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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.

Top 10 things to do these school holidays

There is a lot more to the Hunter Valley than award winning wineries and restaurants (I mean, that in its own right is nothing short of amazing!). What many may not know is that the Hunter Valley ticks all the boxes for dad, mum AND the kids, as the ideal school holiday destination. Breathe in the sweet valley air and explore the destination with some quality family bonding thrown in. Use our list of the Top 10 things to do this spring in the Hunter Valley to guide the family around:

Mega Creatures at Hunter Valley Gardens

1. Mega Creatures: ​The Hunter Valley Gardens will transform into a prehistoric, mythical, creepy, crawly world. With dinosaurs, dragons giant bugs, spiders and more. They'll also have the ferris wheel, carousel, swing chair, super slide and inflatable zones in operation during Mega Creatures, 29 September - 14 October.

2. Wildlife Spotting: ​Power through the gorgeous Hunter Valley scenery on a Segway Tour. Be guided through back roads and paddocks, the perfect opportunity to spot local wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies and maybe even a goanna or wombat. Tours are suitable for children 12+ years (don't forget your camera).

Spa Princess Pamper Party at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

3. Spring Program: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley has an exciting host of activities during the school holidays including a Dr Seuss themed kids high tea, a Lego Long Lunch, Ukiba Spa Princess Pamper Party or be framed as a sugarplum princess at the Fairyland Mobile Photography Studio. Bookings essential.

4. Animal  Encounters: Get your very own Llama to take for a walk through the picturesque vineyards of Ben Ean winery. When you're done, head to their cellar door to sample delicious cheese, chocolates and olives. Walking with Llamas every Sunday in October. Bookings are essential.

Ride a Camel or pat baby animals at the Wollombi Market Day. You can browse over 100 stalls sampling local produce and crafts on Sunday 1st October.

Cupcake Espresso at Hunter Valley Gardens

5. Sweet Spots: Eat your body weight in treats at one of Hunter Valley's sweet spots - Cupcake EspressoCocoa Nib Artisan Chocolates, Hunter Valley ChocolatesSabor Dessert Bar and The Stick Pastry Kitchen. You're spoilt for choice. 

Love Gelato? Then head to the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop for authentic Italian gelato made on-site including Sprinkles, Bubblegum, Mars Bar and Smarty Pants.

6. Day on the Green: After some dinosaur fun in the Hunter Valley Gardens, challenge the kids to 18-holes of putt putt or whack a few golf balls into the lake (and win a prize if you land a ball in the net) at Hunter Valley Aqua Golf and Putt Putt.

Hunter Valley Balloon Aloft Fiesta

7. Up and Away: ​Take to the skies during the annual Balloon Aloft Balloon Fiesta from 28 September - 1 October. Each day sees upward of twenty-five hot air balloons from all around the country launch together at sunrise and float majestically over the Hunter Valley. Come join in the excitement as a passenger (children 7 years and older) or follow along from the ground.

8. Get Active: On your bike. Explore the scenic vine-fringed path of Hermitage Road, a 10km bike friendly pathway. Bring your own or hire an electric bike through Sutton Estate.Nulkaba Parkrun is a free event held every Saturday morning at St Phillips Christian School at 9am.

Horse Riding in the Hunter Valley

9. Saddle  up: Soak up the picturesque views of the Hunter Valley while meandering between the vineyards and the bush on a Horse Riding tour

10. Family Day Out: Pop down to Dalwood Estate on Saturday 29th September for their Family Fun Day with Jumping Castles, Kid's Face Painting, a Silent Disco, Kid's Arts in the Vines, Food Stalls, Kid's Mini-Jeep. The estate has sheltered picnic areas and lots of space for the children to run around and kick a football.

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