to explore, the Hunter Valley is the perfect place to experience some of the best wines in the country. Several makers provide winery tours that give you a more intimate glimpse of their wine and produce, while many cellars also hold regular wine tasting master classes open to the public. Just make sure that you enquire and book in advance, as some classes can fill up quickly.
Aside from its exquisite wines the Hunter Valley is renowned for its golf courses, where you can play a round or two of golf surrounded by the region’s scenic landscapes. From The Vintage Golf Club’s 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman to the first-rate Hunter Valley Golf and Country Club, there are many impressive clubs and courses to choose from. So whether you want to play a full 18-hole game or simply go for a few swings, you’ll be able find an option nearby to suit.
It’s only natural for a place renowned for wine to also have a great selection of restaurants and eateries where you can enjoy exquisite food. Scattered throughout the region, an impressive variety of culinary experiences await in the townships, hotels and on the vineyards themselves – from the superb French cooking at Bistro Molines to the award-winning Muse Restaurant. There are also some great stores selling a wide range of gourmet cheeses, dairy products, deli items, dips and other fine foods that go perfectly with a drop of good wine.
If you’re the adventurous type, a visit to the Hunter Valley won’t be complete without taking a hot air balloon ride. Local hot air balloon companies have been transporting passengers to the sky above for decades, providing sights and experiences to last a lifetime. One of the best times of day to take flight is no doubt at sunrise, when you can sit back and admire as the Hunter Valley’s gorgeous landscapes light up around you and the sky transforms on the horizon.
The Hunter Valley is home to several excellent local markets, where you’ll find everything from local produce and flavoursome gourmet creations to one-off pieces from artists and artisans. You can explore weekly markets such as the Harvest Markets and Laguna Markets or schedule your visit to coincide with the Wollombi Markets, which occurs on the holiday Monday of each long weekend in the year.