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The Hunter Valley sits between Barrington Tops to the north and The Greater Blue Mountains to the south, 160Km north of Sydney in NSW, Australia. The region also engulfs Lake Macquarie – Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lake and Newcastle – Australia’s second oldest city. A Hunter Valley escape is a great way to spend a weekend indulging in all that this wonderful region has to offer.
Australia’s best known and oldest wine region brims with 150 top class wineries set against the dramatic backdrop of the Brokenback Range. Many have award winning wines, however there is also a burgeoning industry for other delicacies such as olive oil, wood-fired bread, cheeses, stone fruits, table grapes, honey and even chocolate.
You can explore the vineyards by bike, bus, limo, horse and carriage or even take a scenic flight by tiger moth, helicopter or hot air balloon. When we visited it was a particularly hot February and I could see that the recent hot dry weather had yellowed the normally green rolling hills.
It was my birthday so we set off from our digs at the town of Broke, and wound our way through the rolling hills, stopping at several cellar doors and tasting a few different whites. I must say I enjoyed a couple of crisp Semillons, that apparently the Hunter Valley sets the world benchmark for. At every turn the views over the valleys and vineyards were spectacular.
They say where there is great wine, great food usually follows. I can vouch for this! There are over 65 restaurants to dine at in the area. We enjoyed a long leisurely birthday lunch at Wandin Valley where we partook in ‘divvy dishes’ that were very scrummy!
The following day we dined at Enzo’s at Pepper Creek Winery and once again feasted on some delicious fare.
To finish off a fine day we visited Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory (very decadent!) and Peterson’s House, that specializes only in sparkling wines. With a slogan like “life is flat without a glass of bubbly”, we couldn’t resist tasting a few glasses of bubbly!
Right smack bang in the middle of the vineyards is the magnificent Hunter Valley Gardens that is set on over 60 acres. With ten stunning feature gardens, you can bask in the lavash array of colour and scents.
There is a 10m waterfall and lookout for some great photo opps.
The Disneyland-style ‘Storybook Garden’ was the highlight of the gardens for me.
Plus the formal gardens were pretty spectacular.
There are a couple of upmarket resorts, namely the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley or the Grand Mercure The Vintage, or otherwise for budget options there are homesteads, cottages, guest houses and pubs. For your Hunter Valley Accommodation CLICK HERE
The Hunter Valley won’t disappoint. It is truly a feast for the senses and a sophisticated playground for adults only! After all “Life’s too short to drink bad wine”!
For more on Australian Wine Regions read The Best Australian Wine Tours
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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