If you have a penchant for fine wines and specialty cheeses, the Hunter Valley is guaranteed to tempt your tastebuds. Read on for the ultimate culinary splurge in the Hunter.
DO One of Australia’s most famous wine regions, the Hunter Valley is brimming with unique cellar doors and award-winning restaurants. If you’re looking for adventure, Balloon Aloft (+61 2 4990 9242) offers one-hour sunrise ballooning, including a gourmet champagne breakfast at Peterson House Winery. Prefer to stay closer to ground? Classic Carriages run half- or full-day winery tours by horse-drawn carriage. Gourmands will want to visit the area during Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, which runs annually in June, and showcases the region’s vast wine and food culture with a month-long series of events.
EAT AND DRINK Reserve well in advance for the two-hatted Muse (2450 Broke Road, Pokolbin, +61 2 4998 6777), and the newly reopened Circa 1876 (64 Halls Road, Pokolbin, +61 2 4998 4998). Coffee is best at Sugarman Espresso (126 Barton Street) in Kurri Kurri, while Emerson’s Café & Restaurant (492 Lovedale Road, Lovedale) serves a relaxed weekend brunch.
STAY Spicers Vineyards Estate (555 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin, 1300 192 868 Australia-wide) is a unique five-star guesthouse set amongst rolling vineyards and native bushland. Luxury Spa Suites feature separate living areas with a bluestone fireplace and the option of a private courtyard or balcony. Spicers’ restaurant, Botanica, serves an exquisite tasting menu not to be missed. Spa Anise offers the ultimate in relaxation with a range of massages, treatments, body wraps and facials.
GET THERE The Hunter Valley is about two-and-a-half hours from Sydney by car.
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