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.
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.
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.
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.
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).