The Hunter Region centres on the city of Newcastle approximately 120 kms north of Sydney and includes the world famous wine growing area of the Hunter Valley and the magnificent seaside resort areas surrounding Port Stephens. It extends north to the beautiful mountain areas around Barrington Tops. The Hunter provides one of the most diverse and beautiful regions in New South Wales and is highly sought after as a holiday destination.
The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's premier wine growing districts. There are now over 100 cellar doors in the area producing wines that are world famous. Grapes were first planted in the Hunter Valley around 1830 and George Whyndham vintaged grapes from his vineyard at Dalwood near Branxton in 1835. The Whyndham Estate Winery is still producing award winning wines and the label is recognized around the World. Valley wine is renowned throughout Australia and its international success is nothing short of miraculous.
The annual Hunter Valley Wine show is one of the most prestigious regional wine shows in Australia. It has extraordinarily high standards of judging which produce award winning wines of excellence and refinement. Semillon and Shiraz are the flagship grape varieties in the Hunter, Chardonnay and the Cabernets are not far behind with Verdelho and Merlot gaining quickly. They all have their own characteristics so there is plenty to learn and lots of people to help you if you are looking for a learning experience.
Newcastle and the Lake Macquarie district have been famous in the past as an industrial centre. Today, however, even though the city still has a strong industrial base it is now recognized as a growing tourist destination. Newcastle has a number of top surfing beaches and the Lake Macquarie district provides the holidaymaker with the opportunity for a huge range of water sports including sailing, boating, fishing, waterskiing, surfing and swimming.
Port Stephens is located just north of Newcastle and this fine harbour provides a magnificent venue for holidaymakers to enjoy all forms of water sports. Take your own boat with you or hire a houseboat or cruiser when you get there. Surrounding the harbour are a number of towns including Nelson Bay, Corlette, Tea Gardens etc. All offer a wide range of accommodation to suit any holiday budget. There are also a number of calm water beaches for the family or fantastic surfing beaches for the enthusiast.
The Barrington Tops is a wilderness area situated around 1 hours drive north of Newcastle. The Barrington Plateau features pristine forests and mountain scenery which is unsurpassed in the region. Relax in the peaceful and tranquil setting and explore the hinterland of the Barrington tops national Park and foothills, explore the historic main streets with country cafes and antique stores.