This is God’s country, with mile upon mile of stunning Edenesque landscapes. And with some of the world’s most awarded wineries and restaurants, it offers plenty of indulgences and temptations. It is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and focus on the really important things in life, like each other, amazing food, wine and entertainment. The rolling countryside sets a spectacular backdrop for an unforgettably indulgent experience. There are four regions within the Hunter: Broke Fordwich, Pokolbin, Lovedale, and Mount View/Wollombi – each with their own myriad of unique flavours and experiences.
Best Time To Go
The short answer is ANYTIME… Each season has something for everyone. Drop in during Autumn and you’ll experience the warm embrace of red and orange vineyards and surrounding fauna. Winter offers chilly nights and the romance of snuggling up by the fireplace in your very own secluded cottage. Spring and Summer offer beautiful warm days and outdoor dining.
Midweek in the Hunter is a great time to visit, as you can easily book into all the best accommodation and restaurants. Weekends tend to be busier and accommodation tariffs higher. Throughout the year, the Hunter Valley hosts a plethora of deliciously decadent events and festivals. Our personal favourite is Food and Wine Month in June. Ask one of our consultants for more mouth-watering details.
There are five wine trails to explore within the Hunter Valley. All trails lead to a gourmet food and wine heaven with plenty of variety.
Broke Fordwich Wine Trail
Pokolbin South Wine Trail
Pokolbin North Wine Trail
Lovedale Wine Trail
Mount View and Wollombi Wine Trail
CHERRY TIP: We recommend restricting yourself to one or two during a short escape, depending on where you’re staying. That way you can experience fully what each unique area has to offer. Besides, rushing food and wine of this quality is a definite no-no around here!
When planning your gastronomic adventure in the Hunter, it’s important to know which restaurants will be open during your stay. Opening times can vary and are often limited, so here are some of our favourites:
Bistro Molines – Thursday to Sunday for lunch, Friday to Saturday for dinner
Muse Restaurant – Café 7 days 10am to 5pm, Wednesday to Saturday for dinner
Robert’s Restaurant –Saturday and Sunday for lunch, 7 days for dinner
Amanda’s on the Edge – Friday to Sunday for lunch, 7 days for dinner
The Cellar Restaurant – 6 days Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner
The Verandah Restaurant – Thursday to Sunday for lunch and dinner
Margan Restaurant – Friday – Sunday for lunch, Friday and Saturday – for dinner.
*Cherry Recommends you check this information as opening days and times regularly change.
Breweries & Distilleries
If you ever tire of quaffing the superb local wines, you can always find a cleansing ale at one of the region’s boutique breweries. Discover superbly crafted beers on tap at the Blue Tongue Brewery Café and Potters Hotel and Brewery.
The Hunter Valley Gardens
The evergreen and picturesque Hunter Valley Gardens is a must for garden fanatics. Just make sure you give yourself a couple of hours, as there are 48 hectares of beautiful gardens to explore, not to mention the intriguing shops on entry.
Hunter Valley Produce
Prepare your taste buds for some of the best produce Australia has to offer. You can savour these delights when dining out at the local restaurants or onsite where they’re produced. A visit to the Smelly Cheese Shop and Hunter Valley Cheese Company is a must, and no self-respecting chocoholic would miss the Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory. Many of the Cellar Doors also have local products to sample and buy along the way.
Tips & Tricks
The Hunter Valley is a large sprawling region with most of the accommodation offerings quite a distance from shops, restaurants and attractions in the area. You will need a car to get around. Alternatively, Cherry can take care of all that for you by arranging private tours and restaurant transfers. If you are driving, you might want to stop off and bring along some snacks for your stay, or pick some up at the amazing wineries and delis in the area.
The Hunter Valley receives over 2.5 million visitors each year, so as you’d imagine the roads around the area are well worn. Actually, that would be an understatement – they’re terrible! Be prepared for some rough surfaces, narrow winding roads and lots of kangaroos at dusk. Try to avoid driving at night, especially if a few glasses of red with dinner are on the cards. Private restaurant transfers can be arranged, or dine at lunchtime, which allows you to also admire the scenery.
Midweek vs Weekend
In our experience, the best time to visit the Hunter on a 3 day experience would be Tuesday – Thursday. You’ll not only pay cheaper accommodation rates, but you will miss the crowds and have a more personalised experience at the Cellar Doors. The downside is that not all of your favourite restaurants will be open 7 nights a week. If planning to come on a weekend, you will need to book well in advance, as most accommodation is booked out months in ahead.
If you’re taking someone special on a romantic weekend away, pack comfortable footwear. You may want to go horse riding through the Hunter hillside, or get a great view of the Hunter from a hot air balloon. Winter gets very cold and summer very hot – so pack accordingly. Finally, leave plenty of room in your luggage to pack some fabulous Hunter wines to take home.