The Hunter Valley is located inland from the Central Coast, making it only a slightly longer drive from Sydney, and an even shorter drive from its coastal neighbour. Like The Central Coast, The Hunter Valley has become a favourite weekend destination for Sydneysiders, offering not only wine tasting, but also fine dining and boutique accommodation, and bushland and hillside walks, gardens and historic towns to explore.
Because of its location, The Hunter Valley gets busy on weekends and quite crowded on public and school holidays, so if you like having the roads to yourself and to roll up to a fine restaurant and get a table without booking, plan for a weekday visit.
The Hunter Valley, which is drained by the Hunter River, is a major agricultural district and provides routes to the interior of the State which are relatively unimpeded by mountains and other obstacles.
Hunter River near Maitland
The Hunter River rises in the Liverpool Range and flows generally south and then east, reaching the Pacific Ocean after a course of 462 km at Newcastle, the second largest city in New South Wales and a major port.
The river's estuary forms one of the state's largest harbours. The ruling navigable depth through the entrance, alongside the Newcastle city centre, is approximately 15 m below mean sea level. The estuary has undergone significant changes since European settlement including extensive flood mitigation works, land clearing and changes to channel morphology which have resulted in the reduction in the channel length between Maitland and Morpeth from 24 to 9.6 km. In the upper estuary, forests have largely been cleared for timber, and converted to grazing land.
How To Get There
By road: north from Sydney via Pacific Highway.
By rail: from Sydney via Central Coast line
Best Time To Go
The Hunter Valley is an all-year-round destination. Like Sydney, it is cooler and wetter in winter and can be quite hot during Summer.