Hunter Valley Accommodation

Nearby Places to Visit

  • Barrington Tops is a place for an adventurous getaway to see some of Australia's extraordinary wildlife in the rugged scenery of mountains, rivers and rainforest. This is a World Heritage-listed area and, straddling the boundary of temperate and tropical Australia, is the home of an enormous variety of flora and fauna. Canoe the wild rivers, ride a horse through the rainforest, camp under the stars and see wild Australia at is most diverse.

  • The Upper Hunter is the valley stretching north west from the Lower Hunter. It has world-class vineyards, but the focus is also on horses: breeding, riding and racing. The Upper Hunter covers more than 18,000 square kilometres of national parks, cattle and sheep country, vineyards, mountains and fertile river flats. This is the Australia you see in films and fiction: horses, laconic country people, moleskins and akubras, and a fierce love of the land. Base yourself in Denman for a convenient exploration point for the Upper Hunter.

  • Broke is a wonderful historic village surrounded by boutique wineries.

  • Wollumbi – for a small town, Wollumbi has some significant buildings of local sandstone. The town's history seeps through its pores, both Aboriginal and European. For example, Aboriginal art telling the story of the area's original inhabitants can be seen in rock engravings and paintings in caves and sheltered rocks; while the cemetery contains the graves of some veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, who were given land here as they were discharged from NSW regiments.

  • Merriwa, Murrurundi and Muswellbrook are delightful towns in the Upper Hunter, all offering something special. Merriwa's Festival of the Fleeces, held annually in June, celebrates the animal on whose back Australia's economy was built. Murrurundi hosts the Billycart Derby in December, while Muswellbrook puts on the Spring Festival.

  • Scone in the Upper Hunter is the centre of thoroughbred horse breeding, and the scene of horse racing throughout the year. This is Australia's 'blue grass' country, and the Horse Festival in May attracts equine-lovers from all over the world.

  • Mount Royal, Wollemi and Yengo national parks of the Hunter Valley are rich in wildlife and Aboriginal cultural significance. The Wollemi is home to the Jurassic-era tree, the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis), which survived in the park in a few individual specimens until discovery a few years ago. A relic from the age of the dinosaurs, it's now a conservation success story and will soon be available commercially.

  • Branxton, Kurri Kurri and Greta in the Lower Hunter all have their attractions: Branxton and Greta for their open-air markets and street festivals, while Kurri Kurri has a mining museum telling the story of the pioneering industry and the families involved in it.

  • Morpeth, the old river port on the Hunter River now classified by the National Trust, is interesting for its museums, antique shops and historic buildings. Art galleries, cafés and restaurants add to the attractions of Morpeth, as do the numerous festivals throughout the year, including the not-to-be-missed Teapot Festival.

  • Singleton, founded in 1820, is one of the oldest town in New South Wales, is dependent on the coal industry, and tells its history from the museum in the old gaol. Visit The Mercy Convent, Sacred Spaces, a lovely early nineteenth-century building of verandahs, loggias, wrought-iron lacework, stained-glass windows and landscaped gardens.

  • Maitland also has a history lesson from the old gaol, with some tours being taken by ex-inmates. The gaol has a harsh and dark history, having harboured some of the most notorious of Australia's criminals. The town has renowned heritage architecture, excellent accommodation and good food and wine. On the first Sunday of the month, the Maitland Fair Market offers fresh produce and art and craft. The nearby Walka Water Works provides a venue for picnics, canoeing, sailing and walking around the lake. The National Trust-listed property is a nineteenth century classic of ornate brickwork, and is very well-preserved.

ere are day tours www.visitours.com.au from Sydney to the Hunter, but the area warrants at least a few days to take in some wineries, adventure and food experiences; not to mention the superb scenery. Visit www.aattc.org.au for Newcastle and Hunter Valley coach timetables.

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