It may lack the adrenaline rush of swimming with the whale sharks or the heart-stopping moment when riding a vertical drop swing, but a trip to the Hunter Valley with friends is an adventure in itself. If you enjoy the finer things in life- roaring log fires, a walk in the vineyards, quaint bed and breakfasts, sipping fine wine and indulging on gourmet food, then a trip to the Hunter Valley in New South Wales is the perfect escape for you.

 

Here we walk you through 10 things to fall in love with Australia’s oldest wine region.

  

 

 

1.  Wineries

 

Hunter Valley_WineriesVineyards among verdant hills in Hunter Valley, NSW.

 

Take a tour at the vineyards and wineries which produce some of the world’s best wines. Enjoy fine wines such as Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay to your heart’s content. Be spoilt for choice with over 150 wineries – including world-renowned brands and family-run boutique cellar doors.

 

Pepper Tree Wines 

 

2.  Hot Air Ballooning

 

Hot Air BallooningSetting out for a hot-air balloon ride in the early morning.

 

For bird’s-eye views, float above the vineyards and enjoy a picturesque aerial adventure. Take in the stunning scenery of verdant rolling hills and the valley below while floating peacefully through the air at several thousand feet. Operators such as Balloon Aloft and Beyond Ballooning offer quality experiences for individuals and groups alike.

 

3.  Cheese, Chocolate and Gourmet Delights

 

Cheese, Chocolate and Gourmet DelightsCheese, wine and chocolates are some of the delicious food the region offers.

 

Experience exquisite dining and haute cuisine in this iconic food and wine destination! Indulge in a delicious farm-to-table menu with breathtaking views. Local produce goes well with the wines of Hunter Valley. Their gourmet produce includes olive oils, dairy products such as hard-rind and soft cheeses, cured meats and even desserts!

  DiVine Tours

 

 

4.  Breweries

 

BreweriesHand-crafted brewed beers at Potter’s Hotel Brewery Resort, Hunter Valley, NSW.

 

Beer drinkers aren’t forgotten either, thanks to the increase in craft breweries popping up across the valley – Matilda Bay Brewer and Potter’s Brewhouse are a good place to start if you want to sample a few local brews.

 

 

5.  Markets

 

Hunter Valley MarketsLocal market with outdoor stalls.

 

Rubbing shoulders with locals as they go through boxes of locally grown produce and handmade knick-knacks is one of the pleasures of visiting Hunter Valley markets. Visit these monthly markets and meet stallholders and hear their stories, while stocking up on local cheese, jams, freshly baked bread, olives, handmade soaps, clothes and more.

 

6.  Health Spas and Massages

 

Hunter Valley Spa and MassagesMassage therapy at Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley.

 

Experience an exquisite pampering session at a day spa, such as Château Élan an acclaimed retreat in Hunter Valley. Indulge in a relaxing massage, surrender to a few minutes of bliss and feel the tension in your body wane with each soothing stroke. Relaxation and rejuvenation are two things you can definitely experience when you’re at Hunter Valley.

 

Arrive First Class 

 

7.  Hunter Valley Gardens and Putt Putt

 

Hunter Valley Gardens and Putt PuttOriental garden at Hunter Valley Gardens.

 

With an outstanding collection of themed gardens such as Oriental and European, Hunter Valley Gardens makes a refreshing break from the typical winery offerings of the Hunter Valley. Set out over an expansive 60 acres, it has more than 8 km of pathways to walk, with 10 different feature gardens each with its own theme such as storybook, rose and sunken. There’s also an aqua golf and a putt putt course.

 

8.  A Day on the Green

 

A Day on the GreenSimply Red at A Day on the Green.

 

Enjoy good food and fine wine with your friends, while listening to some great music in spectacular environments such as the Hunter Valley wineries. A Day on the Green combines the best Australian and international artists with carefully-selected wineries, offering an outdoor concert event.

 

Hunter Valley Tours

 

 

9.  Lovedale Long Lunch

 

Lovedale Long LunchFine wine, gourmet food and live entertainment at Lovedale Long Lunch.

 

Get a group of friends together and enjoy a fun and relaxing weekend away at the Hunter Valley's most unmissable food and wine event, Lovedale Long Lunch. This event is a progressive-style lunch where food and wine lovers can feast and dance around seven Lovedale wineries over the third weekend in May each year.

 

10.  Lake St. Clair

 

Lake St. Clair, NSWThe beautiful and tranquil Lake St. Clair, NSW.

 

Relax at Hunter Valley’s Lake St. Clair, one of the region’s best picnic spots.  Lay down a rug and enjoy some of that locally-purchased Hunter Valley produce while taking in the scenic panorama. The more active traveller can  also go camping, sailing, boating, bushwalking and waterskiing.

 

Click HERE to see the best value Hunter Valley and NSW deals.