The Hunter Valley region has made its reputation for great Australian winemaking, but, over time, lots of other fantastic food, wine, beer, spirits, entertainment, arts, and culture businesses have added to this thriving tourist destination.

The iHop Hop-on Hop-off bus service is a great way to get around and see as much of the Central Pokolbin area as you want, all at your own pace. So let’s look at some destinations on the route that offer various options!

Hop 3 – Tamburlaine Wines


Tamburlaine Wines offers a point of difference, having committed to producing ‘organic’ and “vegan-friendly” wines. For anyone interested in winemaking, it’s interesting to learn how winemakers meet this challenge as the consumer demand for organic wine takes off worldwide. Established in 1966, Tamburlaine Wines (named after Christopher Marlowe’s famous play and character ‘Tamburlaine the Great’) has stayed committed to its vision to produce vegan-friendly, low sulphur and no added sulphur wines. It has won many awards and has become one of Australia’s largest producers of Organic wine.

Hop 5 – Ben Ean

Ben Ean (formerly Lindeman’s) is arguably one of the most beautiful properties in the region. It offers a range of winemakers at one location for tastings and some fantastic specialty shops onsite. It boasts the Baume restaurant, which is well known for its excellent food, and The Still House offering a series of “meet the winemaker” lunches – special events – private tastings, and lunch with the winemaker who will share winemaking philosophies, stories, and of course, the wines!

Hop 6 – Hunter Valley Gardens & Shopping Village

Let’s now go to the gardens. The Hunter Valley Gardens are beautifully manicured gardens you can stroll and picnic in, and some of the prettiest foliage you’ll ever see. Every year the Hunter Valley Gardens hosts the Christmas Light Spectacular, which is fantastic for families. It’s a magical experience to walk around the gardens and decorative displays at this festive time of year. 

The Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village is adjacent to the gardens, a unique collection of shops and eateries. You won’t be disappointed – you can enjoy fabulous food, beer, wine and cocktails, coffee and cake, and bespoke shopping – local art, jewellery, clothing, homewares, and gifts.

All of the shops are located within a stroll of each other. This ‘market’ type feel makes the village unique – a must-visit on your trip to the Hunter Valley.

Hop 11 – Estate Tuscany & 4 Pines Brewery at the Farm

Authentic Tuscany, right here in the Hunter Valley, offers breathtaking views of the Broken Back Ranges (one of our favourite photo stops)! Estate Tuscany provides guest house-style accommodation with two eateries – their signature restaurant, The Mill (Awarded Chef Hat 2020), and casual offerings of the Brokenback Bar, along with Andrew Thomas Wines cellar door for a tasting sensation of premium wines (Semillon and Shiraz a specialty) with shopping and other wineries nearby.

In this location, you will also find 4 Pines Brewery. Initially, 4 Pines started in Manly on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, but it’s now had a home in the Hunter Valley for several years. Aside from brewing fantastic beer (which can make a nice change in amongst all the wine!), 4 Pines has a great story to tell about its humble beginnings. This phenomenal success story is, in fact, the result of a chat between mates after a surf who wanted to create a company highly committed to sustainability and community. Enjoy bistro-style food (open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and paddles of beers, and be sure to stop in for a tasting at the Hermitage Road Cellar Door featuring a range of local winemakers from the region.

Hop 12 – Piggs Peake

Piggs Peake is one of the smaller wineries in the Hunter Valley, specialising in premium wines. Although the winemaking techniques use state-of-the-art modern technology, the winery processes grapes from vineyards dating back to the 1800s. The Yellow Billy Kitchen, onsite at Piggs Peake, is a 1 Chef Hatted Restaurant and a must-dining experience. Much of the produce comes fresh from the kitchen garden, and the menu focuses on food cooked over a fire, matched with a selection of local and international wines.

So there, you have five worthwhile stops and seven destinations to explore on the iHop bus route. Of course, there is much more to showcase, with over 40 venues to explore on the route, which we can’t wait to share in future articles.

Don’t forget that we offer private transport and customised tour options too so that you can create your itinerary, or we can create one for you – so let us take care of the driving and sit back and relax in your private bus.

In addition to private transport, groups with their schedule or itinerary may like our on-demand bus for an alternative transport service to the hop-on hop-off bus. If you want the flexibility to see and do things at your own pace, anywhere in the region, then the iHopGO service is the perfect option to get you around.

Of course, we also offer fully guided, all-inclusive tours that run in the morning and afternoon. Of course, we’re just at the end of an email or a phone call if you need help planning your perfect wine country getaway. You can also follow us on social – Facebook and Insta for trip ideas.

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. 

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).

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.

Consider kids activities Hunter Valley style this October. Keeping them busy during the school holidays is tricky. Thinking of fun and engaging ideas to fill two weeks can be such a hassle for parents. 

To cure those school holiday blues, take a trip with iHop Hunter Valley and tick these fun kids activities Hunter Valley has to offer off your bucket list!

Sweet Tooth Treats: We all know that kids love sweet stuff! Whether it be chocolate, ice cream, lollies or a mix of all three, watch your little one’s delight as they visit these

Pokolbin Chocolate Co – Pokolbin Village (Hop 4)
Pokolbin Chocolate Co provides a mixture of old and new chocolate products like their famous rocky road or yummy white chocolate honeycomb clusters. Individual chocolates also come in fun shapes like penguins, shells, hedgehogs, golf balls and more! Make sure to have a taste of their specialty home made fudge which come in  a range of delectable flavour. 

photo credit – Trip Advisor

Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop / Hunter Valley Gelato Company  (Hop 5)
Just a quick ride on the bus to reach Hop 5 and we are only a short distance from the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop. While the impressive selection of international delicatessen cheese may not entice the kids, the extensive Gelato selection certainly will. 

The Hunter Valley Gelato Company makes gelato using traditional, imported Italian ingredients and a 200 year old recipe! With over 200 gelato flavours made on site including dairy free, vegan and gluten free options, your tastebuds will surely be tempted. 

British Lolly Shop – Hunter Valley Garden Village (Hop 6)
After another quick trip on the iHop bus, you will reach the Hunter Valley Garden Village and more importantly, the British Lolly Shop. Selling all of your old school favourites direct from the UK, this store will remind you of your childhood.

Take a moment to revel in your adolescence and take a photo with the lifesize toy guards watching the store. With an extensive range of lollies on offer including sweets, chocolates, fudge, and savoury snacks, you’ll find it hard to choose!

Hunter Honey Hive – Hunter Valley Garden Village (Hop 6)
Parents looking for a healthier sweet treat should give the Hunter Honey Hive a visit. Featuring daily tasting of local honey’, this location acts as a shop as well as a great learning experience for the kids. 

Accessible through the Ye Olde General Store & Pokolbin Farm Shop, the store stocks an extensive range of honey products from Australia and New Zealand including cosmetics, medicinal products, candles, ice creams, honeycomb and themed giftware.

Hunter Valley Exploration: Now that the kids are full of sugar and bouncing off the walls, it’s a great time to burn off some energy. Head to Hop 3 to start your adventure!

Hunter Valley Vintage Wings (16 minute walk from Hop 3)
While this destination requires a small walk from Hop 3, it is definitely worth your while. Hunter Valley Vintage Wings specialise in vintage, open cockpit adventure flight experiences that the whole family can enjoy. 

Take in the majestic views of the Hunter Valley from above in a 1940’s Tigermoth or 1956 Winjeel plane. Anyone over 8 years old is able to experience the rush of flying in an open cockpit plane as it would have felt 75 years ago.

However, if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, visit the Museum Information Sessions where you can learn the history of these unique, vintage aircraft for free. 

Hunter Valley Gardens (Hop 6)
At Hop 6 we reach the Hunter Valley Gardens, an obvious choice for some school holiday fun. With a range of activities on offer including the Storybook Garden, Carnival Rides, Aqua Golf and Putt Putt, you’ll never run out of things to do. 

Featuring timeless nursery rhyme characters, the Storybook Garden is a fun and whimsical experience for all ages. Life size characters and murals lead you through the garden and provide excellent photo opportunities. 

Carnival rides became new additions to the Hunter Valley Gardens in 2017 and are open to the public during special events and school holidays. These rides, including the swing chair, ferris wheel, carousel and superslide, can create hours of fun for both the young and the young at heart.

Practice your swing at Aqua Golf and Putt Putt within the Hunter Valley Gardens. Hit the golf ball into the lake and win prizes for hitting floating targets! Boasting great value for money, you can purchase one bucket of balls at Aqua Golf and 18 holes of Putt Putt for just $12.

After a long day of eating and exploring your way through the Hunter Valley, it’s time to relax. Why not book the iHop Twilight Dinner Tour where you can unwind over a wine tasting and 2-Course dinner. 

We hope explaining these kids activities Hunter Valley has to offer provides more insight into what this amazing region has to offer. It’s not just for adults!

Find our more about iHop Hunter Valley Twilight & Night Tours and other Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours here.



If you think the Hunter Valley is all about wine, think again. The Hunter is also home to a thriving micro-brewery scene. And when it comes to beer tasting in the Hunter Valley you’re spoilt for choice.  

In fact, the Hunter Valley has several award-winning breweries and a number of boutique craft brewers that you can visit, each offering their own selection of distinctive locally brewed beers and special seasonal releases that you can sample.

In many cases, you can go behind the scenes and see how these local beers are made and talk to the brew master for insights into their particular beer-making process. 

With an amazing variety of beers and ales from the traditional to the surprising, as well as the region’s popular ciders and ginger beers, you’ll find the beer tasting at Hunter Valley’s breweries just as interesting and diverse as the region’s world-famous wineries.

No matter if you’re a serious beer connoisseur or simply a keen amateur who enjoys trying new things, here are some of the top spots for beer lovers to try on a Hunter Valley beer tour.

Hunter Beer Co at Potters Brewery

Hop 1 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Central Pokolbin Bus Tour

The Hunter Valley’s original microbrewery is located at Potters Hotel Brewery Resort. Amazingly, given its prodigious range of beers, the Hunter Beer Co. is one of the smallest breweries in the country.

For the brewers at Hunter Beer Co. it’s all about distinctive handcrafted brews using traditional methods and all-natural ingredients. Though it’s not all traditional, with chocolate beer and bacon beer just two of their unconventional creations. Make sure you have some time because they typically have 10 craft beers on tap for you to try as you watch the beer being made. The tasting paddles are a great way to try a range of brews.

A visit to the Hunter Beer Co. is about the experience. Join head brewer Keith ‘The Beer Guy’ for a casual tour of the brewery and insights into the process. Daily brewery tours run at 4:00 pm. Book directly at the brewery.

Sydney Brewery Hunter Valley

Hop 3 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Lovedale & North Pokolbin Bus Tour

The Sydney Brewery Hunter Valley is located in the grounds of the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley hotel in the central Hunter Valley town of Lovedale, with the popular Lovedale bar and restaurant right next door to the brewery and distillery.  

The brewery boasts a vast range of beers brewed on the premises from the finest, filtered Hunter Valley water, which provides the brew masters with a blank canvas to create a wide variety of beers from traditional lagers to rich oatmeal porters.

What to try? You’ll find a rotation of seasonal beers on tap, so there’s always something new and different to sample. Staples include the brewery’s popular Lovedale Lager – a traditional Munich-style lager that combines three types of German hops to create a smooth citrus aroma complimented by a slightly toasted malt backbone. The brewery’s famous Sydney cider is on tap everyday. 

You can also join a behind the scenes tour of the brewery to see how they do what they do, enquire directly through Crowne Plaza.

Matilda Bay Brewery Hunter Valley

Hop 10 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Central Pokolbin Bus Tour

Located at the Hunter Valley Resort, Matilda Bay is Pokolbin’s first boutique brew house, and where the story of the popular Blue Tongue brand of beer began. The Resort is also known for its glorious outlook over the Hunter Valley.

The Matilda Bay Brewhouse is another stop where you’ll want to spend a bit of time, with 12 craft brews on tap, including lagers, ales, stouts, cider and alcoholic ginger beer, plus regular ‘special’ brews ready for you to try, all with accompanying tasting notes. Choose a tasting a paddle of lighter or darker style beers to get the full perspective.

Also onsite is the Hunter Wine Theatre, Wine School, the Hermitage Road Wine Tasting Cellars, Hunter Valley Adventure Centre (Segway tours, horse riding and electric bike hire) and the Heavenly Hunter Massage Centre.

Hunter Valley Pubs, Breweries & Beer

 

 

Hope Estate Brewery

Hop 4 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Central Pokolbin Bus Tour

The Hope Brewhouse is located at the Hope Estate winery in the heart of Pokolbin, set amongst 420 acres of rolling countryside and picturesque vineyards with stunning views.

At the Brewhouse you’ll find 12 different brews and ciders on tap offering a broad palette of styles and tastes. The brewery’s extensive range of award-winning craft beers and ciders are produced on site. Among a vat of awards the brewery has received for its brews, Hope Brewhouse won Champion Small Brewery at the 2016 CBA Awards.  

IronBark Hill Brewhouse

Hop 11 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Central Pokolbin Bus Tour

The IronBark Hill Brewhouse is Hunter Valley’s newest micro-brewery located at the IronBark Hill Vineyard in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country.

Sit down and enjoy a sumptuous meal overlooking the brewery area or out in the lovely beer garden set amongst the grape vines as you sample the eight delicious craft beers and cider on offer each day. The taps change regularly, so there’s always something different to try.

If you’re not much of a beer drinker, you won’t be left out. IronBark also makes a range popular apple and pear ciders, or sample a top drop from the Peter Drayton Wines range that are also made onsite.

An evening of Beer, Wine, Cheese and Delicious Food

If you’re looking for a great way to experience some of the region’s best beer, wine and food the Hunter Valley has to offer in one fun evening, join us for iHop’s Taste of the Hunter After Dark Tour.

Kick off with a guided wine tasting with local cheeses at an award-winning cellar door. Then enjoy a tasting paddle of top Hunter Valley brews or ciders (as well as some delicious bites) as you get an insight into the beer brewing process at a local boutique brew house. Afterwards, compare tasting notes over a selection of gourmet wood-fired pizzas, tapas and drinks at a popular local restaurant.

Find out more about iHop Hunter Valley’s Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours and Taste of the Hunter after Dark tour here.

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.