While the Hunter Valley is recognised as a world-class wine and food destination, the region is actually made up of a number of smaller sub-regions. Each has its own secrets to reveal and subtle nuances in terms of wine characteristics. You can discover them individually or as part of the Hunter Valley wine and food trail.

It’s only a 40-minute drive from one end of the Hunter Valley to the other so you can easily take the time to explore some of the small villages, larger towns and other hidden gems around the region. 


Pokolbin isn’t a town or village, but it’s hailed as the wine capital of the Valley because it has the highest concentration of wineries, restaurants, accommodation and activities in the region. From gardens and golf courses to balloons and bike hire, you’ll find it all here. While Pokolbin revolves around Broke Road and McDonalds Road, it also includes established trails such as the Around Hermitage Trail.


The north-western corner of Pokolbin is home to a cluster of boutique wineries, relaxed restaurants and gourmet producers with Insta worthy views. It also boasts the region’s first dedicated bicycle path linking more than a dozen wineries along the vine-lined route.  


When you exit the Hunter Expressway at Lovedale Road and turn left you’ve arrived in Lovedale. It is a relaxed neighbourhood, just east of Pokolbin and home of the Lovedale Long Lunch, held each May. The winding country roads are lined with cellar doors, eateries and a wide-ranging collection of places to stay.


As far as idyllic rural backdrops go, you can’t ask for much better than Mount View. Mount View Road weaves its way past terraced vineyards, quaint tasting rooms and B&Bs up to the Bimbadeen and Mt Bright Lookouts, with breathtaking views in every direction. It’s a picturesque, peaceful setting in a quiet corner of the Hunter Valley.


Nestled at the foothills of the Brokenback Range in the shadow of the majestic Yellow Rock escarpment, Broke Fordwich has a rustic charm and is pin-drop quiet, so it is the perfect destination for a relaxing, romantic and rural retreat. It is peppered with boutique and biodynamic vineyards, olive groves, restaurants and cosy accommodation. It’s a short drive, but well worth it.


Drive 30 minutes south-west of Pokolbin to the quaint village of Wollombi and you’ll be transported back in time to a bygone era. Established in the mid-1800s, the pretty hamlet is famed for its colonial architecture and old-world general store. It is the gateway to the Wollombi Valley, which offers a heady mix of attractions from ancient Aboriginal sites, national parks and the Great North Road convict trail, to farmgate produce and wine offerings along the Wollombi Valley Wine Trail.


Cessnock has a history firmly linked with mining and boasts a streetscape of historical buildings, bookended by grand old pubs. Today, it is Wine Country’s hub for business and shopping, but also has a mix of entertainment options with several cafes and restaurants, a well-respected art gallery, performing arts centre and local arts and crafts displays at Cessnock’s oldest sawn timber homestead, the Heritage-listed Marthaville Arts & Cultural Centre. 


Singleton was founded in 1820 on the banks of the Hunter River and still retains many impressive 19th century buildings and fine old mansions. Pick up a heritage walk brochure from the Visitor Information Centre on the New England Highway and stroll along the posted walk, visit the Singleton Historic Society Museum and the Australian Army Infantry Museum at the nearby barracks. 






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