The Hunter Valley Wine Region

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Hunter Valley Wine Region - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Hunter Valley Gardens

    Garden lovers and those who admire beauty in general should flock to the Hunter Valley Gardens, in the heart of the Pokolbin wine-growing district. The...

    Garden lovers and those who admire beauty in general should flock to the Hunter Valley Gardens, in the heart of the Pokolbin wine-growing district. The 12 separate gardens occupy 50 acres and include European formal gardens, a Chinese Moongate garden, and a delightful children's storybook garden featuring characters such as the Mad Hatter and Jack and Jill. The gardens have a dazzling Christmas lights display each year; the park is open at night during the holiday season (mid-November–late January) from 6 to 10. The adjacent complex houses restaurants, a popular pub, a hotel, a cute wedding chapel, the underground Hunter Cellars, and a selection of boutiques selling gifts as well as wonderful chocolates and fudge.

    2090 Broke Rd.
    - 02 - 4998–4000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: A$32
  • 2. Roche Estate

    You can't miss this ultramodern facility in the heart of Pokolbin. This futuristic winery is a joint venture between two leading Hunter Valley families: the...

    You can't miss this ultramodern facility in the heart of Pokolbin. This futuristic winery is a joint venture between two leading Hunter Valley families: the Roches (owners of Hunter Valley Gardens) and the McGuigans, who have made wine for four generations. The winery is best known for its Pinot Gris; however, you can sample a wide variety, including Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Shiraz in the stylish tasting room. There's also a Goldfish Wine Bar and Oishii, an on-site fine-dining Japanese-Thai restaurant. If you can, stop in at the winery's branch of the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop. In the summer the winery hosts major concerts in its 10,000-seat amphitheater—past performers have included Elton John, Rod Stewart, and the Beach Boys.

    Broke Rd. at McDonalds Rd.
    - 02 - 4998–4098 - cellar door
  • 3. Ben Ean Winery

    This has been one of the largest and most prestigious winemakers in the country since the early 1900s. In addition to its Hunter Valley vineyards,...

    This has been one of the largest and most prestigious winemakers in the country since the early 1900s. In addition to its Hunter Valley vineyards, the company owns property in South Australia and Victoria, and numerous outstanding wines from these vineyards can be sampled in the tasting room. Try the Shiraz, Sémillon, or Chardonnay. The winery has its own museum, displaying vintage wine-making equipment; the Baume Restaurant; and two picnic areas, one near the parking lot and the other next to the willow trees around the dam.

    McDonalds Rd.
    - 02 - 4993–3700
  • 4. Bimbadgen Winery

    This winery is particularly well-known for its very popular Day on the Green concerts, which are held several times between October and March. Artists have...

    This winery is particularly well-known for its very popular Day on the Green concerts, which are held several times between October and March. Artists have included Tom Jones and Leonard Cohen. Beyond the shows, the winery also produces some very good wines—try the signature Chardonnay or Sémillon. It is also home to one of the Hunter's best restaurants, Esca, which has fantastic views across the vineyards towards the Brokenback Mountains. To take full advantage of the views, you could also prebook a picnic (A$100), which comes with deli meats, cheeses, fresh bread, and a bottle of the winery's best. The restaurant serves lunch every day and dinner Wednesday through Saturday. The cellar door is open daily for tastings.

    790 McDonalds Rd.
    - 02 - 4998–4650 - cellar door
  • 5. Binnorie Dairy

    Drop by this cheese maker to sample and buy Simon Gough's irresistible, handcrafted soft cow and goat cheeses made from locally sourced milk. You'd be...

    Drop by this cheese maker to sample and buy Simon Gough's irresistible, handcrafted soft cow and goat cheeses made from locally sourced milk. You'd be hard-pressed to find a tastier marinated feta outside Greece—or even in it.

    25 Lodge St.
    - 02 - 4998–6660
  • 6. Briar Ridge Vineyard

    In a delightful rural corner of the Mount View region, this is one of the Hunter Valley's most prestigious small wineries. It produces a limited...

    In a delightful rural corner of the Mount View region, this is one of the Hunter Valley's most prestigious small wineries. It produces a limited selection of sought-after reds, whites, and sparkling wines. The Sémillon, Chardonnay, Shiraz, and intense Cabernet Sauvignon are highly recommended. The vineyard is on the southern periphery of the Lower Hunter vineyards, about a five-minute drive from Pokolbin.

    593 Mt. View Rd.
    - 02 - 4990–3670
  • 7. Margan Family Winegrowers

    A leading light in the new wave of Hunter winemakers, Margan Family Winegrowers produces some of the valley's best small-volume wines. Try their full-bodied Verdelho,...

    A leading light in the new wave of Hunter winemakers, Margan Family Winegrowers produces some of the valley's best small-volume wines. Try their full-bodied Verdelho, rosé-style Saignée Shiraz, and Certain Views Cabernet Sauvignon. A riper-than-most Sémillon is the flagship. Many items on the fine-dining lunch menu in the restaurant are sourced from the chef's vegetable and herb garden on-site, along with fresh eggs.

    1238 Milbrodale Rd.
    - 02 - 6579–1372 - cellar door
  • 8. Matilda Bay Brewhouse Hunter Valley

    This brewhouse is part of a large complex that includes a resort, wine school, cooking school, candy making classes, day spa, horseback riding, and Segway...

    This brewhouse is part of a large complex that includes a resort, wine school, cooking school, candy making classes, day spa, horseback riding, and Segway tours. There are 12 craft beers produced in this boutique brewery, including the brewer's acclaimed "three-hop" beers: premium lager, premium light lager, and pilsner, along with its alcoholic ginger beer. You can order a chef's beer tasting "paddle" with small glasses of each, complete with tasting notes. Soak up the alcohol with fish-and-chips, meatballs, pizzas, and other light fare, and there's live music most days. 

    Hermitage Rd. at Mistletoe La.
    - 02 - 4998–7777
  • 9. McGuigan Wines

    Adjoining the Hunter Valley Gardens is the cellar-door complex of McGuigan Wines, one of the most well-known wine labels in the Hunter Valley. Here you...

    Adjoining the Hunter Valley Gardens is the cellar-door complex of McGuigan Wines, one of the most well-known wine labels in the Hunter Valley. Here you can taste and buy wines, such as Vineyard Select and Personal Reserve labels, that are not available in suburban wine shops. Winery tours depart at noon every day. While you're there try some of the superb cheeses at the adjacent Hunter Valley Cheese Company—look out for the washed-rind Hunter Valley Gold and the deliciously marinated soft cows'-milk cheese. You can also see the cheeses being made by hand. 

    Broke Rd. at McDonalds Rd.
    - 02 - 4998–4111
  • 10. Mount Pleasant Estate

    At this estate chief winemaker Jim Chatto (only the fourth since the winery was founded in 1921) continues the tradition of producing classic Hunter wines....

    At this estate chief winemaker Jim Chatto (only the fourth since the winery was founded in 1921) continues the tradition of producing classic Hunter wines. The flagship Maurice O'Shea Shiraz and Chardonnay, and the celebrated Elizabeth Sémillon, are among the wines that can be sampled in the huge cellar door.

    401 Marrowbone Rd.
    - 02 - 4998–7505

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: A$20 for tasting and tour
  • 11. Tyrrell's Wines

    Founded in 1858, Tyrrell's Wines is one of the Hunter Valley's oldest family-owned vineyards. This venerable establishment crafts a wide selection of wines, and was...

    Founded in 1858, Tyrrell's Wines is one of the Hunter Valley's oldest family-owned vineyards. This venerable establishment crafts a wide selection of wines, and was the first to produce Chardonnay commercially in Australia. Its famous Vat 47 Chardonnay is still a winner. Enjoy the experience of sampling fine wines in the rustic tasting room, or take a picnic lunch to a site overlooking the valley. Guided tours (A$10) are given daily at 10:30.

    1838 Broke Rd.
    - 02 - 4993–7028
  • 12. Wollombi

    Nothing seems to have changed in the atmospheric town of Wollombi, 24 km (15 miles) southwest of Cessnock, since the days when the Cobb &...

    Nothing seems to have changed in the atmospheric town of Wollombi, 24 km (15 miles) southwest of Cessnock, since the days when the Cobb & Co. stagecoaches rumbled through town. Founded in 1820, Wollombi was the overnight stop for the coaches on the second day of the journey from Sydney along the convict-built Great Northern Road—at that time the only route north. The town is full of delightful old sandstone buildings and antiques shops, and there's also a museum in the old courthouse with 19th-century clothing and bushranger memorabilia.

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