The Hunter Valley in New South Wales is the oldest wine producing region in Australia. It is truly a wine lover’s paradise. Located just 2 hours north of Sydney, it is a thriving place alive with lots of restaurants, shops, cheese makers, gardens, art galleries, and old and new wineries.
The Hunter Valley has grown economically and culturally over the years. Many residential areas are being constructed to accommodate those who come to the area for employment and those seeking new environments. Hunter Valley’s family-friendly atmosphere and affordable real estate prices attract a lot of new residents.
Upper and Lower Regions
The area is divided into two regions – Lower Hunter and Upper Hunter. The Lower Hunter is home to most of the open wineries. This is where wine tourism was started, hence many accommodations, restaurants, and cellar doors are found here. The Lower Hunter also serves as the location for the magnificent and lush Hunter Valley gardens.
The Upper Hunter, on the other hand, is popular for its historic homes and horse studs. The largest horse breeding grounds in the world are found in this region. There are also wineries in the Upper Hunter. The Rosemount Estate, one of the leading wineries in Australia, is found here.
A Major Tourist Spot
The Hunter Valley ranks as the 6th most visited tourist spot in Australia. Every year, 2.5 million people come to see its attractions. Aside from wineries, the Hunter Valley boasts of golf courses and country houses.
Activities and events for tourists abound in the Hunter Valley. Among these is the Steam Trains of Hunter Valley, which run during the first 3 Sundays of the month. There are also cruises that travel along Lake Macquarie and the Hunter River.
Of course, a visit to the Hunter Valley will not be complete without taking the wine tours. Almost all the hotels in Hunter Valley will give you free maps showing directions to the open cellar doors. You can follow your own desired route, or you can just randomly go from one winery to another. Going to wine tours need not be that expensive.
Because many wineries are concentrated in a small area in the Lower Hunter, it is easy to visit them by car, horse, bike, or carriage. You can also take an organized tour if you want. Some tours will give you a glimpse of the entire process of wine production. Wine tasting tours are also available, but some wineries already require minimal fees for wine tasting.
Hundreds of wineries have been built in the Hunter Valley. They come in various styles, such as heritage style, Tuscan country house design, gleaming style, contemporary multi-million dollar style, modern Australia design, and corporate headquarters style.
Tempus Two and Hungerford Hill are examples of wineries in corporate headquarters style. Pepper Tree Wines and Ivanhoe Wines are examples of wineries in heritage style. Tower Estate is an example of a Tuscan country house, and Audrey Wilkinson is an example of modern Australia design.
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