Spring is a wonderful time to visit the bucolic surrounds of the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales. The lush greenery and warm, sunny days make for the ideal conditions to sample your way around one of Australia’s most renowned wine countries. And the perfect mode of transport to view the rolling green fields and rustic vineyards? By hot air balloon, of course. Rise early to take in the still crisp air and sights of this beautiful pocket of Australia.
But really, any time of the year is a great time to take some time out in the Hunter Valley with each season indulging the senses. Eating and drinking is a major drawcard with no less than 78 wineries offering cellar door tastings and some providing wine tours and schools for oenophiles. Cheese shops and regional produce stores offer the perfect complement to the region’s famous wines, and there are also boutique breweries and liqueur distilleries for something different.
When it’s time to turn in for the night, accommodation in the Hunter Valley ranges from cosy country pubs and B&Bs to 5-star hotels and boutique offerings. Settle in by the fire in winter, book a romantic break overlooking the vineyards in spring, or luxuriate in spa surrounds in the summer months. The Hunter Valley really is a year-round destination.
Things to do in the Hunter Valley
Wine Tours and Cellar Door Tastings – What better way to experience the essence of the Hunter Valley than on a winery tour and cellar door tasting? In many ways, the wineries are the lifeblood of the region, and sampling the fine selections on offer provides not only an insight into the complexity of the wines themselves but also brings into perspective the rich agricultural heritage of a region known for its fertile soil and prosperous growing traditions. Walk the popular food and wine trails as you make your way around the picturesque landscape or take a scenic drive or cycling tour, stopping along the way for a cheese plate.
Hot Air Ballooning – Float above the scenic Hunter Valley countryside on an exhilarating hot air balloon tour. With a birds-eye-view of the peaceful terrain below, riders can truly appreciate the beautiful hills and immaculate vineyards of the Mediterranean like landscape. Enjoy the miraculous sunrise before finishing the tour with a full champagne breakfast at one of the wineries.
Cycling, Golf & Horse Riding – The Hunter Valley is the ideal location for a bit of outdoor adventure, even if it is at a leisurely pace. With so much beautiful outdoor scenery to take in, the best way to become immersed in the beautiful natural settings is to head out on a golf outing at one of the top notch courses or to tour the back roads and country trails on horseback or mountain bike. There are even a number of walking trails where hikers can enjoy the picturesque landscape at their own pace. In the Hunter Valley, all things lead back to wine. Food and wine trails provide a unique way to see the sights while discovering the many different wineries.