If you’re lacking in ideas on how to spend those cooler weekends, the Hunter Valley offers an array of activities that are fun for the whole family. Whether it’s family time, or sitting by a crackling fire with a red in hand, we have your winter itinerary covered!  The Hunter Valley has loads of fun this winter for you to enjoy! Winter in the Hunter Valley is a magical time, with many fun activities for the whole family.

For The Kids

Winter in the Hunter Valley is a perfect time to bring the kids for some family fun. Whether this be lapping up the beauty of the Hunter Valley Gardens, shopping in the Gardens Village or even visiting the winter-themed attractions targeted towards families! Every winter, the Hunter Valley hosts a family-fun event called Snow Time in the Gardens. This icy adventure is full of fun activities for the kids and even adults who love winter! If parking is an issue for you, be sure to hop on with iHop to get easy access to and from this family-fun fest to ensure a day of fun in the sun (and snow!) for your family.

Kids can play in the snow play zone, and get a taste of what it’s like to play in snow! With the fun of creating snowmen, or having a snowball fight, the snow in the snow play zone is always ready for your snow-playing fun! If that’s not enough, why not toboggan down the ice luge, racing down the 45-metre luge which will surely leave you with a smile on your face, or go for a skate on the indoor ice skating rink 

For the Big Kids (Adults)

This winter, grab a seat on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus and wine-hop between some of the best wineries around Pokolbin that the Hunter Valley has to offer. Create your customised day, cruising between wineries, getting a taste test of some of the best wines the Hunter Valley has to offer. Having a designated driver looking after you, there’s no need to stress about getting from winery to winery and tasting your way around the Hunter Valley. Winter in the Hunter Valley is the perfect time to sample some of the Hunter Valley’s best wines, so why not make a day of it and warm you up on a cold winter’s day. If wine isn’t for you, no need to worry, there’s plenty of breweries and eateries that you can stop in to get your fix! If you’re wanting to do something special, why not hop on a hot air balloon at sunrise, watching the sun rise over the beauty that is the Hunter Valley. With many accommodations boasting around the Hunter Valley, why not treat yourself to a glorious day spa treatment or just relax with a cheese plate and glass of wine in hand.

Events

Every June the Hunter Valley is home to the Hunter Valley Food and Wine festival; a place full of all the best food and wine that the Hunter Valley has to offer, all in one place. There are also many different food and wine events taking place at the cellar doors and restaurants around the region. Winter is a wonderful time to visit and warm up with a hearty glass of red in front of a toasty fire, and enjoy the delicious delicacies of the Valley under the crisp blue winter sky. 

Even though the vineyards are dormant over the winter months, there’s still plenty of things to do in the Hunter Valley in Winter, with loads of fun for both kids and adults. Why not add the Hunter Valley to your winter bucket list, and jump on-board an iHop bus or tour to get you around!

Check out the Hunter Valley’s official tourism site and start planning your Winter in the Hunter Valley for 2022. 

Love chocolate? Love beautiful scenery and nature? Sounds like a chocolate tour in the Hunter Valley is right up your alley. With many chocolate companies, and cellar doors to choose from, you can eat all the best chocolate the Hunter Valley has to offer to your heart’s content. 

Tours with Chocolate

If you’re not from the area, and want the ease of having the day planned out for you, we can satisfy your sweet tooth, and allow you to have a chocolate coma without the stress of driving! With our Taste ‘n’ Graze tour, a day full of wine tastings and food pairings, is perfect for those craving a sweet and savoury flavour day.

After a delightful tasting of cheese and wine pairings at a boutique cellar door, your next stop is for all those chocolate and wine lovers. With arisitan chocolate pairings for each wine, the flavour palette of the two are a tasting sensation you don’t want to miss.

Chocolate Tasting

Chocolate tasting in the Hunter Valley is incredibly popular, with a wide variety of chocolate stores to satisfy your chocolate cravings. With iHop offering an On-Demand Bus service and Hop-On Hop-Off Bus around Central Pokolbin, finding your way to these chocolate venues couldn’t be easier. Stop off at the Shopping Village in the Hunter Valley Gardens located at Hop 6 and explore the choice of local shops before stopping for a chocolate tasting and lollies at the British Lolly Shop.

If that wasn’t enough to hit that chocolate sweet spot, don’t fret, there are many more chocolate shops to visit. The Hunter Valley Chocolate Company is the perfect place for your chocolate tasting needs. With three locations, the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company has all your chocolate and fudge needs to satisfy your sweet tooth. At Twenty-3-Twenty, you are able to watch head chocolatier Peter make the artisan sweets before your very eyes, before indulging yourself in the sweet pleasure of trying these handmade treats.

Festivals

If festivals are more your thing, be sure to check out the Cheese and Chocolate Festival held every July in the Hunter Valley to satisfy your chocolate tasting and cheese tasting needs. Not only does this event boast some of the best beer and wines Hunter Valley has to offer, but is a day dedicated to tasting the best cheese and chocolate found in the Hunter Valley. If chocolate tasting in the Hunter Valley with a wine (or beer!) in hand is your guilty pleasure, this festival is the perfect place for you. With various options to choose from, and multiple stores to sample tastings at, this festival is for the cheese and chocolate lovers who want to try them all!

While the Hunter Valley has loads to offer for your chocolate tasting needs, we recommend trying a guided chocolate and wine pairing experience. Chocolate tasting in the Hunter Valley will be sure to satisfy your sweet cravings, so why not try some of the best chocolate treats the Hunter Valley has to offer; whether you experience onboard a tour or making your own way there.

A tour through the Hunter Valley is a great way to explore the best of the region and visit beautiful destinations on offer, while sipping on premium wines and eating delicious food. What could be better? But what’s more, a Hunter Valley tour is a great way to experience the best of the region all in the one excursion and meet some new people along the way. Whether you’re looking for a memorable corporate or team building exercise, celebrating a special occasion with friends and family or on holiday with your significant other, or traveling solo, visiting the Hunter Valley is a must do bucket list item!

Hunter Valley by Day

Pokolbin is in the heart of the Hunter Valley wine region and a perfect location for you to sample some fantastic quality local wines and produce. There are many surrounding micro wine regions in Lovedale, Broke, Wollombi and the Upper Hunter Valley. The Hunter region boasts internationally renowned wineries, boutique micro-breweries and distilleries, many dining options, cheese makers, chocolatiers, gift shops and much more. To explore the Pokolbin region’s many attractions jump on-board iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Bus service and customise your own Hunter Valley experience. 

There are some wonderful places to lunch in the Hunter Valley, perfect for day trippers and holidaymakers alike. Estates and restaurants offer a casual through to fine dining experience to suit any occasion. There is no better way to experience these than with iHop’s Taste ‘n’ Graze tour, making your way through boutique cellar doors tasting selected premium wines, paired with delicious cheese plates, chef’s tasting plates, artisan chocolates all capped off with a distillery tasting of locally made spirits.

Grazing your way through the Hunter Valley, you can experience plenty of well-established places offering tapas, small plates and woodfired pizza options for the casual diner. Whatever you opt for you can expect to be treated to quality locally sourced produce prepared by passionate Chefs, while enjoying quality wine to match in a beautiful and serene wine country setting.

Don’t forget to leave room for dessert! Get your sweet fix at one of the many chocolate shops or gelato offerings. Featured at Hop 1 – Pokolbin Village Shops, Hop 2 – Roche Estate, Hop 5 – Ben Ean and Hop 6 – at the Shopping Village in the Hunter Valley Gardens via the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus.

Hunter Valley by Night

If you are more of a night-owl, the Hunter Valley has a range of options after the sun goes down. Don’t miss iHop’s Wine and Fork Twilight tour, which offers a great way to explore the Hunter Valley after dark in an all-inclusive tour experience. Indulge in the delights of a guided wine tasting paired with local cheeses visiting a couple of the region’s boutique cellar doors, before settling in for a 2-course dinner at one of the locals favourite dining destinations.

There are many bars, pubs and restaurants in the area that will appeal to all tastes and preferences, whether you are looking for a family friendly venue, casual dining options or a 2 Chef hatted restaurant to celebrate your special occasion or that long awaited trip away you have been planning for sometime, there are many cuisine options throughout the Hunter Valley leaving you spoilt for choice!

So much more than wine!

For all the non-wine drinkers out there, make sure to check out Pokolbin Cider House. Opt for a tasting paddle to sample some local and unique cider flavours. There For all the non-wine drinkers out there, there’s plenty of craft beers and spirits to sample! Check out a selection of bespoke microbreweries, some offering masterclasses in all things hops and brews for those looking to learn something new while enjoying a cold one. Explore all the local breweries and distilleries via the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus or On-Demand Bus and enjoy your tastings with a view of the scenic countryside.

Whether you want to improve your knowledge about different wines, indulge in some delicious food or prefer to sample the local craft beers or distilleries, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Hunter Valley. To find out more about getting around the beautiful Hunter Valley aboard iHop visit: https://ihophuntervalley.com.au/

It’s not just all about wine swirling when you visit the famous Hunter Valley wine region. If you love to shop and looking for some retail therapy whilst on your well deserved break, there are many great boutique stores to spend your days browsing through. If you are on the lookout for a gift or souvenir, want to sample some gourmet locally-made cheeses or chocolate, need a new outfit or shopping for that special someone, there is something for everyone. We suggest checking out the Pokolbin Village Shops and the Shopping Village at the Hunter Valley Gardens where you will find a great range of options. 

Both of these locations are part of the iHop Hop-On Hop-Off Tours route, so if you are without transport, we can get you to where you need to go and back at your leisure. The Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours visits 16 designated stops accessing over 40 different venues throughout the Central Pokolbin region, check out iHop’s designated bus stops here.

We have compiled a range of shops in the region that are some of our favourites, so grab your shopping bags and let’s get going!

Pokolbin Village Shops

This is located at Hop 4 on the Central Pokolbin Loop!

The Pokolbin Village Shops showcases a variety of shopping and foodie options. Browse a selection of your favourite Hunter Valley wines at the Pokolbin Bottle Shop, sample some locally made chocolates and cheeses, pick-up your essentials at the General Store or wander through the boutique Homeware stores.

Cheese Shop

Looking to create your very own cheese board or wanting to do a cheese tasting? Be sure to check out The Smelly Deli, stocking a variety of locally made and imported artisan cheese. They also stock a pantry full of gourmet treats and products. Be sure to try their house made gelato while you are there. Cheese and wine is the perfect pairing, almost a staple here in the Valley! The staff can also offer advice on the best cheeses to pair with your favourite drop.

Kitchen & Bakery

Peckish or needing a caffeine hit? Be sure to drop into Fawk Foods Kitchen & Bakery for a barista-made coffee, baked treats or settle in and enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch. Specialising in artisan breads all baked on site that can be enjoyed there or later with that afternoon antipasto platter. A staple near the Pokolbin Village Shops.

Clothing & Gifts

Gifts and trinkets and so much more! Browse a selection of accessories, gifts, candles and clothing at Maple Homewares for that perfect gift.

Chocolate & Jam Shop

We also love our chocolate here in the Hunter! Enjoy a selection of locally made chocolate, fudge, jam and teas at the Pokolbin Chocolate Shop. Or if you can’t decide, book in for one of their chocolate tastings and sample a range of their finest.

Hunter Valley Gardens Shops

This is located at Hop 6 on the Central Pokolbin Loop!

Hunter Valley Gardens’ Shopping Village is located in the same vicinity as the Hunter Valley Gardens and makes for a great day out! For all those shoppers looking for a unique gift, souvenirs and confectionery, as well as bespoke fashion, jewellery and homewares we have compiled a list of shops to explore.

Clothing Shops

Browse a unique selection of clothing, hats, scarves, throws, blanket and teddies – all made from alpaca fibre grown in Australia. The Australian Alpaca Barn is a family-owned business specialising in quality products, providing the perfect unique gift for yourself or others.

Going out for dinner and need a new outfit? Look no further than Wilson & Hunter – bringing the latest Australian and international fashion trends to the Hunter through a variety of clothing, shoes and accessories.

Food & Drink

Are you a Brit looking for a slice of home, or just keen to try something different? Check out the British Lolly Shop – stocking everything from Millions and toffee bonbons to Monster Munch and tea – you won’t leave empty-handed and is a real treat for the sweet tooths!

Handcrafted and distilled using premium organic ingredients in their signature glitter bottles, Small Mouth Vodka is definitely worth a visit. Stocking a variety of delicious flavoured vodkas, gin and liquors, from Caramel Vodka to Pina Colada liquor, there is an abundance of flavours to choose from.

Something Different…

Step back in time and peruse a collection of fine antiques, collectables and vintage accessories. Peppers Creek Antiques is unique to the Hunter Valley and well worth a visit if you want to experience something different! There’s also the Crystal Shop that’s worth a look in, featuring a selection of the finest crystals including natural and polished, beautiful crystal jewellery, salt lamps and much more.

For the full list of shops in the Village the the Gardens visit the link here.

There is so much to explore just in the Pokolbin Region catering to a variety of shopping needs and wants! From unique gifts, clothing and accessories to locally produced chocolate, cheeses and products, it’s time to get shopping and treat yourself or that special someone!

Though the Hunter Valley is one of the smallest wine growing regions in Australia, it produces some of the most highly-acclaimed wines worldwide. The region is home to many historic characteristics, with some wineries dating back to family lineages from the 1800’s. This rich heritage can be viewed and experienced on one of iHop’s guided wine tours and makes for an amazing Hunter Valley getaway.

The Hunter Valley is conveniently located, the drive is just two hours from Sydney and 50 minutes from Newcastle Airport. For the rest of Australia, the Hunter Valley is now even more accessible. You can take a direct flight from almost every major city into Newcastle Airport such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and the Gold Coast. You can find yourself immersed in rustic charm and hospitality in a matter of hours.

Explore Vineyards, Wineries & Cellar Doors

The Hunter Valley is home to more cellar doors than any other wine region in Australia, with over 180 cellar doors in the region. They range from global award-winning wineries to lesser known hidden gems, all producing a varied range of products. This means there is no shortage of options for you to experience. One of the best parts of wine tasting on your Hunter Valley getaway is discovering a hidden gem and new found favourite wine.

To expand your knowledge and experience on the variety of products to come from the Hunter Region, you can join a wine tour that specifically focuses on wine and food pairing (even some beer recommendations for those who prefer or want to try both). iHop’s ‘Taste ‘n’ Graze’ pairing tour takes you on a journey sampling some of the finest local wines, cheeses, craft beers, whisky, chocolates and chef tasting plates all while teaching you which types of drinks pair well with the foods you are tasting.

What better way to learn about Food and Drink pairing than from internationally renowned wineries and restaurants?

Foodie Lovers Haven

As for the fine dining in the area, there are a myriad of restaurants and cafes to suit your taste buds. Muse Restaurant is one of the most highly regarded and acclaimed restaurants in the region and is a must try on your Hunter Valley getaway. They have maintained a Chef Hat status each year since 2011 and in 2015 to present, they have been awarded Two Chef Hats.

Other notable Hatted restaurants include; Restaurant Botanica, Bistro Molines, Circa 1876, Muse Kitchen and EXP Restaurant. The Hop-On Hop-Off service and iHopGO On-Demand Bus can transport you to most of these locations to enjoy a leisurely long lunch and unforgettable dining experience amongst the vines.

Hands On Wine & Cooking Schools

To learn more about the different types of wines and how they are made, The Hunter Valley Resort offers a wine education experience called the ‘Hunter Valley Wine School’ which focuses on everything from growing the grapes, right up to bottling and aging the wine.

The masterclass involves walking through the vineyards, followed by a comprehensive winemaking tutorial with their skilled ‘Cellarmaster’. The experience goes for two hours and can be reached by using transport services such as the iHopGO On-Demand Bus or the Hop-On Hop-Off service stops there at Hop 10 on the Central Pokolbin Loop.

There are also a number of cooking classes to experience on your Hunter Valley getaway, hosted by various estates and restaurants across the region, from an Italian cooking masterclass to cheese making. These fun and interactive cooking classes are a great gift idea or a good way to experience something different as a group or couple on your getaway. 

Accomodation

With many unique and memorable experiences on offer in the Hunter Valley, a day trip is just not long enough to get the most out of your time in this amazing region. Thankfully, there are many great accommodation options suitable for everyone, making the Hunter Valley a perfect getaway for a weekend or longer stay. From luxury resorts to self-contained units and wellness retreats, there is accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes. Many of the estates and hotels in the Hunter Valley offer spa treatments and full day spa experiences, perfect for those looking to relax and unwind from the everyday world or is the perfect treat for that someone special.

A Hunter Valley getaway is the perfect break from the everyday routine and is often described as Disneyland for Adults, offering many Food and Drink related adventures and various other activities. Discover Australia’s oldest wine producing and world renowned wine regions today!

So you are here in Pokolbin surrounded by the natural beauty of rolling vineyards… but you don’t necessarily drink wine? Don’t worry, you are certainly not alone!

Customers often ask us what are some other things to do in Pokolbin, the heart of Australia’s oldest wine producing region? The Hunter Valley is not just all about wine tasting, offering a varied range of activities and things to do. In fact, this beautiful location boasts a lot more variety than you might think. So much so that we decided to write a blog post offering some local tips and insights!

Read on to discover what else you can get up to on your non-wine drinking trip to this famous region.

Transport Activities

Pokolbin is a place full of fun and entertaining activities for all! Whether you want to take in everything the great outdoors has to offer – hiking, horse riding, bike riding and the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus are all great ways to get around and see the area. Or if you fancy something a bit different – see the Hunter Valley from a birds eye view with a bespoke helicopter flight or hot air balloon ride that delivers breathtaking views and a memorable experience. These are just some of the most popular transport activities to do in Pokolbin.

Horse Riding

There are plenty of horse riding options available in the Hunter Valley including tours for beginners up to advanced riders, private tours for families, a romantic trip or corporate events – all with different durations and price points. So whatever the occasion and budget, horse riding through the vineyards is such a wonderful and unique experience to get amongst the vines and take in some beautiful scenery.

Take to the Skies

A helicopter or hot air balloon ride is a must do way to see the Hunter Valley. Helicopter flights  offer various experiences available to suit your travel preference and budget. Whether you’re just interested in a snap shot scenic flight or want to fly to different locations, there are many tailor made options to make your experience truly special. Alternatively jump aboard a hot air balloon ride departing at sunrise to catch a glimpse of the early morning local wildlife and glowing vineyards in all their glory.

On Ya Bike

There are a few bicycle hire companies in Pokolbin, providing guided tours or private hires from half to full days, suiting a variety of needs. Electric bikes are available for those wanting a more laid back ride or wanting to cover off a longer distance, and push bikes for those looking to exert some energy and enjoy that well earnt drink and leisurely lunch along the way.

Entertain the Kids

Looking for some family friendly activities? You couldn’t be in a better place with all the things to do in Pokolbin. A popular stop for the entire family is at the Shopping Village and the Hunter Valley Gardens which is located at  Hop 6 – on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Depending on the time of year, children and adults will have a great time in the award-winning gardens, engaging in the Magical Storybook or the Christmas Lights Spectacular. Also at this location is Aqua Golf and Putt Putt if you fancy some family-friendly competition. Stay on and enjoy lunch or coffee at the many cafes and wander around the many boutique shops.

There is also the Hunter Valley Zoo, which homes everything from the Wombat and Tasmanian Devil to the Lion and Tortoise. Why not drop in to hand feed a kangaroo, cuddle a koala or reptile and watch the monkeys at play? There are many “meet the animal” encounter experiences also for the entire family to enjoy.

If you fancy doing a handful of activities in the Hunter Valley, it might be worth considering booking the iHopGO On-Demand bus that caters for small to larger groups and can transport you to anywhere in the local area. The service is charged at a flat fee for the group, where you can arrange to be picked up on the next available time, or plan ahead days, weeks or even months in advance.

Shopping!

Why not indulge in tasting some irresistible local artisan chocolates, visit the many local cheese shops and providores and create your own antipasto platter or browse the latest fashion and homewares. You can find all these treats in the Hunter Valley, if you know where to look. Find out more about the shops on offer here.

Events

Many of the vineyards actually utilise their land for hosting music events and concerts, and there’s also annual music events including Opera in the Vineyards in October and Jazz in the Vineyards in November. So be sure to plan ahead and see if there are any events that coincide with the dates that you’ll be in the Valley and experience a truly memorable day or evening out.

There are also a variety of cultural events that pop up over the Hunter Valley throughout the year, including artisan markets, comedy festivals and the Hunter Valley Art Fair in October, that showcases a unique collection of work from local artists.

Of Course There is Beer & Spirits!

We are also home to a range of micro breweries and distilleries that can be visited via iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours or On-Demand Bus, so if you feel like sinking a few cold ones, enjoy a brewery lunch or sampling vodka, schnapps, liquors or even rums, checkout all these venues and their locations on our iGuide/Timetable to Central Pokolbin which can be downloaded here.

So by now you know Pokolbin is not just a place to drink wine. There are plenty of amazing activities and things to do for all ages. If you don’t have transportation to get you to your activities or like the idea of having a local, designated driver, iHop Hunter Valley offers a range of transport options for getting around, visiting destinations all over the Hunter Valley Region (not just vineyards).

If you’re visiting the beautiful Hunter Valley wine region and want to get your hands (and taste buds!) around the certified “good stuff”, then this is the guide for you!

The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region and today boasts over 150 winery destinations for our welcome visitors to try. From humble beginnings in Semillon and Shiraz, the region still does our classics well, but we also range out into some amazing Chardonnay and Verdelho. There is even an emergence of European styles growing successfully here including Southern Italy’s Vermentino and Fiano varieties, which still carry the hallmark of a Hunter white being crisp and light with a beautiful dry finish. If reds are more to your liking Spanish Tempranillo and Italian Sangiovese are also producing beautiful wines in the Hunter. Basically, there is something for everyone!

With so many varieties and destinations to consider it can be hard to know where to start, so we have put together a run-down of the best places to visit for an award-winning wine experience. Luckily, you can plan your visit to some of the Hunter’s favourite destinations across Pokolbin and Lovedale with our Hop-on-Hop-off tours!

Calais Estate

(Hop 1 – Lovedale and North Pokolbin Route)

As well as a Cellar Door located in the charming colonial-style building built from convict cut bricks and solid timber bridging beams, Calais Estate offers sweeping views over their vineyard and Brokenback Ranges. Here you can taste everything from classic wine varieties, to a range of hand-crafted sparkling wines made in the French traditional method. With their cellar door awarded the ‘Best Cellar Door’ in the Lower Hunter Business Awards for five consecutive years, this is one not to miss!

De Bortoli

(Hop 2 – Lovedale and North Pokolbin Route)

The smell of roasted coffee, toffee, sweet raisins and a touch of lemon-peel bitterness will draw you in as you arrive at De Bortoli. These are the aromas of the award winning Black Noble. As the world’s only fortified wine made from the botrytis grape, this wine was the recipient of a gold medal in the highly respected ‘2019 Global Fortified Masters Blind Tasting Competition’.

Hungerford Hill

(Hop 3 – Central Pokolbin Route)

Grab your friends and indulge in Hungerford Hill’s boutique wine tasting experience. Tickle your tastebuds with award winning wine by treating yourself to a bottle of St Vernay Vineyard 2017 Shiraz, awarded 90 points and 4 stars by the ‘Gourmet Traveller WINE Expert Panel’! This light wine has the perfect balance of light peppery fruit, perfect for pairing with a meal from the acclaimed Muse Restaurant offering some of the finest dining in the area with its 2 Chef Hatted status.

Roche Estate; Tempus Two

(Hop 5 – Central Pokolbin Route)

Hop off at Roche Estate and try the Uno Series at the Tempus Two Cellar Door! Winning the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion Competition in 2016, the Uno Series represents the very best of Hunter Valley winemaking. Luxurious and elegant, this series comes as a classic medium to full bodied Shiraz. Its perfumed red-berry aroma will encapsulate you, while its long lingering finish will leave you wanting more. After wine-tasting, there is a range of award-winning cheese on offer at Smelly Cheese Shop next to the Tempus Two Cellar Door. Or you can head across the road to McGuigan Wines, who have won International Wine Maker of the Year a record four times! Also across the road is Brokenwood who won 2019 Cellar Door of the Year in the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Awards. This stop is a great place to plan for lunch with Oishii, The Wood Restaurant, and Goldfish restaurants all within reach.

Hart & Hunter

(Hop 13 – Central Pokolbin Route)

Boasting a 4.5-star rating from James Halliday, Hart & Hunter celebrates their 10-year anniversary in 2019. Their grapes are sourced from highly regarded Hunter growers and they have a strong emphasis on single vineyard wines and small batch processing. This approach has served them well with their wines winning a multitude of awards including the ‘Marshall-Flannery Trophy’, the ‘H.J. Lindeman Trophy’ and accolades from the ‘Hunter Valley Boutique Winemakers’ Show’ in the past.

Bimbadgen Estate

(Hop 14 – Central Pokolbin Route, Lovedale and North Pokolbin Route)

Relax and take in the views in the Courtyard Cafe while sipping on Bimbadgen Estate’s award winning 2017 Semillon. With a fragrant citrus blossom and lemongrass scent, mixed with a weighty lemon and lime fruit on the mid palate with a fine acid backbone, you’re sure to leave wanting more. This is a style of Semillon which has seen the Hunter region gain international recognition and popularity.

First Creek

(Hop 15 – Central Pokolbin Route)

With an esteemed win of the James Halliday 2018 Chardonnay Challenge – Best Hunter Valley Chardonnay, you mustn’t leave the estate without trying this Winemaker’s Reserve Collection. This collection encapsulates regional and vineyard provenance, winemaking skill and integrity, as well as the essence of the First Creek style resulting in exceptionally rare and special wines. Greg Silkman, owner of First Creek and highly regarded industry leader, won last year’s Hunter Valley Wine Legend Award if you needed any more proof that First Creek is a stop not to miss!

With rich vineyards and olive groves, the Hunter Valley is a popular choice for those wanting to experience award winning wine and craft beer. 

Summer time for the Hunter Valley is often its busiest, with events becoming a regular occurrence. With the great degree of events and showcases emerging, it can become difficult to decide which events to attend. Our Hop-on-Hop-off tours aim to make this a little easier through ease of accessibility to these events; being designed to showcase the best the Hunter Valley region has to offer. 

To make your plans become a reality, we have listed our top Hop-on-Hop-off events this summer in the Hunter Valley.

Roche Estate – Grapevine Gathering 2020 (Hop 5 – Central Pokolbin Loop) 

Set amongst the stunning vineyards, the Red-Hot Summer Tour will return in celebration of 10 years of operation. Indulge while taking in the Hunter Valley and treat yourself to one of the concerts hampers ranging from $20 to $140. Or, simply enjoy the music with ARIA Hall of Fame inductees Hunters & Collectors reuniting to headline the 2020 tour, bringing with them special guests James Reyne, The Living End, The Angels, Baby Animals, Killing Heidi and Boom Crash Opera.

Bimbadgen Estate Wines – Sundown Fridays (Hop 14 – Lovedale & North Pokolbin Loops)

Take in the delights of the Bimbadgen Estate while relaxing in their Tuscan inspired courtyard. Pair this with delectable food and a $5 Happy Hour from 3pm-6pm. This is what Sundown Fridays are all about.

Each Friday will bring a new artist to appeal to your music needs, providing live music from 4pm. With guests invited to book dinner reservations at Esca Bimbadgen, it is the perfect Friday plan and start to your wine country weekend away!

Go ahead and enquire now!

De Bortoli Wines –  Hunter Wine Country Markets (Hop 2 – Lovedale & North Pokolbin Loop)

Satisfy your taste buds with food, coffee and wine while observing meticulously handcrafted items at the Hunter Wine Country Markets every Saturday!  Local artisans showcase their work with stalls ranging from food, jewelry, candles, soaps and much more.

Make sure to bring the kids along for a camel ride, or simply to listen to the live entertainment from local buskers in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Lovedale Smokehouse – Majors Lane Cooking School (Hop 7 – Lovedale & North Pokolbin Loop)

Head over to Lovedale Smokehouse every Saturday and Sunday for a fun hands-on outdoor cooking class. Situated in a stunning 100-acre vineyard, you will get the choice of a variety of classes and cooking styles to learn. Your senses will be ignited by the smells, sounds and flavours of your chosen cuisine as you learn how to compile a tantalizing menu.

At the conclusion of your class, you will receive a souvenir apron, recipes and a glass of wine or beer with your meal.

Due to the popularity of these events it is crucial to start organising your plans as soon as possible. Make sure to grab your family and friends to book your Hop-on-Hop-off bus tour today with iHop Hunter Valley before tickets run out!

While the Hunter Valley is well known for its picturesque vineyards, expansive restaurant options and delectable local produce, it also hosts a range of shopping opportunities. From antique homewares to upmarket fashion, the Hunter Valley shops are sure to satisfy any shopping addict’s needs.

Conveniently located at Hop 6 (Hunter Valley Gardens Village) and Hop 7 (Peppers Creek Village) of the iHop Central Pokolbin Bus Tour, these stores are our top picks for shopping destinations in the Hunter Valley.  

Maple Homewares – Pokolbin Village Shops (Hop 4)

Start your shopping journey at Maple Homewares, a delightful store that stocks a range of art, homewares and accessories. 

Maple Homewares products come in a range of sizes and styles and keep up with current trends such as wooden, ceramic, woven and leather features. This store is a great location to pick up that cute or quirky item that will complete a room. 

If homewares aren’t your thing, peruse the extensive range of jewellery, handbags and shoes which effortlessly combine style and comfort for a chic, relaxed look. 

Wilson & Hunter – Hunter Valley Gardens Village (Hop 6)
Take a wander through the picturesque Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village and you will stumble across wine country’s go-to fashion destination, Wilson & Hunter. The warm and inviting atmosphere paired with fresh, upmarket and timeless fashion pieces ensures that you always look and feel your best.

Boasting labels like Camilla, Bec and Bridge, Faithful, Karen Walker and more, this boutique is your one stop shop for all things designer. In only one location, you can find an entire outfit due to the large range of items including handbags, shoes, accessories and clothing.

Hunter Valley Gift & Crystal Shop – Hunter Valley Gardens Village (Hop 6)
For those who are spiritually inclined, look no further than the Hunter Valley Gift & Crystal Shop. Specialising in the finest quality crystals, unique giftware and international homewares, this store is the perfect place for any alternate soul. 

At The Hunter Valley Gift & Crystal Shop, expect to be mesmerised by amethyst, citrine, tourmaline and jasper which appear in both natural and polished jewellery forms. Also make sure to take in the large range of Himalayan Salt Lamps which are said to cleanse the air, assist with allergies and provide a calming light source in the home.

Southon Style – Hunter Valley Gardens Village (Hop 6)
For stylish shoppers on a budget, Southon Style is one of the Hunter Valley shops to visit – with an extensive range of women’s fashion including resort wear, sarongs and a specialised Southon Curve fashion line.

Southon Style is perfect for any fashion forward shopper looking for value for money items that won’t break the bank. Featuring on-trend fashion pieces and stocking all sizes from 6 – 24, this boho chic store has something for everyone. 

The Twig – Hunter Valley Gardens Village (Hop 6)
Venturing further into the Hunter Valley Gardens, you will stumble across eclectic homeware and giftware store, The Twig. Jam-packed with a range of knick knacks for all ages and interests, The Twig caters to any gifting need. 

Get lost browsing the shelves and discover beautiful, new pieces as well as vintage one-offs and unusual small furniture items. Kids will love discovering eclectic wonders including old-school toys, dollhouses, board games and more.

For those wanting to treat themselves with a touch of luxury, be sure to check out the bath, body and accessories section where you can select from a range of high quality soaps, sleepwear and trinkets.

Fetch Gifts and Homewares – Peppers Creek Village (Hop 7)
Walking into Fetch Gifts and Homewares will automatically put you at ease. Surrounded by an extensive range of plants, ceramics and timber items, you could easily assume that you are standing in a rainforest.

Lovers of a natural looking home will adore the timber furniture items on display that are handmade by store owner, Joel. Every shopper will feel satisfied knowing that their purchase is bespoke and unique. 

Fetch Gifts and Homewares also stock simple but sophisticated clothing options that will make you feel instantly transported to summer in Italy or out for brunch with the girls. 

Why not incorporate a wine tour followed by a shopping tour to fill your day, starting your day joining our Beyond the Vines half day tour where you can visit a trio of different venues where you will experience premium Hunter Valley wines and local produce before a behind the scenes winery tour with a twist! Followed by an afternoon of retail therapy in the local area!

Find our more about iHop Hunter Valley Beyond the Vines Tour and other Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours here.