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This tour offers a remarkable wine and food experience in Australia’s oldest wine region.
It’s your day, your way – choose to spend the full day in the Hunter Valley or begin your adventure with a visit to a unique wildlife sanctuary at the Hawkesbury River town of Brooklyn on the way.
Our Charter tours pick-up and drop off from all Sydney hotels, private addresses and Sydney Airport.
All charter tours have a flexible pick-up time. For the Hunter Valley we recommend a 7-10 am start. The wineries close at 5pm.
On our journey to the Hunter Valley we may stop in picturesque Brooklyn for morning tea. The village is squeezed between Ku-ring-gai Chase National Parkmand the lower, estuarine reaches of the Hawkesbury River.
Alternatively, we can take the scenic route winding north through national parks and towns and villages – most notably, the charming heritage village of Wollombi.
In either case, there is an option to include a visit to Walkabout Wildlife Park on our way. This is neither a zoo nor a museum, but a wildlife sanctuary where native bushland has been preserved and indigenous animals make their homes. The park also incorporates Aboriginal heritage sites and educational programs on Aboriginal culture. This a great chance to see koalas, kangaroos, emus, etc up close while also learning something of the original Australians.
Once we reach the wine growing region of the Hunter Valley, we have a wealth of options – including a large selection of both vintners and producers of olives, cheeses, and other delicacies.
The Hunter Valley produces excellent Semillon and Shiraz as well as some fine Chardonnay and Verdelho.
We’ll visit some award-winning vineyards in the area. These may include: Pepper Tree Winery, Hungerford Hill, Audrey Wilkinson, Tyrells, Thomas Wines, Brokenwood, and The Cockfighters Ghost.
We can also visit the Smelly Cheese shop, Hunter Valley Chocolates, The Distillery, Local Markets, or the Hunter Valley gardens.
Lunchtime favourites include: Café Enzo, The Hunter Valley Resort, Muse, Hungerford Hill, or The Twine.
In late afternoon, wild kangaroos are sometimes spotted in the fields and paddocks as we make our way back to Sydney.
We can choose two from these three options.
Morning tea in Brooklyn – a quaint river village which feels a million miles from Sydney. Here you can feel the sense of community that infuses all the settlements of the Hawkesbury River.
The scenic route through Wollombi. Rather than sticking with the main highway to the Hunter Valley we can turn onto an under-utilised tourist drive which begins north of the Hawkesbury River. The road passes through national parks, past small farms, and through several towns and villages. Mostly notably, Wollombi – a heritage town with a well-preserved 19th century streetscape, lined with boutiques, cafes, and, of course, a pub.
The Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park is best visited as soon as it opens for the day at 9am. The animals are active then, and the tourists few. Not a zoo, but a wildlife sanctuary – here koalas, kangaroos, emus, and other native wildlife freely roam the 80-hectare (198-acre) park which is maintained as native habitat. If you book ahead, we can arrange a private koala encounter.
The town of Pokolbin is at the centre of the wine growing region of the Hunter Valley.
One of two spots we recommend before Pokolbin are Mount View and Broke Fordwich we can spend the morning at one of these destinations.
Mount View offers panoramic scenery from Mount View Road. Visit Carillion Wines or Bria Ridge Wines, Dine at Bistro Molines.
Broke Fordwich is a little further to the west and should include a journey via the Wollombi Village. Visit the awarded Krinklewood Winery and enjoy a long lunch and dine at the hatted Margan Restaurant.
It’s very much your day, your way. If you have a selection of wineries you are keen to visit – we’ll plot the route and make sure to hit them all.
If you’d prefer to leave the decisions to us – we’ll show you our favourites. If some varieties are more your style than others, just let us know, and we’ll introduce you to the right vintners.
We can visit a few cellar doors before lunch – perhaps hitting the Smelly Cheese Shop along the way, just for some balance.
When you are ready for lunch, the Hunter Valley supplies a wealth of options. Favourites include Margan Restaurant, Bistro Molines, Café Enzo, The Cellar Door, and Twine Restaurant. A quick option may be gourmet woodfired pizza and salads prepared while you taste the Brokenwood wines.
With our remaining time we’ll fit in more wineries and, perhaps, round out our day with locally made chocolates. Or for those without a sweet tooth – perhaps some olives are more your speed.
When the wineries and most specialty shops at close at 5 pm, it’s time to sit back, relax, and keep your eye out for wild kangaroos in the paddocks and vineyards as we make our way back to Sydney.
Gottago 200 – Tripadvisor
The trip north on the M1 to the beautiful NSW Hunter Valley Wine Region was far from boring as Our tour guide Craig, who I found out was quite the wine connoisseur, was happy to keep the good times rolling with a playlist that kept us swinging like the 60’s the entire trip. The choice of winery’s was exception as we got to taste some.. or should I say a lot of what this stunning region has on offer. From Merlot, Pinot noir to Sauvignon blanc it was all for the picking, as our hosts gave us informative yet colourful backstories on each winery & drop.