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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.

Splash zones: desirable digs where you can take a dip

​ When it's time to choose a place to stay for your summer getaway, odds-on a pool will be on your holiday wish list. Here's a list of some tempting swim spots where you can make a splash all summer long. #poolhairdon'tcare #endlesssummer


If you want to plunge into the cool waters of a pool and enjoy oodles of atmosphere, views and history this is the place to do it. This much-loved local opened in 1984 as Peppers Guesthouse and the 40-acre property has just reopened after an 18-month reno including – yep, you guessed it – a dreamy swimming pool.

The new purpose-built infinity pool (pictured above) isn't huge but it's long enough for lap swimming and has a heated inset spa with fab views of the native bush. There are stylish timber lounges and large umbrellas to rest in the shade and you can order a cheese plate and a cocktail to sip beside the pool.

It's a serene spot to relax on a sizzling summer day and you might be lucky enough to spot a mob of kangaroos hopping past.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley


Not satisfied with having one enormous swimming pool (measuring 20m x 25m) and spa, Crowne is upping the ante with a brand-new 25-metre, adults-only pool. The Haven, due to open in the New Year, will give guests over 16 the option to chill out sans kids and enjoy poolside cocktails, dining and private cabanas. It's bound to be the hottest hotel pool this summer. I

n the meantime, you can take a dip in the popular main pool, which is a livelier family-friendly spot with a massive deck area filled with lounges and umbrellas and a shallow splash pool for the littlies. It's solar-heated and in addition to sipping a wine at the bar (located at one end of the pool), you can enjoy snacks and a bevvy poolside.

Spicers Vineyards Estate


Another place to stay and enjoy a refreshing summer dip is Spicers Vineyard Estate – the sister property to Spicers Guesthouse. A few years ago, this boutique guesthouse won TripAdvisor's traveller's choice award for the most romantic hotel in Australia... not once, but two years in a row.

No wonder as this upscale retreat has just 12 rooms, with all the bells and whistles, including a fabulous swimming pool that is lit up at night.

With only 12 couples, you'll often find you're the only couple using the slate pool, which is very private, nested behind the guesthouse. It's the perfect place for cooling off and when you've finished splashing around you can chill out on the lounges with a drink and a snack, or head to the separate heated spa.

Winmark Private Residence


If you want your own private designer pool, consider a stay at the newly refurbished, two-storey Winmark Residence. It's a luxe four-bedroom house with a luxe pool to match. The pool was designed by Paul Bangay OAM, one of the country's leading landscape gardeners as the centrepiece of the outdoor entertaining area.

The glimmering 12m x 4.5m rectangular pool is strategically positioned, perched above the vines overlooking Bangay's rose and perennial garden, gazebo and tennis court.

"The pool is subtle and elegant, and blends seamlessly into the estate. It invites you in for a plunge and is the perfect place to take in view of the gardens and vineyards," guest Megan Bird said.

The pool deck has been given a lavish touch with marble tiles, complementing the blue mosaic tiles that give the water that beautiful blue hue. One of the highlights is a Gin and Tonic seat – a shallow shelf at one end – where you can relax and gaze at the magnificent Brokenback mountain range. 

Alphawood managed by Hunter Valley Stays


Lap pools, lagoon pools, big pools, small pools - you're spoilt for choice when you book a self-contained property with Hunter Valley Stays as they have 33 properties with pools or access to a resort pool.

"We get lots of positive feedback from guests staying in our properties with pools," says Hunter Valley Stays' General Manager Sasha Degen. "In summer temperatures can top 40°C, so a pool really helps our guests stay cool and adds to the fun and relaxation of a summer stay in the Hunter.

We have lots of properties with spectacular pools, entertaining terraces and beautiful views across the Valley, including Alphawood and Binbilla."

Alphawood at Mount View offers an aquatic sanctuary with fabulous views of the Watagan Mountains. The six-bedroom holiday home is set in 13 acres, boasting a 9m x 4m magnesium mineral pool, which are reputed to have health benefits, with a luxurious travertine surround and glass fencing so you can enjoy uninterrupted views. There's also an expansive covered alfresco patio with barbecues – just the spot for a pool party.

You'll also want to take your pool goggles to Binbilla Vineyard Estate as well. The 100-acre estate in Broke has a well-equipped five-bedroom house and a super-private pool with classic sandstone surrounds. The 11m x 5m sparkling pool overlooks a large lake, which is home to a flock of geese – the only neighbours who'll catch sight of you in your swimmers.

As you can see, the Valley has an eclectic mix of places to stay with pools. For more options, click here. 

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