10 Day-Trip Destinations in Hunter Valley
Most visitors to New South Wales spend their time touring the Sydney harbor or enjoying the magnificent beaches on the eastern shore. However, just a short drive inland from Sydney, a lush and stunning valley is waiting to be discovered. The Hunter Valley has been a favorite to locals and tourists for generations, thanks to its rolling hillsides, elite wineries, and hiking adventures.
There are endless options for visitors to explore. The area is host to top-notch restaurants that specialize in local cuisine containing farm-fresh ingredients. The valley is also home to top-rated spas, championship golf courses, and Barrington Tops National Parks.
Whether you want to soar over scenic vistas or spend an afternoon on one of the fantastic Tastes of the Hunter Wine Tours, there are endless options when you visit this beautiful area. Let’s take a look at some of the top day-trip ideas for the Hunter Valley.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
If you need some adventure, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to soar over the scenic Hunter Valley in a hot air balloon. From the air, you will have a bird’s eye view of the rolling hills, vital wineries, and farming fields crested with mist.
Sunrise and sunset flights are the most popular and provide the perfect lighting for photography buffs. Your hot air balloon ride will last about an hour and is the ideal way to celebrate any special occasion.
Enjoying a glass of wine is enhanced when you know the rich history that goes into your favorite vintage. The Hunter Valley is home to award-winning wineries that can’t be missed on your tour.
Take a step back in time and stroll through the picture-perfect grounds of the winery while learning about the journey from vine to bottle. Enjoy a delicious meal paired with a delectable wine.
Hike At Barrington Tops
Barrington Tops National Park is part of the largest preserved temperature rainforests in Australia. For nature lovers, exploring some of the amazing trails in a vast network across the park is the makings of a perfect day.
Trails range from easy to difficult as they weave their way through various ecosystems, including snow gum forests and wetlands. Take in the views from the Careys Peak and Devil’s Hole lookouts.
Wollombi Village is a beautiful hamlet full of history and charm that you must stop at during your tour of the Hunter Valley. Populated by historic stone cottages and buildings, this small town sits nestled around stunning mountains and is a delightful place to spend an afternoon.
Explore the shops, cafes, theaters, and art galleries in town and take some time to stroll along the Historic Wollombi Village Walk.
Newcastle Bathers Way
Making a stop at Newcastle is an excellent opportunity to explore a small yet vibrant coastal city. Newcastle is home to elegant dining, unsurpassed surfing beaches, and an amazing shoreline promenade called Bathers Way.
Starting at the historic lighthouse at Nobbys Headland and stretching over six kilometers to Merewether Beach, visitors can explore the rich history of this busy port city with stories of the convict colonies of the past. Enjoy a relaxing lunch listening to the waves at one of the charming restaurants or cafes.
Enjoy a Chef’s Tasting Menu
The Hunter Valley is a paradise for food lovers. With acclaimed restaurants like EXP and The Muse Restaurant, it’s easy to find the right combination of cheeses, fruits, and chocolates to thrill any pallette.
The Hunter Valley is famed for its field-to-table food that can’t be beaten for flavor or freshness. Get seated at a charming table outdoors or sit along the street front to enjoy some tourist-watching as you devour some of the chef’s favorites creations in an idyllic setting.
Kayaking At Wollemi National Park
Wollemi National Park is a stunning gem of natural wonders, and is protected as a World Heritage site. Located just 100 miles from Newcastle, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the wilds in all their splendor in just a short two-hour drive. The park is famous for its lush fauna, soaring cliffs, and enchanting waterways.
One of the most unbelievable attractions in the park is Ganguddy, known to locals as Dunns Swamp. Visitors can enjoy a guided kayak tour through this misty swamp that is encircled by unusual beehive-like rock formations. During the visitor’s season, self-guided or ranger-led kayak tours are very popular.
Hit the Gallery
The Hunter Valley is a favorite inspirational destination for artists of every discipline. The Maitland Regional Art Gallery is home to some of the country’s most intriguing and beautiful pieces. The museum itself is a sight to behold as it is housed in a historic gothic building that is charming and fantastical at the same time.
The museum is an excellent destination for families as your children will be thrilled to explore one entire wing of the exhibits dedicated to younger artistic fans. The museum houses a rotation of over 10 exhibits featuring local and international artists.
Visit the Zoo
Australia is home to some of the most fascinating and wondrous creatures in the world. This zoo experience is designed to bring the whole family closer to the animals of the area. Kangaroos, koalas, monkeys, and marmosets are waiting to interact with guests daily. You and your family can enjoy a day petting the kangaroos and feeding the koalas in this beautiful wildlife sanctuary.
Hunter Valley Gardens
Covering more than 60 acres in the heart of Pokolbin, the Hunter Valley Gardens is a must-see destination for all visitors, young and old. You can enjoy a stroll along paved garden paths and enjoy the various themed gardens, including the Rose and Oriental displays. Unique water features and floral combinations make the Hunter Valley Gardens a stunning oasis to spend the day. Photographers and gardening enthusiasts will be overwhelmed by the inspiration of the Hunter Valley Gardens.
If you love the New South Wales area and are looking to get out of the city and away from the coast, you can take a short drive to Hunter Valley to enjoy the stunning views, hikes in the National Park, or tour a small historic village.