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With more than 150 wineries and cellar doors, 65 restaurants and 180 comfy accommodation places to stay, where do you start?

Follow our insider tips by the people who know best… the locals. We ask talented winemakers, chefs, farmers, brewers and journalists to blog about their favourite places and experiences in this fertile wine region.

How to Spend the Summer Holidays in the Hunter Valley

Your 2021 guide for summer holiday activities we’re sure the whole family will enjoy!

Planning a trip with the fam to the Hunter Valley these summer holidays? Whether you’ve got tiny tots or young adults in tow we’ve put together our top selection of activities that’ll keep everyone happy!

Whilst the region’s known for its wine (and we’re sure you’ll fit in a sip or two whilst you visit) our summer holiday activity guide is perfect for all ages, so no one needs to miss out!

Plan a picnic

Enjoy our wide-open spaces and fresh air with a good old-fashioned picnic, (Instagram worthy spreads optional). There’s plenty of delicious local foods to sample and an abundance of locations to choose from. We highly recommend booking a picnic experience at one of the many wineries so you can enjoy your treats among the grapevines! If you’d prefer to put your picnic basket together yourself Finchley’s Lookout is a great spot to spread out your blanket or head into one of the nearby National Parks with plenty of picnic areas to pick from!

Hollydene picnics 2

Check out the lights

You’re never too old to enjoy Christmas lights, but they’re always popular with kids! Which is why you can’t go past an evening trip to the Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Light Spectacular. There’s 3 million lights to see, plus carnival rides and food and drink so dinner and dessert will be sorted. Be sure to book your tickets ahead!

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Dine out

It’s no secret kids can be picky eaters, however dining out and sampling some of the best food in the state can be a breeze, with many cafes and restaurants in the Hunter Valley fully catering to future food critic’s delicate palates. Check out our top picks of places to eat with kids menus, some even have kids play areas so they can burn some energy and you get to finish your meal with two hands!

Saddlers Creek Summer Holidays 2

Taking your fur-child? There’s plenty of dog friendly restaurants and cafes in the Hunter Valley too! Whether you want a gourmet dining experience or a casual dinner your dog does not have to miss the fun. At some spots they might even be able to get a pupachino!

Have a wild encounter

Give your family a day to explore the Hunter Valley Zoo, located just 5 minutes from Cessnock. Your kids will love an opportunity for an up close encounter with a koala or wombat! Plus you can feed the farmyard animals, kangaroos or lorikeets. The zoo is not just home to native wildlife like Tassie devils and dingoes, you can see their very rare white lions, ring-tailed lemurs, meerkats plus a whole array of wildlife from around the world!

Hunter Valley Zoo TD33 selfie

For the kids and big kids at heart

Embrace your inner child or let the kids get creative with these child-friendly experiences at Hunter Valley cellar doors. Tulloch Wines gets kids involved whilst you enjoy your wine tasting with their famous Junior Tasting Experience*. A specially prepared junior tasting with 4 different non-alcoholic drinks and 4 matching snacks will be presented with an activity mat to keep them engaged. *Suitable for children aged 4-12 years old, Junior Tasting Experiences must be accompanied by an adult booking for any of our wine tasting experiences.

School Holidays at Tulloch Wines 2

For the artists in the family, Pinot & Picasso Hunter Valley is the ideal place to take the kids. With three new designs created to inspire little Picasso’s, don’t wait any longer, book your child’s spot today.

Stock up on local produce at the Markets

You can’t go past a local market without stopping for a browse, chatting with the locals and stocking up on fresh produce. You’ll have your pick in the Hunter Valley with Handmade in the Hunter Markets on every weekend, Wollombi Christmas Markets on Saturday 11th December, and Bimbadgen Homegrown Christmas Markets on Sunday 12th December. Head to our website to find out what’s on over the festive season.

Still looking for more? There’s chocolate and cheese tasting, horse rides and much more on offer! Check out our full list of kid friendly experiences to find the perfect mix for your crew!

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