Best things to do in the Hunter Valley for drinkers and non-drinkers ( [year] Guide)

Are you planning a trip to the Hunter Valley?

If your answer is yes, you came to the right place as we have created a great list of the best things to do in the Hunter Valley for drinkers and non-drinkers.

Located in South Wales, the Hunter Valley region is associated with historic estates, boutique hotels, lush vineyards, and endless wine cellars. And, of course, the Hunter region is a paradise for wine lovers.

However, there are so many other things that you can do apart from drinking wine all day.

Due to this reason we created a list suitable for wine drinkers and non-drinkers. So, look below and find out what kind of fun things you can do in the Hunter Valley!

Ride a hot air balloon

Hunter Valley showcases one of the most beautiful sceneries in South Wales. The best way to see this natural beauty is from above.

Hot air ballooning in the region started more than 40 years ago, so there are plenty of companies offering this experience. Believe us, you will quickly find the best offer as soon as you start looking for it.

Select from sunrise, midday, or sunset balloon flight. You can also select your route which can take you above picturesque  Pokolbin, Lovedale, Rothbury or Broke areas.

Most balloon flights last for an hour and usually include an extravagant breakfast, lunch, or dinner after the flight. If you love to drink, you will be offered a glass of champagne, too.

The hot air balloon flight is a perfect thing to do for couples celebrating anniversaries.

This experience usually lasts for about 4 to 5 hours, including the flight and a meal.

Go wine tasting

Hunter Valley has more than 150 wineries and endless vineyards, so a visit without wine tasting is impossible. There are various tours you can take, ranging from “cellar hopping” to glamourous private tours.

Most tours include several wineries where you can taste their best wines accompanied by light bites. Some more expensive wine tours include a full dinner or/and a bottle of wine to take back home.

However, be aware that the wine tasting experience can be quite expensive. Check several websites offering tours and select the one that offers the best price and more than one winery.

Tip: If you aren’t a wine drinker opt-out for a non-alcoholic wine tasting tour. Believe it or not, Hunter Valley’s cellars offer a large variety of non-alcoholic wines.

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Experience chocolate tasting

Surprisingly, Hunter Valley is also famous for its magnificent chocolate. Here, you will be able to find one of the best Australian chocolate factories.

Established a couple of decades ago, Hunter Valley Chocolate Company makes the finest chocolate from the best ingredients. You will be able to enjoy various flavours that will satisfy adults’ and kids’ taste palettes.

Try their famous milk chocolate, sugar-free chocolate bars, white chocolate or fudge. We guarantee you won’t be able to leave empty-handed.

The chocolate tasting tours can be booked directly via the chocolate factory’s website or combined with another tour from the travel companies.

If you are travelling with the kids, chocolate tasting is the number one thing you have to try in the Hunter Valley.

Visit Hunter Valley Gardens

Spread across 14 hectares, the Hunter Valley Gardens is home to more than 10 themed gardens. Everyone will love strolling around the beautiful nature.

Various trails will lead you to a waterfall, man-made pond, murals, and statues. You will also see more than 6000 trees and 600 000 shrubs.

If you are travelling with kids, they will enjoy the amusement park which is open during weekends and school holidays. The ticket for the rides can be purchased from the main ticket booths by the Gardens entrance.

Just don’t forget to bring your camera and enjoy a full day of fun!

Try grape stomping

What can be more fun than experiencing grape stomping in the wine region? Most wineries and even Hunter Valley resorts hold annual grape stomping tours.

Grape stomping tours usually include grape picking, stomping, and juice tasting. Some also explain the fermentation process and gives a bottle of fresh grape juice for you to take as a souvenir.

Grape picking and the stomping season lasts from January to March, depending on the weather. Some wineries might harvest grapes quicker than others, so check websites for more information.

The grape stomping tour usually takes all day, so dress comfortably and make sure to wear enclosed shoes. No one wants to find dirt in their wine!

Tour around Hunter Distillery

Hunter Distillery produces high-quality spirits, such as vodka, gin, liquor, and more. It is the best-known for various types of gin.

All spirits are made with local ingredients and you will never find similar products in the supermarkets.

Here you can taste various flavoured vodkas, such as sweet, spicy, or sour. If you are a liquor lover, try Hunter Distillery’s special butterscotch and strawberry flavour liquors.

For gin lovers, the distillery produces a variety of botanical gins that can be purchased from the on-site gift shop.

Daily tours of Hunter Distillery have to be booked a couple of days before the visit. You should allow at least a couple of hours for the tour, tasting, and an hour for the shopping.

Have dessert at the Cocoa Nib, Hunter Valley

Situated at the Keith Tulloch Wine, Cocoa Nib is a place where you can taste lovely desserts prepared by Aymee Slaviero.

All desserts are made from the finest French chocolate and freshly prepared every day. Only here you will be able to buy various types of chocolates to take back home as a gift for your beloved ones.

Cocoa Nib also specializes in a variety of pastries, so if you aren’t a chocolate lover, you will still find something delicious to try.

Be sure to book a table before your visit, especially on weekend, if you wish to enjoy delicious chocolate, a cup of coffee, and beautiful scenery.

Go picking blueberries at Misty Valley Blueberries

Misty Valley Blueberries is a well-known blueberry farm where you can find the finest blueberries in the whole region.

The farm supplies various restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets, so you know you will get the best quality products.

Blueberry bushes occupy about an acre which becomes completely blue during December, depending on the weather. This is the time when the owners invite visitors to pick their own blueberries and experience working on the blueberry farm.

As there are no exact dates, you will have to keep checking Misty Valley Blueberries’ Facebook page about the availability. The harvesting season is quite long, so we are sure that you will be able to secure the date if you are travelling around December.

Taste Hunter Valley oysters at Peterson House

Peterson House is known for its weekend oyster bar where you can enjoy fresh oysters with a glass or two of champagne.

Here you will find reasonably priced oysters and other seafood. All produce is sourced from the Port Stephens area.

If you aren’t busy with other activities, order your food for the sitting in. You will have a chance to enjoy fresh oysters’ platter with great views of neverending vineyards and stunning hills.

Don’t forget to order a glass of finest Peterson House champagne that goes perfectly with oysters. If you don’t like drinking alcohol, we recommend trying freshly squeezed juices.

Enjoy Hunter Valley cheese tasting experience

When talking about Hunter Valley tours, cheese tasting tours are usually mentioned together with wine and chocolate tasting experiences. And, of course, cheese is the best “partner” for the wine.

Only at the Hunter Valley, you can book cheese tasting and cheese making tours where you will have a chance to try the best international and local cheeses. The tours usually last for about an hour or two.

Apart from sampling, you can also purchase some cheeses to take back home with you or enjoy later on.

If you are travelling on a budget, a cheese tasting tour is a very inexpensive way to get full and taste the best cheeses in the region.

Indulge at the Sabor Dessert Bar

Located in the quiet Lovedale, Sabor Dessert Bar is away from the main wine trails and isn’t attached to a winery. The dessert bar boasts a large outdoor seating area surrounded by magnificent views.

Here you will be able to find various hot and cold drinks, including coffees, teas, juices, and sodas.

If you feeling a little bit hungry, we recommend trying out Sabor’s light and fluffy scones, served with a little bit of jam.

Order a Sabor’s Tasting Plate which includes five chocolate-based desserts that made Sabor Dessert Bar well-known around the Hunter Valley. This taster plate also has a very attractive price and is perfect for sharing.

Spend a day at the Chateau Elan Spa

Chateau Elan Spa is one of the most famous spas in the Hunter Valley. It has 17 treatment rooms and offers a large variety of treatments. Spa’s team consists of a professional team so you will receive the best services.

Here you will be able to rejuvenate your body and mind, as well as, enjoy a relaxing atmosphere surrounded by natural beauty.

On top of that, the spa has two charming outdoor hot tubs, surrounded by mountains. Every visitor will enjoy lounging on the deck chairs while sipping a glass of champagne, wine, or cocktail.

There is also an on-site restaurant where you can grab a meal after your treatment.

Play golf at the Vintage Golf Club

Nestled in the beautiful Hunter Valley, Vintage Golf Club is ranked as one of the best golf clubs in Australia. The course overlooks charming vineyards and attracts various types of players, ranging from professional golfers to tourists.

The club is open seven days per week. Here everyone is able to practise their golfing skills, take golf lessons, or just enjoy viewing the game.

Besides, there is also an on-site shop where you can purchase golf equipment, clothing, footwear, and various accessories.

On Saturdays and Sundays, Vintage golf club hosts professional golf games which are fun to watch.

If you are looking for accommodation or a place to eat, visit nearby The Château Élan resort which offers stunning rooms and a great local restaurant.

Enjoy a walk at the Barrington Tops National Park

If you are tired of vineyard views, head to the Barrington Tops National Park. It is a park that you can’t miss while touring around the Hunter Valley region.

The park has more than 25 rivers and creeks, swamps, and rich wildlife. You will be able to spot more than 50 mammals, 278 birds, 42 reptiles, and 18 frog species. If you are an insect lover, you will love seeing rare species of butterflies and spiders.

For walkers, the Barrington Tops National Park offers tons of walking trails leading along the river, through the woods, or up to the hill.

Be aware that the park is one of the wettest places in the region, so come prepared. Don’t forget to bring waterproofs and layers if visiting during winter.

Book a cooking lesson from the Hunter Valley cooking school

Cooking class is the best way to learn about local culture and history. In the Hunter Valley, you will be able to sample various local dishes, learn to cook from fresh produce, and receive advice from professional chefs.

There are tons of cooking classes available for everyone, including families. You can book a pizza-making class, local meals cooking class, or even learn how to make desserts.

If you are travelling with a big group, family, or prefer having some privacy, various private cooking classes are available. You only need to choose and come to the designated place.

We suggest booking a cooking class at least a week before your visit as classes tend to run out of available spaces very quickly.

Go kangaroo spotting

Kangaroo is a national emblem of Australia, so no wonder why most people are eager to see these fascinating animals.

Surprisingly, Hunter Valley is one of the best places to see kangaroos free of charge. These furry animals love roaming around vineyards in the early mornings.

In order to see kangaroos and get stunning photos of them, you will need to wake up before sunrise. Select quiet vineyards, away from the main roads and hotels.

Make sure to pack some snacks and drinks as you might need to wait for a couple of hours before you see them. Also, be aware that you aren’t supposed to get too close to kangaroos, so keep the distance.

Visit Hunter Valley Zoo

Located in the heart of Hunter Valley, Hunter Valley Zoo is a perfect place to visit while touring around the wine region. It is a fun activity for families, couples, groups, and solo travellers.

Here you can find local and exotic animals. You are welcome to participate in animals feeding, enjoy the daily shows, and learn more about animals.

Hunter Valley Zoo has a wide variety of animals, including monkeys, kangaroos, koalas, American alligators, white lions, Tasmanian devils, dingoes, and more. You will also be able to cuddle some animals.

On top of that, the zoo provides free barbeque facilities and undercover seating to hide from the rain or scorching sun. If you fancy having a picnic, there is plenty of space and quiet corners to enjoy privacy.

Be aware that the zoo has an entrance fee and tickets can be booked online or on-site.

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Conclusion

We hope you have enjoyed the article and find out a variety of things to do in the Hunter Valley. You can sample the best Australian wines, chocolates, and cheese, enjoy beautiful nature and magnificent animals, visit the historic spa, and more.

If you select any of these activities, you will see a different side of Hunter Valley. This will let you have an unforgettable trip.

To make your trip more unique, we also suggest renting an electric bicycle and enjoy countryside rides to the cellars, vineyards, and various small towns.

If you are staying for a week or more in the Hunter Valley, visit various town markets where you will be able to taste delicious local street food and buy handmade souvenirs to bring back.

Have a lovely trip!

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