Your Perfect Weekend in The Hunter Valley

A dreamy weekend amongst the vines

The very thought of a true weekend of escapism and relaxation with some beautiful countryside and excellent wines thrown in is enough to fill any discerning hard worker with excitement.

Once your car is packed and ready to go then you just need to head north from Sydney for two hours to find yourself amongst beautiful countryside and ready to explore some of the many Hunter Valley attractions.

The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine producing region and is famed for its distinctive Shiraz, Semillon and Chardonnay wines. With there being 150 to choose from you are totally spoilt for choice. So if wine tasting is your thing alongside an appreciation of the beautiful countryside then this is the perfect place to spend a wonderful relaxing weekend with your loved one.

Audrey Wilkinson, Pokolbin. Pic credit: Destination NSW

Base yourselves at The Hunter Gateway in Rutherford, then you are only ten minutes from Maitland and 20 minutes from the World renowned wineries, vineyards and historic attractions The hotel offers elegantly decorated and comfortable rooms with the added benefit of a swimming pool to relax in after a long and tiring day of exploring.  A wonderful breakfast bar provides you with a sumptuous meal to start the day and there are restaurants nearby for a tasty evening meal on your return.

Day 1: A wander through the Hunter Valley Gardens

So now that you are settled in and ready to go there is an abundance of choices right on your doorstep. What better way to start your weekend than at one of the most important and beautiful Hunter Valley attractions this area has to offer (apart from the wineries of course). The Hunter Valley Gardens is a must for anyone that visits this area, to appreciate the nature and beauty of these award winning grounds. The gardens cover around 14 hectares, and boast 10 international themed gardens, water falls, topiary displays and many architectural features. Once you have meandered through the wonderful gardens its time for a browse in the shopping village before choosing one of the many dining options for a spot of lunch.

Brokenwood Wines, Pokolbin. Pic credit: Destination NSW

An Afternoon Wine Tour

One of the main Hunter Valley attractions is of course the wineries. Enjoy an afternoon tasting session at the Cellar Door of the highly recommended Brokenwood Wines, one of Australia’s most reputable wineries. Starting its life just as a hobby winery, it now produces some of the best Shiraz and Semillon around. Equally if you would prefer to sit back and let someone else do the hard work for you then let ‘Ted Tours’ pick you up from your hotel and drive you around in style visiting some of the most interesting wineries and cellar doors that the Hunter Valley has to offer.

After a busy and fun packed day out its time to head back to the hotel for a quick refreshing dip in the pool before heading out for dinner.

Bistro Molines, Mount View. Pic credit: Destination NSW

A Culinary Evening Treat

Maitland and the Hunter Valley boasts a wonderful array of cafes and restaurants but for a complete treat head to Bistro Molines for a delicious meal cooked from local seasonal produce, most of which comes directly from the restaurant garden itself. Find yourself sat on a table dressed with a fresh white tablecloth facing out onto greenery much like the South of France and eating from a French influenced menu. What a romantic way to finish your day!

Streetscapes, Maitland. Pic credit: Destination NSW

Day 2: An exploration of Maitland and its attractions 

After a wonderful night’s sleep and a sumptuous breakfast at the motel its time to head into nearby Maitland for another of the many Hunter Valley attractions, one of these being the Maitland Gaol. Take an audio visual self guided tour and experience just what life was once like behind bars. 

For a taste of culture, pop into the Maitland Art Gallery which can be found in a beautiful historic building housing thousands of artworks and hosting around 25 exhibitions each year. After this, embark on a casual wander to the Levee next to the Hunter River and take in the vibrant atmosphere amongst the many cafes, restaurants and shops. Browse the Slow Food Earth Market too. Once you have had a tasty lunch then finish off your romantic weekend away with the ultimate treat. 

Hot Air Ballooning, Hunter Valley. Pic credit: Filippo Rivetti

The perfect end to your weekend in the Hunter Valley!

A hot air balloon ride for two will take your breath away as you soar up into the blue skies and look down on the wonderful patchwork of vines and olive groves interspersed with forests and scattered hills. It’s simply the best way to see the Hunter Valley all within one hour. This is just the perfect way to wind up a weekend covering just a few of the many Hunter valley Attractions. 

There is too much to see in this beautiful region in one weekend, but the Hunter Valley offers something different with every season so your next weekend of escapism need not be not too far away.

For more information regarding the Hunter Gateway, click here.

To uncover countless things to do in the wine region, or to browse even more Hunter Valley attractions, click here.