Christmas is a time to celebrate, relax and enjoy time with family and friends. Traditionally, for Australians, December also marks the long summer break from school, the time that workplaces close down for a couple of weeks … and that means time for fun! For everyone!

Over the past couple of years, many of us have been separated from family and friends for long periods, so how about getting everyone together in the Hunter Valley this year?

The accommodation options in the Hunter Valley are endless. There are also activities for wine lovers, beer lovers, food lovers, culture seekers, and anyone who enjoys the lovely Australian countryside.

You’re never far from a beautiful view in the Hunter Valley, so you can feel like you’re a million miles away … yet, world-class amenities surround you.

There’s just so much to do – aside from food and wine tours, there are hot air balloon rides, great restaurants, shopping, arts, craft, culture, history …

Or, if you want to chill out and spend time together, there are plenty of places to picnic and play a family cricket game!

So – I can hear you thinking that it sounds excellent… but it would be exhausting rounding everyone up and having the responsibility of driving around exploring. After all, who wants to be the designated driver while everybody else gets to relax, look out the window, and maybe have an alcoholic beverage or two?

That’s where we come in!

iHop has a range of transport options for your stay in the Hunter Valley, whether it’s one of our guided tours, the Hop-On Hop-Off bus service, or the full chauffeur service with the on-demand group transport.

The on-demand group transport service is tailored to your needs – you can arrange a central meeting spot, or we can pick up and drop off from various locations. We also offer a concierge service where we can tailor an all-inclusive tour to your group’s perfect day out!

If you want something less formal, then the iHop Hop-On Hop-Off bus service runs regularly to all the main destinations around Central Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley – just like a public bus service – so you can check the timetable and get around quickly to where you want to go!

Guided Tours and Private Tours

But for something special, we recommend a guided tour. There are full-day and half-day tours; some only last a few hours.

We also arrange customised private tours tailored especially for the desires of your group.

What about cooking classes? Long lunches or dinners? Wine Tasting? Food and drink pairing? Wine tasting and painting classes? Aqua golf?

The options are endless, and there is something to suit all ages, all tastes, and all
budgets. Oh, and by the way, we also offer gift certificates, so if you’re looking for a unique Christmas Gift, contact us to find out more

At iHop, we specialise in a range of transport and tour options and pride ourselves on our local knowledge. We can offer you a range of suggestions that will create the perfect day or night for everyone – and we mean everyone – from the hard-to-please uncles to great-grandmas and even toddlers.

Christmas Lights Spectacular

Don’t forget that the Hunter Valley Gardens annual Christmas Lights Spectacular is from 4 November 2022 to 26 January 2023, every night from 5.30 pm. This is a gorgeous experience. And it gets bigger and brighter every year. It should be on your agenda if you’re coming to the Hunter Valley over the holiday period.

So, what are you waiting for? Book now, while available, so that you won’t be disappointed. Come for a night, a week, and a few weeks – we guarantee you’ll have a good time … and go home feeling relaxed, fresh, and ready to start the New Year. And, if you do it the right way (we can help) … you’ll have beautiful memories to last a lifetime, too.

The truth is that any time is a great time to visit the Hunter Valley, but there is something special about Spring (one of our favourite seasons)!

What’s so special about Spring in the Hunter Valley?

Because primarily of our temperate climate, there are few places in Australia where you can feel and see the seasons. The Hunter Valley is one of them, and it is stunning at this time of year because this is an agricultural country. Spring is the season of new beginnings and growth in the farming calendar – lush green hills surround us, bright blossoming trees and shrubs, and all the animal babies.

It’s a lovely time of year – fresh with the promise of new life as bud burst takes place on the vines, endless possibilities, and long summer evenings not far away! 

If this doesn’t convince you … then come and see for yourself. And if you love baby animals, make sure you put Pokolbin Farm on your to-do list!

Winemaking … and much, much more

As Australia’s oldest winemaking region, with a solid international reputation for wine and more than 180 cellar doors, there is a lot to see and do if you’re a wine enthusiast. But even if you’re a teetotaller, whether you’re coming for a week or a weekend, there are some incredible experiences for everyone.

At iHop, we’re proud to say as locals; we know our backyards pretty well now!

And so our friendly team will be able to recommend any activity for singles, couples, groups, families, and any age group.

If you’ve got limited time, we suggest taking a tour. We’ve packaged these up to suit all budgets and tastes and taken care of everything for you, so all you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself.

We have something for everyone, including ‘chocolate lovers,’shopaholics,’ and food and wine tours, just for starters.

Our Hunter Valley wine tours have been designed to showcase the best the Hunter region has to offer, from internationally renowned wineries, microbreweries, casual and fine dining venues, cheese shops, chocolatiers, shopping, art, craft, local history, and more …

We also offer:

Tours and more

Browse our website and look at what you can do – we have an easy search function that will help you find the information that matches your interest and budget. You can book online too.

Our buses are clean, modern, air-conditioned, and spacious … so you can travel around in comfort. We even have storage boxes and cooler box facilities on board, so you can be assured that any wine you purchase will stay chilled, along with the smoked salmon, cheeses, chocolates, and delicious dips or other goodies you’ve collected along the way.

The only thing that will spoil when you return to your accommodation is YOU!  

Sit back and relax

iHop was founded by a husband and wife team who are both actively working day to day in the business and have lived in the region for 7+ years. Their local knowledge is invaluable, and it’s what underpins all the tours we’ve put together for you to choose from. We know where you can get away from the crowds, where you can see peacocks roaming the gardens, and the best spots for an evening picnic to watch a spectacular sunset.

You can be assured that all our bus drivers and guides are carefully selected – very experienced driving skills, super friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate about their wine country backyard. They will always be happy to help you find your way around and make recommendations.

Of course, suppose you want to go your way. In that case, we’re all for that, too – we offer a bus service that runs around the Central Pokolbin region of the Hunter Valley and allows you to hop on and off as you want to, and also an ‘on-demand’ service that can take you almost anywhere in the region, as well as a VIP concierge service where we can tailor a custom itinerary. Contact us for more information. We’re here to ensure you see as much of this beautiful region as possible in comfort. Don’t forget to stay in touch via Instagram and Facebook, so you can be the first to hear about special offers and new services.

Whether you want to explore the Hunter Valley at your own pace, take a guided tour or customise your tour, your planning should start with iHop.

iHop Hunter Valley Wine Tours was founded in 2015 by a husband and wife team who were frequent visitors to the region but realised that there were limited affordable transport options.

iHop was first started as a hop-on-hop-off bus service, which still exists. However, over several years the business has expanded and now offers on-Demand Transport Service, Premium Food and Drink Pairing Tours, Half Day Tours, Afternoon & Night Tours, and customised Private and Corporate Tours!

For you, this means three important things:

Number one – you can choose how you want to explore the Hunter Valley – on your own or on a formal tour.

Number two means that you can immerse yourself in the whole experience of the Hunter Valley and partake in the beautiful wines in the region and not be concerned about driving.

Number three – the best bit! When someone else is driving, you can sit back and relax and enjoy the region’s stunning views.

Taking a tour

If you’re in the region for a few days, you’ll have the luxury of enjoying a lot of what’s on offer, but if your time is limited, then a tour can be a great option. Our ‘Sample the Hunter Half Day Tour with Lunch‘ offers all the highlights of the beautiful region and operates 5 Days a Week – Thursday to Monday.

The Taste ‘n’ Graze Tour, which is all about the palette, pairing some of the region’s most famous wines with food, runs 4 Days a Week – Thursday to Sunday.

And we offer the Wine & Fork Twilight Tour, an exceptional experience at dusk, 3 Days a Week – Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays. Bookings are a must!

Private groups and corporates now also have the option of customising a tour, with options to suit any budget. The friendly iHop staff is happy to help you decide which wineries and activities will serve your guests. There’s so much more to explore than just the cellar doors, from internationally renowned and boutique wineries, microbreweries, and casual through to fine dining venues, cheese shops, chocolatiers, art galleries, shopping villages, fun things just for the kids, hot air balloon adventures, and much more.

Local knowledge

We know all the popular places and a few hidden gems too. With more than 180 wineries, getting the right advice when planning your trip can mean you’ll make the most of your stay.

Transport on demand!

To make getting around the region even easier, iHop has launched iHopGO – a transport service that will get you where you want to go, when you want to go there, all for one flat fee per trip. Whether it’s just to and from a restaurant, or a full day out, the iHopGo team will be there to drive you.

VIP Concierge Service

Of course, if you’re unsure where you want to go, we can help you plan a perfect day out. Our VIP Concierge Service can be tailored to your needs.

Your comfort and safety are our top priority, so our fleet is well maintained and clean. We also offer complimentary storage and cooler boxes on board, so any goodies you collect along the way won’t be spoilt by the time you get back home. Talk to us about tours, transport, or special transfers to get you around the Hunter Valley. Our website has information about each of the tours we offer currently, although we’re always dreaming up new ways to help visitors get a taste of this beautiful region. So stay in touch via Instagram, and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletter via our website, so you can be the first to hear about special offers and new services.

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.

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!

The problem with choosing from the top restaurants in the Hunter Valley is that there are just so many fantastic options it’s difficult to know where to start. Here’s a little food-for-thought that might help you make an informed choice.

What’s so good about Hunter Valley restaurants?

World-renowned as a food and wine tourism hotspot, it’s not surprising that the Hunter Valley boasts some of the country’s best restaurants and top chefs.

What makes the Hunter Valley particularly special is that it’s most likely produced locally, from world-class wines (naturally) to handcrafted beers and spirits, award-winning beef, poultry and cheeses, to fresh fruits and vegetables bursting with goodness. 

The broad diversity of regional produce means that, no matter what the time of year, you can expect an incredible array of seasonal dishes with a unique Hunter Valley flavour.

Premium fine dining in the Hunter Valley

If you are looking for a bit of white-tablecloth dining luxury, you won’t be disappointed in the Hunter Valley. From creative modern Australian cuisine using only the best ingredients, to classic European and Asian influenced menus with a distinct Hunter Valley twist, there is something wonderful waiting for every palate in the Hunter. And, as you would expect, the finest local and imported wines are carefully selected and matched to every course. It’s what the Hunter does best.

Here are some popular options to consider:

Circa 1876 – A Hunter Valley institution, famous for its farm-to-fork ethos and its organic kitchen gardens directly outside its windows. Get a taste for the region with the chef’s two-course, three-course, five-course and seven course tasting menus. 

EXP – This Hunter Valley favourite is famous for it’s inspired Australian menu that’s driven by local in-season produce. The wine-list features distinctive handcrafted wines from the family-owned Oakvale Winery. 

Margan Restaurant – Another of the Hunter’s most recognised restaurants, attached to the award-winning, family-owned winery. Pioneers of agri-dining in the region, the menu is based on what’s grown and raised on the estate.

Muse Restaurant – Another of the Hunter Valley’s foodie favourites, known for it’s fresh contemporary Australian dishes. Located in the iconic Hungerford Hill Winery, this award-winning restaurant also boasts it’s own on-site farm garden.

Restaurant Botanica at Spicers Vineyard Estate – Known for its sophisticated contemporary cuisine with a focus on wholesome and healthy local ingredients, not to mention its award-winning wine list and stunning views. Great for vegetarians and vegans.

Hunters Quarter – Located in the Cockfighters Ghost Vineyard, Hunters Quarter is the perfect stop in for any foodie. Under the watchful guise of chef Brian Duncan, Hunters Quarter produces tantalising seasonal dishes

Bistro MolinesBistro Molines is the Hunter Valley’s little slice of France. Feel welcomed by award winning owners Robert and Sally as you indulge in some of the finest food the Hunter has to offer.

Villa Du PaysTake advantage of the stunning alfresco views that Villa Du Pays has to offer. With a wonderfully paired À la carte menu that caters to the vegetarians of the group and a reputation for the best dry aged steaks in the Valley, you can’t go past this one.

Eremo Restaurant at Spicers GuesthouseAfter years in an Italian kitchen, hatted head chef Cameron Matthews found his way to the Hunter Valley and Eremo Restaurant. With an extensive menu displaying the best of Italian cuisine Eremo has earned its reputation in the Valley in a short space of time.

Top casual dining restaurants, cafes and more

The beauty of Hunter Valley dining is that even if the atmosphere is a little more casual and relaxed, you can be sure of the same superb standard of food and wine, with a focus on the best local and seasonal produce.

With a myriad of boutique producers, farms and providers throughout the Hunter Valley region, getting off the beaten track and heading to the farm gate or producer’s table can be another great way of experiencing the bounty of the region.

Here are some popular options to consider:

Amanda’s on the Edge – This charming restaurant is located on the hill above Windsor’s Edge Vineyard in Pokolbin and is famous for its charming verandah outlook and gorgeous views from every table.

Blaxlands Inn – If you’re looking for some hearty country comfort food and boutique wines, this is the place. For that special ambience, dine outside under stars by the open fire pit.

Lillino’s Bar and Trattoria – A taste of Italy in the Hunter Valley. Situated above the vines of St Clements Estate. Know for it’s wood-fired pizzas and Sardinian classics.

Goldfish Bar & Restaurant – Located within Roche Estate, Goldfish Bar & Restaurant is known as the social hub of the Hunter Valley. With its extensive wine list, numerous craft beers on tap and beautifully created cocktails, it is no wonder they have earned this reputation.

Yellow Billy Restaurant – There is nothing better than sitting by a fire in the colder months – nothing except watching your dinner being cooked over a custom made fire pit. Yellow Billy is unlike anything else in the Hunter Valley and strives to provide a flexible “shared plate” dining experience

Il CacciatorieAward winning bringing the best of Northern Italian cuisine to the Hunter Valley. Using the best ingredients from the area, II Cacciatorie creates a relaxed and delicious dining experience.

Leaves and FishesWith decor that is sure to stun and a menu to match, Leaves and Fishes is the perfect venue for a long leisurely lunch or dinner that focusses on beautiful Modern Australian Produce with an Asian twist.

Peterson’s HouseA Hunter Valley institution, Peterson’s House is known not only for its premium sparkling wines cellar door, but it’s extensive menu at Restaurant Cuvee. The perfectly paired menu combines the best of what Peterson’s has to offer.

Tatlers TapasWith 30 years experience as a chef, Andreas Burri brings the best tapas to the Hunter Valley. With share plates using the best ingredients in the area, Tatlers Tapas is perfect for large groups or something more intimate.

How to experience the best food and wine in the Hunter Valley

iHop’s Premium Food & Drink Pairing Tours and Twilight Tasting & Dinner Tours offer a convenient and hassle-free way to experience the best of the Hunter Valley’s restaurants, wineries and more at relaxed pace. No need to nominate a designated driver is just one of the added advantage.

You can find out more about Hunter Valley restaurants here.

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