Five Things You Absolutely Must Do in the Hunter Valley
The Hunter Valley is a short drive – by Australian standards – from Sydney which has made it a popular destination for day trippers holidaying in Australia’s largest metropolis and the point of arrival for many international visitors.
Whilst those who are short on time might be satisfied with spending a few hours in the region, usually visiting a vineyard, sampling a few wines and having lunch, with so much to enjoy on offer here, if you have the time you would be well advised to spend a few days, or even a week, and get a feel for this wonderful part of the country.
It is what most people travel here for, or so it would appear, so wine tasting will most likely rank very highly on your list of things to do in the Hunter Valley. You have many ways to go about sampling the fine wines that the region is renowned for, not only domestically but also around the world. However, whatever you do, don’t drink and drive – drink driving is a big no-no in Australia and offenders are punished to the full extent of the law.
Before you arrive, make a list of the wineries and vineyards you would like to visit. If you are into your wines, as many people are these days, chances are you will already have made quite an extensive list of the wineries and vineyards that you absolutely must visit whilst holidaying in the Hunter Valley.
You can arrange a tour directly with most vineyards, join one of the many tours, and in some cases even just turn up on the day, though you might find that some vineyards and wineries don’t accept unscheduled visits so it is always best to make arrangements in advance unless you are sure you won’t get knocked back.
As the region is reasonably extensive, the best way to visit vineyards and wineries is in your own transportation, so hire a car, draw straws to see who will be the designated driver, and have a great time travelling from vineyard to vineyard in a picturesquely beautiful part of the country.
Wine is the perfect complement to a wonderful meal and just as you won’t be disappointed with the wines you indulge your taste buds on, so too won’t you be disappointed with the gastronomic delights the region is fast gaining a reputation for.
There are many restaurants dotting the exquisite landscape and you will also find that many wineries and vineyards have their own restaurants. There is something here for everyone and wherever you stay in the Hunter Valley you are sure to find something to your liking.
Modern Australian cuisine is garnering many notable reviews here and abroad, so if you would like to try something a little different you will find yourself well-catered for here. Read a few reviews before you arrive in the Hunter Valley so as to have a good understanding of the best dining options around the area where you stay.
Hiring a car isn’t only advisable so as to visit some of Australia’s most famous vineyards, it is also advisable so as to stay in rural accommodation, perhaps even on the grounds of a vineyard as many vineyards and wineries now offer accommodation options, ranging from smart little studios and cosy cottages for two, to expansive villas that are perfect for families and groups.
There are many towns in which you could stay whilst holidaying in the Hunter Valley, but as it is such a magical part of the country all year round, the opportunity to stay in comfy rural accommodation is an opportunity that many visitors wisely choose to make the most of.
Local MarketsAs the region’s most famous export is its selection of reds and whites it is all too easy to forget that the Hunter Valley is also the source of some of Australia’s finest produce, including olive oil from the more than 150 olive groves.