Looking for things to do in the Hunter Valley?

The Hunter Valley is a very special place. Although you might know it primarily for its world famous vineyards and wines, the wide range of tourist attractions across the Hunter Valley region, and the amazing variety of things to do and see in the Hunter Valley, might surprise you. 

So what to see in the Hunter Valley? Well, from tasting world famous wines to indulging in unique local produce of all sorts; from exploring the stunning natural beauty of the region by hoof or heel to teeing off on a competition golf course among the grape vines; from a hot air balloon adventure to a soothing spa treatment, there’s just so many things to see and do in the Hunter Valley.

 

Tasting Tours of Wine, Beer and Spirits

For most people visiting the Hunter Valley, a vineyard tour and wine tasting is top of their must-do lists, and for good reason. With more than 150 wineries in the region, from world famous names to family-owned boutique wineries, there are just so many great choices and wonderful wines ready to be tasted.

But there’s a lot more to the Hunter than just wine. The region also boasts several award-winning breweries where you can taste a variety of beer styles and seasonal releases produced on the premises.

Looking for a change of pace? At the Hunter Valley Distillery, you can try their award-winning spirits, including gin, vodka, liqueurs and schnapps, all made from premium organic and natural ingredients.

You’ll find more information here: Hunter Valley Vineyards and Restaurants: Find Food and Wine Tour Ideas

See more about iHop’s Hunter Valley winery tours here.

 

Casual through to Fine Dining

As we know, fine wine and food naturally go hand in hand. You won’t be disappointed with the fine dining and casual dining options available to you in the Hunter Valley. Experience the amazing variety of local seasonal produce prepared by some the best chefs in the country and the world.

You’ll find more information here: Top Restaurants in the Hunter Valley You Must Try

See more about iHop’s Hunter Valley restaurant and winery tours here.

 

Cheese Tasting in the Hunter Valley

With amazing dairies throughout the Hunter Valley, it’s not surprising that the region is becoming equally well known for its exemplary cheese making. You can even see how it’s made and learn to make your own from an expert.

You’ll find more information here: Hunter Valley Cheese Companies You Must Visit and Hunter Valley Cheese and Wine Tasting – A Match Made in Heaven

 

 

Discover Unique Produce of all Sorts

The variety of produce and gourmet foods produced locally is astounding. Virtually around every corner you’ll find magnificent produce and locally made gourmet products, such as beautiful olives and olives oils, breads, cakes, sauces, jams and condiments, and much, much more. Oh, and the chocolates and gelato are definitely not to be missed.

Love a good market? There are also local markets that run throughout each month across the region, so there’s always a local market with a range of good quality products and produce to wander through.

Love learning and gaining new skills? You’ll find a wide variety of fascinating courses and instructional tours that you can take part in across the Hunter Valley: tutored wine tastings, winery behind the scenes tours, wine blending classes, food and wine matching courses, cheese making, candy and pizza making courses and cooking classes are just some examples. 

 

Hit the Links or Pamper at a Day Spa

With a number of golf courses, including championship standard courses, all with gorgeous scenic views, the Hunter Valley is a popular spot for golfers of all skill levels, and particularly for those who like to be rewarded with a fine drop after a round.

Golf not your thing? Then a rejuvenating visit to one of the region’s popular day spas or a relaxing massage might be more your scene.

You can find out more here: Where to Stay in the Hunter Valley.

 

The Hunter Valley from up in the Sky

When it comes to the best things to do in the Hunter Valley, a hot air balloon tour is way up there – literally. It truly is one of the most spectacular ways to take in the full scope of the vineyards and natural surroundings. There are a variety of Hunter Valley balloon tour and adventure options to choose from.

Looking for a little more action? Try a helicopter tour instead.

 

Discover Natural and Cultural Wonders

There are many ways to discover the natural wonders of the Hunter Valley – by foot, wheel or hoof. Take a scenic drive by coach or car to take in the full beauty of the stunning vineyards and farmlands. Get your walking boots on and explore the many bush and farmland trails that meander through the Hunter. Join a bicycle tour for a relaxed way to see the sites and vineyards or hire an electric bike or even a Segway on your own and explore the Hunter as you please. Horse riding adventures and carriage tours are another popular way to experience the Hunter Valley.

Looking for top views? The lookouts at Mount Bright, Bimbadeen and Pokolbin Mountains Road offer great views across the Valley and are accessible on foot or by car.

Other top places to visit: Brokenback Range (beautiful natural bush land, views and bushwalking); Aboriginal cultural heritage sites in World Heritage-listed Yengo National Park; explore other nearby national parks, including Watagan Ranges, Mt Royal and Wollemi National Parks; visit Lake St Clair for sailing, swimming, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking and camping.

 

Fun for the kids and other top attractions

Sure, there’s plenty to keep the big kids amused, but what about the little ones? They’re no problems there with a bunch a great attractions for children of all ages to let off a bit of steam. Talking about letting off steam, how about a visit to the Richmond Vale Railway Museum near Kurri Kurri. Other popular attractions for things to do in the Hunter Valley include the Hunter Valley Zoo at Nulkaba, Luskintyre Airfield and Aviation Museum, Australian Army Infantry Museum, Hunter Valley Gardens Aqua Golf & Putt Putt and Hunter Valley Adventure Centre offer a host of fun and educational activities.

Find out more about iHop’s food and wine tours here.

Find out more about getting around with iHop’s Hop On Hop Off bus tours here.

iHop Hunter Valley tours are one of the best ways to experience all the beauty the Hunter Valley has to offer and…they just got better!

iHop Hunter Valley is now pleased to introduce two new timetables and a Twilight Tour “Cheese & Wine Lovers Twilight Dinner Tour. The Central Pokolbin and Lovedale & North Pokolbin timetables have new venues and even more stops than ever before which includes: Hunters Dream, Hart & Hunter, Bimbadgen Winery, First Creek Wines, Thirsty Palette and Ballabourneen Wines. These exciting new venues are now available to explore when booking your next tour aboard Hunter Valley’s only Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours!

Discover our new venues:

Hunters Dream: Is located on 60 working acres of mature vines, olive grove, lavender farm and oriental display garden. It is a fantastic stop to rejuvenate with a premium wine tasting with seasonal estate grown products and produce on offer for tasting and purchasing.

Hart & Hunter: “Hand-picked, hand-crafted and proudly Hunter Valley.” Producing vineyard classics such as Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz for tasting at their boutique retro feeling cellar door.

Bimbadgen Winery: Is an open plan winemaking facility with viewing platforms across the winery operations. The cellar door will provide an informative wine tasting or a relaxing experience in the courtyard cafe. Esca Bimbadgen restaurant is also located onsite for a fine dining experience with beautiful views out across the valley.

First Creek Wines: Is a family owned and operated winery led by a family of winemakers where you can experience the wine making production onsite through the viewing window of their cellar door. Enjoy a relaxed tasting from a great range of wines with the option to order a local cheese plate to nibble on throughout the tasting.

Thirsty Palette: Is a family owned and operated cellar door and art studio with stunning views out across the Brokenback Ranges. Enjoy personalised service direct from the owners, sampling a range of wines produced from hand picked grapes that have been sourced from vines just meters away from the cellar door.

Ballabourneen Wines: Offers a signature range of boutique wines for tasting that focuses on varieties the Hunter Valley is most famous for; Semillon, Chardonnay, Verdelho and Shiraz. It is a fantastic spot to sit back and relax with a cheese plate paired with a glass of wine.

AND, we’ve added a new cellar door to our popular ‘Taste of the Hunter After Dark’ Tour

The Taste of the Hunter After Dark Tour commences around 6:00pm visiting 3 of the regions winery, brewery and dining venues. Start your evening at a boutique run cellar door for a guided wine tasting with local cheese plates. This tour includes a tasting paddle of Hunter craft beers and/or ciders which are paired with some delicious bites along with an insight into the beer making process at a local boutique run brewhouse. Followed by a relaxed dinner at a Tapas Bar & Restaurant where a selection of delicious gourmet wood fired pizzas and sides will be served, along with a beverage from the selected drinks list. The Taste of the Hunter Valley After Dark Tour is available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the price of $120 per person and runs for around 3 hours.

Book now or read more about the Taste of the Hunter After Dark Tour here

Wine and Cheese Lovers Twilight Dinner Tour

We are excited to introduce our new Wine and Cheese Lovers Twilight Dinner Tour which commences around 5:00pm – a great option for guests to join a tour after having checked in to their wine country accommodation! As the name suggests this tour is all about tasting beautiful Hunter Valley wines, local cheeses and dining at award-winning local restaurants as the sun starts to set across the valley. We have hand selected boutique cellar doors that offer a unique and informative wine tasting experience with a ‘behind the scenes’ insight into a working family run winery, matched cheese and wine tasting, followed with a 2-course dinner (main and dessert) with each course offering a matched beverage of choice.

This new tour is available Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the price of $149 per person and runs for around 4 hours. For a limited time, we are offering $10 off per person. Redeem this special offer using voucher code: “TwilightTour10off”

Read more about what our new Wine and Cheese Lovers Twilight Tour here

Hunter Valley Wine Tours from Sydney

No matter whether you’re a passionate wine lover, or just a lover of a relaxed tipple with friends and family in gorgeous surrounds, a Hunter Valley wine tour has to be on your bucket list. And the best bit is, if you’re a Sydney local or travelling to the City, Hunter Valley wine tours is within easy reach from Sydney and a must do!

Why choose a Hunter Valley wine tour?

Well, if you’re not familiar with the Hunter Valley, first up you should know that it’s recognised as a world renowned wine destination, with some 150 cellar doors located within the Hunter Valley region. And as you would expect, where there’s great wine, there’s great food, and you certainly won’t be disappointed.

But more than that, the Hunter Valley is also a diverse agricultural centre known for its top produce and stunning natural beauty, as well as a growing crop of distinctive craft breweries and distilleries that are fast capturing international attention.

Add to that a host of great events and shows staged throughout the year and you’ve really got your hands full just trying to make a choice on what to include on your Hunter Valley itinerary.

One of the more practical advantages of the Hunter Valley for locals and travellers alike is its proximity to Sydney. Depending on what transport option you choose, you can find yourself in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country from the Sydney CBD in less than three hours. You’ll find more details later in this article under the section: What’s the best way to get there from Sydney?

Why choose an organised wine tour?

For many people, there are two standout reasons you’d choose an organised Hunter Valley wine tour rather than going it alone.

Firstly, everything is taken care of for you. You can just sit back and relax. There’s no driving, no navigating, no flipping a coin for who’s going to be the designated driver afterwards. Feel free to enjoy a tipple and know you’ll be safe and sound.

Secondly, the knowledge of a local guide can be of great assistance in finding places and enjoying experiences that you might not have known about or stumbled across otherwise. What’s more, in some cases, a good local guide can get special deals and access privileges that may not available to other visitors.

What type of Hunter Valley wine tours are there?

iHop Hunter Valley offers a range of tours that are planned for ease and convenience or, alternatively, the team at iHop specialise in custom corporate Hunter Valley wine tours and events to suit your interests, group size and importantly what you want to see and do.

Your options include a personalised Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours that give the flexibility and independence to experience the Hunter Valley in your own way and at your own pace. There are more than 50 venues that you can choose from to visit.

If you’re also a bit of a foodie, jumping aboard iHop’s Taste ‘n’ Graze tour is a great option. On this tour you not only get to sample great wines, but also the best of the region’s fresh produce and cheeses from the Hunter Valley’s best providores, from fine chocolate to award-winning whisky, you’re going to find it all on this tour. You’ll also pick up a few tips and educational insights on how to best pair food and wine.

iHop’s Hunter Valley Night Tours are another popular tour option. There are two types you can choose from: Wine and Cheese Lover’s Progressive Dinner Tour, or the Taste of the Hunter After Dark Tour.

As the name suggests, the Wine and Cheese Lover’s Progressive Dinner combines tasting the finest wines and cheeses, as well as special treats like a behind-the-scenes peak into a working family winery and learning the art of wine and cheese matching. Afterwards enjoy a 3-course dinner and drinks at a further two award-winning local restaurants.

With the Taste of the Hunter After Dark Tour, you will start with a guided tasting of some of the regions best wines and cheeses. But for a bit of a different take on the Hunter, you’ll sample some the region’s great craft beers and ciders, paired with delicious local bites with an insight into the beer making process at a local boutique brewery, followed with a selection of sumptuous wood-fired pizza’s and sides as you continue your exploration of the Hunter Valley after dark.

Keep in mind that iHop can also cater for custom night corporate and large group tours as well.

What’s the best way to get there from Sydney?

When you’re planning a Hunter Valley wine tour, you have several options for getting there from Sydney.

If you’re travelling by car, getting to the Hunter Valley is easy. Simply follow the main northbound freeway (the A1 or Pacific Highway) from the city and follow the signs. Travelling time is typically around two to three hours.

The train is a good option if you prefer to leave the transport worries to somebody else. Trains to the Hunter Valley vicinity (Singleton and Maitland being the closest stops) and nearby Newcastle leave regularly from Sydney’s Central Station.

iHop offers tour pick up points throughout the local area within the Hunter Valley, depending on the tour option you choose. You’ll find details under each of the tour pages on the website.

What are the accommodation options?

As you would expect there are a plethora of accommodation options in the Hunter Valley and surrounds, both on wineries and off. You’ll find that any good accommodation-booking website will have a host of choices to suit your budget.

If you’re particularly looking for a cost-effective hunter valley wine tours from Sydney, taking the train from Sydney, connecting to the local area and then jumping aboard the iHop Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour is a great budget-friendly option.

You can find out more about iHop’s Hunter Valley wine tour options here.

Corporate Wine Tasting Tours – A Revitalising Taste of the Hunter Valley

There’s nothing like sharing a fine wine over sparkling conversation and superb local cuisine to revitalise that corporate team spirit, get the ideas flowing and the synapses firing, or to impress those important clients or partners.

And there’s no better place to do it than the beautiful Hunter Valley. After all it’s home to some of the top award-winning wineries, not only in Australia, but the world.

Better still, iHop Hunter Valley’s corporate wine tasting tours make it easy to organise a team building or client event, either through a planned tour or a customised tour to suit your particular interests.

A taste of Australia’s gourmet paradise

So why visit the Hunter Valley? Well, it is truly one of the world’s great regions for wine lovers and gourmets. It’s long been recognised for it’s world-famous wines, but the Hunter Valley experience goes far beyond this. It also boasts some of Australia top restaurants, breweries, providores and stunning scenic attractions. And only two-hours drive from Sydney, it’s a convenient weekend or short-visit destination.  

With more than 150 wineries throughout the region, there’s an incredible array of cellar doors to visit and grape varieties and wine styles to try. Although principally known for its world-class Shiraz, Semillon and Chardonnay, there are few varieties that you won’t find being grown in this most diverse of wine regions.

What may surprise you though is that this wine destination is quickly becoming equally famous for its micro-breweries and distilleries, producing everything from the most unique of craft beers to schnapps, vodkas and rums.

Add to that an incredible selection of bistros, restaurants, cafés and delis, many set amongst the vines and inviting vineyard settings, and you really do have a gourmet’s paradise.

Customise your corporate wine tasting tour to suit you

Organising your corporate wine tasting tour is simply a matter of choosing between a regular planned tour option or a customised option to suit your tastes and budget.

A customised Hunter Valley experience is a sure way to make a memorable impression on your guests or team members. This might include a visit to the winery or wineries of your choice, as well as top local restaurants and attractions, if you choose. The iHop team can help you put together the ideal tour if you’re looking for suggestions with the benefit of local inside knowledge.

Your options include half-day or full-day tours, night tours, or specialised tours such as a progressive dinner tour or iHop’s popular “Taste ‘n’ Graze” the Hunter tours.

A progressive dinner tour is a great option that incorporates a mix of gourmet dining at the Hunter Valley’s best restaurants with wine and beer tastings at some of Australia’s top wineries and award-winning local breweries. You can choose the restaurant to suit the occasion or iHop will work with you tailoring to a particular wishlist.

Taste ‘n’ Graze the Hunter tours are another popular option that gives you and your team the opportunity to experience the wine, produce, attractions and the amazing natural beauty of the Hunter Valley in more depth. These tours are pre-planned to make your choice easy, or if there’s a particular winery, brewery, providore or attraction your keen visit, they can be customised to suit.

Why choose a wine tour for your next corporate event?

Corporate clients often find the wine tasting experience a more intimate and relaxing way to engage with a team or clients than other social events simply don’t offer. That said, the wide variety of wine and dining options, attractions and accommodation options means a corporate wine tasting tour to the Hunter Valley can be as relaxed or as lively as you choose.

Businesses and corporations have found that a wine tasting tour is a popular choice, as well as something a little different, for corporate Christmas parties, team building events, awards ceremonies, incentive trips or simply a reward for you and your team after achieving a goal or milestone – not to mention a popular excursion for corporate wine club outings.

When it comes to wining and dining clients, few experiences can match the beauty and bounty of the Hunter. Particularly for overseas or interstate clients, this type of wine tour provides a unique and memorable experience of the Australian landscape, produce and culture. The Hunter Valley is really a great advertisement for the best the nation has to offer.

Much more than just wine and nibbles

Naturally, the delights of the cellar door are typically the key attraction to this kind of tour. But depending on the length of tour you choose and your inclination, your options for stops and activities are many and varied.

There really is so much more to the Hunter Valley and the tour options available to you. Some of the many other activities available to you include things such wine tasting classes if you’re keen to learn how to do it like the pros; sparkling wine and cocktail making classes; behind the scenes winery and brewery tours; something a little more energetic and light-hearted like putt putt or aqua golf tours; and even painting classes if the muse is calling.

Planning your corporate wine event

As mentioned, iHop’s corporate wine tasting bus tours can be completely customised to suit what and where you want to visit, or the team at iHop Hunter Valley can plan the entire tour for you.

It starts by simply confirming your group size. A variety of bus sizes are available to suit the size of the group and the choice of tour. Each tour is lead by one iHop’s team of highly experienced driver-tour leaders who have an intimate knowledge of the area and the venues visited.

Tours are available during the day or night, and can recommend accommodation for that perfect overnight stay.

When to go

You can be sure that the wine never stops flowing in the Hunter Valley, so it’s a great place to visit any time of year. Statistically Spring and Autumn are the most popular times of year to visit. Spring is particularly nice as the vines come to life as the buds start to burst.

For something particularly special, a wide variety of events are held in the region throughout the year, such as the Hunter Valley Balloon Fiesta in late September, The Christmas Lights Spectacular at the Hunter Valley Gardens. Or perhaps visit while the grapes are being harvested in from December to February where you can see the vines being picked by hand and machine for that real feel of vineyard life.

Getting there and away

Getting to the Hunter Valley is easy. It’s around two-hours’ drive north of Sydney or less than an hour’s drive northwest of Newcastle. Tour pick-ups are available from Hunter Valley hotels, resorts, airport or train stations. The iHop Hunter Valley team will be happy to help organise the best option for you and your team.

You can find out more about iHop Hunter Valley’s corporate wine tasting tour itineraries and options here.

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A ONE DAY TRIP TO HUNTER VALLEY

Hunter Valley in Australia is an enchanting holiday destination with picturesque views offering an array of classy wine cellars, exciting outdoor activities, beautiful museums, art galleries and many more. Once you get there, you will surely want to stay there for a few days.

However, if you have too many places to visit and can spend only a day, lets talk about how to make the most of it and how iHop offers an exciting Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour to help you make the most of it.

Get started with the tour.

In this fantastic tour designed exclusively for the one-day travelers, you can hop on a bus and enjoy the serenity of the picturesque regions of Pokolbin or Lovedale.  You can customise your tour by selecting the stops to hop on and hop off.

When you board the bus, an “iGuide” will assist you in planning your perfect day out and will give you an overview of the services and the entire tour. You can choose the spots and destinations that take your fancy.

Things you can do on a day tour:

  • Visit some of the wine cellars and indulge in wine tasting.
  • Have delicious food in the restaurants.
  • Visit cheese factories and taste a variety of fresh cheeses.
  • Go in some of the many chocolatiers and sample some delicious chocolate.
  • Shop fabulous local products at the shopping outlets or regional markets
  • Take a Helicopter joy flight

Things you can also do in Hunter Valley:

  • Enjoy outdoor adventure activities like a hot-air balloon, golf and Segway rides.
  • Enjoy with your little ones in the parks and zoo.
  • Visit fabulous art galleries and museums
  • Relax and unwind in a day spa.

How is iHop Hop on Hop Off Tour different?

  • The expert guides from iHop will suggest to you the best stops and destinations which you should visit and will also plan the entire schedule for you if you want.
  • Our personalised service and Day Hopper Pass allows you to visit as many stops and venues that you can fit in a day!
  • You can stop at one location with as much time as you want.
  • The tour service operates on a continuous loop, so there are plenty of opportunities to visit the must-see Hunter Valley Wineries
  • iHop offers you the choice of two loops namely; Boutique Lovedaleor Central Pokolbin Loops for enjoying the Hunter Valley to the fullest.
  • We provide you with handy timetables, maps and stop information to avoid any hassles. You also have an option of an interactive map which gives you tips for planning your perfect day out.
  • You get unlimited access to the bus with complimentary storage boxes on-board for all your wine purchases.
  • You can also choose to book a Half Day Hopper Tour (valid for 3 hours including travel time).
  • Lastly, besides being flexible and enjoyable, the iHop tour is also affordable.

Exploring the beautiful Hunter Region has never been more affordable, flexible and enjoyable than aboard iHop Hunter Valley! 

Does this sound interesting? Book your Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour now and be ready for all the fun and excitement with your family & friends!