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HUNTER VALLEY BLOG

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.

Top things to do in Wine Country this Winter

Make the most of the fresh days and cool nights with your partner, your family or a group of friends and take the time to reconnect over memorable experiences this Winter in Wine Country. Here are our top things to do here in the Hunter Valley this Winter. 

Have some Winter fun at Snow Time in the Gardens

Snow Time in the Gardens runs annually throughout the cooler months of June and July and the Hunter Valley Gardens are transformed into a Winter Wonderland, full of magical fun and surprises for people of all ages. The whole family are set to enjoy the fun-filled icy activities, like building a snowman, tobogganing down the giant ice slide, or ice-skating on the enormous ice rink. There are also plenty of fun amusement rides including the 25m high Ferris wheel, the spinning tea cups, carousel and chair swing - the perfect nostalgic rides candid Winter photos. 

Watch the Sun Rise from the heights of a Hot Air Balloon

There are very few places in the world you get to watch the sun rise from a basket, floating in still air… and even fewer that overlook remarkable vine-covered hills surrounded by breathtaking mountains that cusp the region like a big hug. A must-do-at-least-once-experience in your lifetime, hot air ballooning is particularly beautiful in Hunter Valley Wine Country, an experience best shared with loved ones. Gaze out over the hills of our impressive rolling vineyards as the sun breaks through the clouds and generates streaks of colour that fall onto the soft, patchwork landscape.

Depending on where you decide to stay within the region, Wine Country is home to three companies that can take you up into the air for an amazing hot air balloon experience. Choose from Balloon Aloft, where you will finish with a champagne breakfast at Peterson House, Hunter Valley Ballooning, or Beyond Ballooning.

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Stomp! Fireside Tasting

Warm up fireside and get your wine fix at the same time at Stomp! Wines this Winter. 

This experience is for adults only, but a great excuse to leave the kids with the babysitter or kids club, and enjoy a relaxing night out tasting some of the best wines from the 2022 Vintage.

Relax fireside, whilst watching the sun set, and discussing and tasting your way through the meaning of terroir in the latest new release white and red wines. Enjoy toasted marshmallows and fortified wines to finish off the night, whilst listening to some live music by Mark Henderson.

Weekends at Saddler’s Creek

Kick off your weekend at Saddler’s Creek Winery. Book a wine tasting experience, enjoy casual eats from the food truck, and relax in their wine garden while listening to local artists playing live acoustic music.

Saddler’s food van serves casual eats ever Friday from 4pm-7pm, and Saturday & Sundays from 11am-4pm. You can also enjoy a bottle of Saddler’s Creek wine, then ‘Wine & Chill’ outdoors in the picnic areas, or around a warm fire.

Book an experience like no other – Bluegrass Through the Years: Wine and Food Pairing Masterclass – where you will explore 6 reds from the iconic Bluegrass Collection which have been aged up to 10 years, and introduced and guided by a wine expert. The wines are paired with a degustation tasting plate of 6 small bites to show you how each sip harmoniously pairs with each bite.

Horse Ride through the Vineyards

What a better way to experience a tour through the rolling vineyards and award winning wineries than by horseback. A horse ride with Hunter Valley Horses offers a guided experience through the hidden pathways of Wine Country, each boasting stunning scenery and native bushland views of the region. 

Experienced riders can let loose with an opportunity to canter through the vines, whilst beginners can follow and listen to the experienced guides tell historic stories about the region and its characters.

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Paint and Sip with Pinot and Picasso

Want to get creative, have a laugh and sip some good wine?

Pinot and Picasso could be the perfect activity for you! You can become your own artist whilst sipping on the finest Hunter Valley wines.

Pinot and Picasso is Australia’s #1 paint and sip experience, and you can experience it right here in the Hunter Valley at Harkham Wines. If you feel you are more pinot than Picasso, you can always opt in for the easier experience. Or, if you're feeling game and want to expand your brush skills, the advanced version will demonstrate step by step techniques and canvas lessons in a hassle-free, approachable and collaborative setting. 

Enjoy a night with friends with BYO wine and painting, as expert hosts deliver each session with comprehensive step by step instruction with room for your inner Picasso to run wild!

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Stay n’ Sip

Do you want to enjoy some of the Hunter Valley’s finest wines, but don’t want to leave the warmth and comfort of your accommodation? Then Stay n’ Sip is definitely for you!

This experience is a fun and innovative way to taste wines in the comfort of your accommodation. There is no driving required so you can avoid costly transfer fees! Everything is brought directly to you including tasting glasses and specific tasting notes, plus Ugg boots and pyjamas are perfectly acceptable wine drinking attire!

Embrace the Cold and go Bush Walking

The Hunter Valley has some of the best bushwalking trails and scenic views, so don’t let the cold keep you away! Rug up, pack warm food and drinks and enjoy the best of wine country views.

There are so many trails and walks to embark on from over four national parks including Yengo National Park, Watagans National Park, Mt Royal National Park, and Wollemi National Park, all in the Hunter Valley. Make the most of the endless countryside and see the region’s most significant Aboriginal Cultural Heritage sites, have picnics overlooking gorgeous landscapes or spend the day trekking along the Great North Walk that stretches all the way from Sydney to Newcastle - long but very worthwhile.

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Treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment

Relax, rejuvenate, revive. Experience one of our day spas whilst visiting the Hunter Valley.

Who wouldn’t want a relaxing and rejuvenating spa experience, slowing down and enjoying the ultimate spa day, after days of leisure activities, with the best services the region has to offer?

Choose between body massages, body treatments, facial treatments, medical spas or all of the above!

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