- Newcastle - largest settlement in the Hunter region, and a former steel industry centre. Beaches and coffee shops.
- Lake Macquarie - coastal community to the south of Newcastle
- Maitland - a town immediately west of Newcastle
- Scone - the "horse capital of Australia"
- Singleton - a mining town inland from Newcastle
- Port Stephens is a popular rural coastal area north of Newcastle, with beaches, sand dunes and dolphin spotting
- Wollemi National Park - Home of the rediscovered prehistoric Wollemi pine
The Hunter is a popular region to the north of Sydney that provide rest and relaxation away from the big city. It is famous for both its vineyards and its coastal areas.
The Hunter Valley is well known rest and relaxation destination for hard working Sydney people, and a good destination for tourists who want a change of scene from Australia's largest city. The main industries in the Hunter Region are coal mining, agriculture, viticulture and wine making, tourism, horse breeding, electricity production, dairy farming and beef cattle farming. The Hunter Region is one of Australia's most famous wine-growing regions, known for both its red and white wine varieties.
Newcastle is about 2.5 hours from Sydney central station. Outside of here, most of the region is difficult to tour without a car.
Newcastle has its own domestic airport, with regular flights from other Australian destinations. There are flight connections to Sydney, although the time spent getting to Sydney airport, checking in and flying rarely makes this an attractive option.
There are regional train services between Newcastle and Maitland.
Wineries in the Hunter Valley
. Tours generally visit multiple destinations in the Hunter Valley region, and hence they are listed here:
The Hunter Valley is a major wine growing region in Australia. Tours of vineyards and wine tasting tours are a huge industry. A number of local operators run tours of wineries:
- Gone Walkabout Safaris, ☎ +61 2 49158515, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Gone Walkabout Safaris operate 7 days a week with guaranteed departures every day, picking up participants from their accommodation in Newcastle and Hunter Valley. $60 per person.
- Boutique Wine Tours, ☎ +61 2 9499 5444, e-mail: email@example.com. Boutique Wine Tours run luxury (14 person max) day tours of the Hunter Valley wineries, picking up participants from their accommodation in Sydney. $115 per person with lunch or $99 per person if you purchase your own lunch..
- Aussie Wine Tours, ☎ +61 2 4991 1074 0412 735 809, fax: +61 2 4990 6969, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This Cessnock based tour company offers wine tours. From $45 per person (weekends) and $35 per person (weekdays).
- Cheers Bus, ☎ +61 408 987 057, e-mail: email@example.com. This Cessnock based tour company offers wine tours. Half day tours are available, as are full day tours including lunch. From $35 per person.
- Hunter Valley Day Tours, fax: +61 2 4938 5083, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hunter Valley Tourism offers full day wine and cheese tasting Tours. Pickup is available from most Hunter Valley towns. $80 per person.
- Wine Country Limousines, 193 Bimbadeen Road, ☎ +61 2 4991 7484, e-mail: email@example.com. Mount View. Up to seven people can share a limousine for a wine tour from 10AM to 5PM.
In addition, there are several tours that set off from Sydney for day trips or weekend-long visits to the Hunter Valley wineries:
- Red Carpet Tours, 2 Windsor Road, Willoughby, ☎ +61 2 9967 3238, fax: +61 2 9967 3638, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Red Carpet Tours run 18 person day tours of Hunter Valley wineries, including morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Participants are picked up from their accommodation in Sydney. $155 adults and $135 concessions.
- Wine Country Tours, ☎ +61 2 9484 0477, fax: +61 2 9980 1109, e-mail: email@example.com. Wine Country Tours offer 8 person wine tours hosted by a winemaker with 25 years experience. The tour includes private cellar inspections, as well as morning tea and lunch. Participants are picked up from their accommodation in Sydney. Cost is $150 per person.
- Mt Royal National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area
Most wineries offer excellent restaurants to go with your wine tasting