Top 10 Things Hunter Valley

Top 10 Things Hunter Valley

What are the Top 10 things to do in the Hunter Valley?

Good morning readers, I hope you have been enjoying our Gourmet Getaways Hunter Valley series.  Mr GG, Alesah & myself have had a great time putting together these stories.

If you have been reading our  updates I am sure you have noticed the Hunter Valley has so much to offer.  With gorgeous luxury accommodation, quality vineyards, gourmet cafes, and modern innovative restaurants the area makes an ideal romantic getaway.

As the series draws to an end I wanted to remind you that the Hunter Valley isn’t only for the wine connoisseur, there is so much more to offer.  Take a look at this list we have put together.

Top 10 Things Hunter Valley

1/ Cheese Tasting

Cheese Factory Maturage

Cheese Factory Maturage

We visited three local cheese making outlet which offered tasting to the public. I think it would be very difficult to choose a favourite so you may have to visit all three.  Each of these stores also sells crackers, deli items, condiments and platters if you wanted to purchase some products for a picnic.

The Hunter Valley Cheese Company

McGuigans Complex
McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, 2320

The Smelly Cheese Shop

Shop 3, Pokolbin Village
2188 Broke Road , Pokolbin NSW 2320

Binnorie Dairy

Tuscany Wine Estate
Corner of Hermitage Rd. and Mistletoe Lane
Pokolbin, 2320, NSW, Australia

2/ Cooking Classes

The Verandah Restaurant Paella Class

Paella Classes

Paella Classes

The Verandah Restaurant offers a hands on Paella Cooking Class.  You will learn to cook a Spanish Paella, tasty Spanish churros and make Sangria with owner Matt Dillow.

151 Palmers Lane, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Ph: 02 4998 7231

Tuscan Wines Estate Cooking Classes

Cnr Mistletoe Lane & Hermitage Road, Pokolbin NSW 2325
Phone: 02 4998 7288

3/ Chocolate Tasting

Chocolate lovers will be pleased to know that the Hunter Valley has some wonderful chocolatiers. Not all stores offer chocolate tasting but it is worth doing the rounds and finding some new sweet treats. I think my favourite was the Sabor Chocolate Bar, but when I’m trying to pick favourites amongst sweets its HARD! They are all delicious!

Sabor Chocolate Hunter Valley

Sabor Chocolate Hunter Valley

 Hunter Valley Chocolate Company

The Hunter Valley Chocolate Company has three outlets in the area. Below is their factory outlet store.

“Twenty-3-Twenty” Chocolate & Fudge Factory
2320 Broke Road, POKOLBIN NSW 2320

Sabor Chocolate Bar

This cafe features beautifully made chocolates, truffles, macarons and desserts. It’s the ideal place to sit and enjoy a coffee and chocolate fix.

319 Wilderness Road, Lovedale
(adjacent to the historic Gillies Bridge)

4/ Hot Air Ballooning

Hunter Valley Ballooning

Hunter Valley Ballooning

Time to shake off those cobwebs and soar to new heights! Take off on a balloon flight and see the picturesque Hunter Valley from a unique vantage point. There are three operators offering various packages to visitors.

Balloons Aloft

Corner Broke Road & Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin. NSW, 2320
Phone: 1300 723 279

Cloud 9 Balloon Flights

227B Annangrove Rd, Annangrove NSW 2156
Phone: 1300 555 711   Mobile: (040) 7867 776

5/ Day Spa – Couples Massage

Mr GG & Me ready for our Massage

Ready for our Couples Massage

Relax and enjoy a couples massage, or your favourite day spa treatment in luxurious surroundings. Regular readers would know that Mr GG and I experienced the luxurious Chateau Elan Day Spa during our Hunter Valley escape. I thoroughly recommend readers make the time to pamper themselves.

Chateau Elan Day Spa

 Vintage Drive, Rothbury, NSW 2320 Australia
Phone: 02 4998 2500

Tea Tree Day Spa

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale, NSW, 2325
Phone: 02 4991 0959

6/ Pack a Picnic with Cheese & Condiments Purchases

As I mentioned previously there are so many places selling delicious local produce including cheese and deli items, that it would be a shame not to pack a picnic and enjoy the outdoors.  I would also recommend adding a bottle of a local wine to the picnic basket.

 Oakvale Wines

At Oakvale wines you will find picnic tables, gas BBQs and children’s playground.

1596 Broke Road, POKOLBIN NSW 2320

Hunter Valley Gardens

Visit the Hunter Valley Gardens and find a romantic spot to picnic or make use of the BBQ facilities

Broke Road Pokolbin, NSW 2320 Australia

Astilles Picnic Area

If you’re looking for a National Park Picnic area Astills is located in the Werakata National Park Hunter Valley. Picnic tables are sheltered under towering gums in this grassy clearing.

From Cessnock, follow Kurri Road towards Abermain.
Turn left onto Old Maitland Road
Turn left onto Ironbark Lane and follow the signs to the picnic area

7/ High Tea

Cafe Elan High Tea

Cafe Elan High Tea

High Tea is a most elegant indulgence, and one of my favourite activities when I am planning a romantic getaway. It’s also a great activity for a hens party or just a catch up with the girls.

Cafe Elan

I have experienced the luxury of Cafe Elans High Tea with hubby and enjoyed it so much I had to return. I decided the Carlyle girls needed a catch up, and we had four generations of family at Cafe Elan for a sweet treat and some bubbles.

Vintage Drive, Rothbury, NSW 2320 Australia
Phone: 02 4998 2500

Peppers Convent High Tea – Restaurant Eighty Eight

Halls Road, Pokolbin, NSW, 2320
Phone: 02 4998 4999

8/ Wine Tour

Wynwood Estate Wines

Wynwood Estate Wines

Naturally whilst visiting the Hunter Valley you have to consider a wine tour.  Vineyards offer cellar door tastings and sales.  Take a look at the suggested Hunter Valley Wine Tour itinerary.

9/ Golfing Getaway

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Golf Course

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Golf Course

The Vintage Golf Course

The Vintage Golf Club has an 18-hole golf course which was designed by Greg Norman. This would be a great course to try out while the partner is enjoying a treatment at the Day Spa with a glass of bubbles. Oh, and the course has been ranked as one of the best in Australia.

The Vintage Golf Club
 Vintage Drive, Rothbury, NSW 2320 Australia
Ph: 02 4998 2208 

Hunter Valley Golf

The Crowne Plaza resort is surrounded by the Hunter Valley Golf course. A scenic 18-hole championship course which features undulating hills, picturesque lakes and lush greens. Another great place to catch a round of golf whilst the partner is enjoy a day spa treatment.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale, NSW, 2325,
Phone: 02 4991 0000

Cypress Lakes Golf Course

The hunter Valley has its share of championship course. The Cypress Lakes Golf Course was designed by Steve Smyers of Florida and is another of Australia’s top courses.

 15 Thompsons Road, Pokolbin, NSW 2320
Phone: 1800 886 091

10/ Beer and Brewery Tasting

Lovedale Beer Tasting Paddle

Lovedale Beer Tasting Paddle

So finally we come to beer.  The Hunter Valley isn’t only about wine and vineyards. The beer is kind of special too!

Lovedale Brewery

This award winning brewery and bar is located in the Hunter Valley. Patrons can sample a tasting board of the breweries beer as they watch the beer wenches prepare tend the batches behind the glass paneled brewery. Don’t forget to order a Porters Pie while your there. After sampling the beers on offer I think this is a must do!

So there we have my top 10 things to do in the Hunter Valley!

It certainly doesn’t end with these ideas. These are just the tip of the iceberg for such an amazing and diverse region. Don’t forget to check out the Hunter Valley Festivals and visiting performing artists.

I have also saved a magnificent restaurant review for last, so stay tuned for the Roberts Circa 1876 Hunter Valley review.

Peppers Convent - Roberts Restaurant- Restaurant Eighty Eight

Peppers Convent – Roberts Restaurant- Restaurant Eighty Eight

I would like to once again thank our lovely sponsors who have shown the Gourmet Getaways team a fantastic time during of Hunter Valley series.

Gourmet Getaways

About Julie


  1. mmm~ Always love a short getaway to hunter valley, just for a little break and all …
    but totally going to add some of these into my list (namely massage and chocolate tasting!) As a matter of fact, I never knew about chocolate tasting 😉

  2. So much to do in Hunter Valley like no other! Love how you wrote all the stories. Looking forward to the Roberts Circa 1876 review to perfectly end the GG Hunter Valley experience 🙂 Hope our readers like the whole tour!

  3. Wonderful round up, Julie… plenty of food for thought for my visit to the Hunter… we’ve not been yet, so definitely looking forward to the experience.

  4. Oh a hot air balloon ride – what an amazing view it would be from the Hunter Valley sky.

  5. So many fun things to do! I wished I lived closer, the chocolate and cheese tasting would be top on my list!

  6. What a great round up and guide. Chocolate tasting would be high on my destinations!

  7. Forget the golf, I would like to go to the chocolate tasting, the wine tours, the high tea and dinner at restaurant 84. You’ve proven there is definitely a lot to do in the Hunter Valley xx

  8. I’m in! hunter Valley looks like a perfect little getaway. I think I would love to combine a little bit of the wine tasting with the hot balloon ride.

  9. I’m ready for the ten tour ! It’s just amazing ! Hunter valley is a merveilleuse destination, so many things to do 😉

  10. There are 8 things on this list I would do. Sounds like a great place to have a vacation 🙂

  11. Omg Hunter Valley sounds like the ultimate R&R getaway! I can imagine leaving feeling sooooooo relaxed and happy for my belly

  12. Loved all your Hunter Valley posts. Chocolate tasting and wine tours would be the first thing on my mind when I visit.

  13. Wow, this sounds like a Top 9 list of things my husband and I love to do (had to exclude the couples massage, because I’m a weirdo and not a fan of massages). But everything else looks divine!

  14. Wow,looks like an amazing getaway with so much fun things to do!!Would love to visit someday :)..Glad you and Mr GG had a fab time Julie 🙂

  15. Look like lot of fun thing we can do it there. I wish I can make trip there.

  16. Love the Hunter Valley, and good to know there’s so many great fun things to do there. Looking forward to hot air ballooning especially one day. Best wishes! 🙂

  17. Sounds like there’s a lot to do in Hunter’s Valley! Great place to visit and spend some down time. We should fly over and do it all. 🙂 Thanks for the fun review.

  18. You had me at cheese. Haha! The Hunter Valley is flippin amazing, sucha gorgeous part of Aus, I could spend some serious time hanging out, I hate to think what would happen to my waistline. LOL! This Summer, its on like donkey kong. 🙂

  19. I love Sabor Chocolate Bar, it’s one of my favourite places to visit in the Hunter!

  20. So much fun activities to do in Hunter Valley – loving the look of the high tea 😉

  21. Oh the cheese tasting and the cooking classes sound like a lot of fun. I truly loved reading this post

  22. Hunter Valley sounds like Heaven on Earth! From the spas to the chocolates and cheese and hot air ballooning and well, everything you listed, Julie =) I see this as a great spot for newlyweds and er, for those of us who’ve been married a while, too!

  23. Have been loving all your HV posts Julie. This is an awesome bucket list and structured to be a wonderful reference for when I (eventually) get over there!

  24. thanks for posting this up! always enjoyed the cheese tastings at the smelly cheese shops

  25. Thanks Julie. I love how you condense everything down and do the research for us! Makes it very easy when we are visiting these destinations. Much appreciated 🙂

  26. Fab roundup Julie, book me in for the cheese tasting and the old hubby in for the golf tour. And after the cheese, I’ll have a massage please…. We are hoping to get up there before the end of the year, will re-visit this post to make my must-do list.

  27. I haven’t been to the Hunter in YEARS but I am desperate to return! When I do I’ll take a copy of your checklist 🙂

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