Hunter Valley Accommodation

Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

The Hunter Valley, just a couple of hours north west of Sydney, is Australia's oldest wine-growing region and justly famous for its beautiful scenery. Bordered by World-Heritage listed Barrington Tops and the Upper Hunter country to the north; the fabled Wollemi National Park and Hunter Valley to the south, the Hunter is dotted with historic towns and offers a quintessential Australian experience under (usually) clear blue skies. This is above all wine country – with names such as Pokolbin being internationally-known - while the Upper Hunter is now equally famous for its horse breeding.

The area has a plethora of events and festivals throughout the year, or you can do things adventurously on horseback or in four-wheel-drive vehicles. Or simply drive yourself and choose a different experience every day. Share the scenery with unusual native animals, or visit a winery and taste the fruit of the vines. Even if you're not a wine-drinker, you can camp under the stars, take a trek on horseback, canoe a wild river, play a round at one of the many superb golf courses or float over the countryside in a hot-air balloon.

Let prehistory enchant you with stories from the Dreamtime, while you may be lucky enough to find sites of Aboriginal significance in the national parks and wild areas of the Hunter. This is Darkinjang, Awabakal and Wanarua country, the lush valleys once being the home of various groups of Aboriginal people who fell victim to violence and disease in the early days of European settlement.

Now enshrined in national parks, some of which have fulfilled the rigorous World Heritage criteria for the ultimate in conservation listing, the best of the Hunter is a showcase for Australian flora, fauna and geological wonders. Paradoxically, all this beauty also encompasses more than twenty of the world's biggest coal mines and three power stations, including Australia's largest electricity generator.

Despite its proximity to Sydney, the presence of large industry and its somewhat dark history, the Hunter Valley and the Upper Hunter are amongst the most beautiful regions of Australia. The demand from sophisticated city-dwellers for fine wine and food, classy accommodation and thrilling adventure has meant the Hunter has developed as a yuppies' playground as well as a wild arena for adrenalin junkies.

Time Zone

The Hunter Valley time zone is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 10 hours. This is Australian Eastern Standard Time and is the same as Sydney and Melbourne, half an hour ahead of Adelaide and two hours ahead of Perth. Some states in Australia, including New South Wales, have daylight saving during summer, meaning that from October to late March time in the Hunter Valley is GMT + 11 hours. During summer (October to end March) there are five time zones in Australia, and three during winter.

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