(Last Updated On: December 12, 2020)

Two days in the Hunter Valley wine region is the perfect amount of time to get a taste for the beauty of this area of New South Wales. Accessible easily from Sydney, a trip to the Hunter Valley is perfect for either a day trip or a longer stay. This itinerary is perfect for those wanting to make a weekend out of their Hunter Valley trip.

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Getting to the Hunter Valley

Driving is definitely the easiest way to get to the Hunter Valley from Sydney. The drive is an easy one and will take around two hours from Sydney into Pokolbin in the centre of the Hunter Valley region. 

For those who don’t have a car and aren’t keen to hire one for the trip, a wine tour might be the best way to explore the region from Sydney. The tours will depart Sydney and offer hotel pick up and drop off from the Sydney CBD, so are a good hassle-free option for those not willing to drive themselves. 

For those still keen to do a wine tour when they arrive in the Hunter Valley, there are also hotel pick-ups and tour options available for you here if you are happy to drive yourself to the region, but want to make the most of the wine tasting opportunities when you arrive

Black cows standing in a green field

Getting Around in the Hunter Valley

If you don’t have a designated driver, getting around in the Hunter Valley can be a challenge, but there are some options for non-drivers. 

There is a dedicated wine country taxi service called Cessnock Radio Cabs that are able to be booked in advance for winery visits or dinner reservations. Mid-week, they were also available to order for immediate pick-up, but on weekends when the area is busy, definitely book ahead to avoid long waits.

There is also a Hop on/Hop off Bus option in the Hunter Valley that will stop at many of the major sites such as the Roche Estate, Estate Tuscany, Pokolbin Village, the Hunter Valley Gardens and Bimbadgen Winery.  

Two Days in the Hunter Valley

Day 1 

Morning – Wine Tasting at Brokenwood Winery 

Brokenwood is one of the most photogenic wineries in the Hunter Valley with its yellow umbrellas and big wooden entrance. A morning stop here on the winery tour will include a tasting as well as a Soil to Cellar Experience to learn more about the wine process here. Alternatively, for a simple tasting at the cellar door, a booking for $25 will allow you to taste at least 6 wines in the Brokenwood range. Bookings are absolutely necessary here, even mid-week.

A courtyard with a large sign saying Brokenwood

Midday – Tempus Two at Roche Estate

Tempus Two is easily situated across the road from Brokenwood Wines in the lush green surrounds of the Roche Estate. A quick stop at Asian fusion restaurant Oiishi for lunch will fill your belly before heading into the modern chic of the Tempus Two Cellar Door. 

Bookings for tastings at Tempus Two are able to be made online for $5, but they need to be made at least 24 hours in advance. Mid-week, you may find that if you call and it’s a quiet day, the cellar door can accept you for a tasting without a booking – but if you don’t want to risk missing out then definitely book in advance.

A fountain

Afternoon – Tamburlaine Organic Wines

A relatively easy walk away from Roche Estate is the Tamburlaine Organic Wines cellar door and for those keen to try wine made in the absence of any pesticides or nasty stuff, this is the tasting for you.

Bookings are not required here unless you’re arriving in a group larger than 5, but it is a good idea to check whether they’ve reached capacity in advance on the day by calling +612-4998-4200.

A concrete fence with a sign saying Tamburlaine

Evening – Dinner at Baume

Baume is a great choice for an affordable and hearty dinner in the heart of the Hunter Valley. Located on the Ben Ean estate, this is a relatively casual restaurant with portion sizes designed to share.

There are plenty of food options for families and dietary requirements and there is no doubt that you’ll be going home full up.

A plate of cauliflower and a plate of roast lamb

Day 2  

Morning – Hunter Valley Gardens and Aqua Golf

For something a little different, a visit to the award winning Hunter Valley Gardens complex is a great way to shake off any wine related headaches from the night before with a stroll in the beautifully cultivated parkland. It is a great way to start the second day of your two days in the Hunter Valley.

For game lovers, there is a mini golf course or aqua golf to let your competitive spirit run free. The gardens themselves cost $29 per person to enter, so if that seems a little expensive, then just stroll around the grounds and enjoy the quaint shopping village outside the garden gate.

A lake with floating targets in it

Midday – Saddler’s Creek Winery

Saddlers Creek is a gorgeously designed winery located on Marrowbone Road in Pokolbin. A premium wine tasting can be booked in advance and will cost $10. Again, early – mid week may be possible to visit without a booking, but you definitely want to avoid missing out. You can also book a cheese box to go with your wine tasting and also on weekends the Pampa Flame Brazilian BBQ food truck stops in for some delicious lunchtime fare.

On weekends, Saddler’s Creek is the perfect spot to relax with live music running Friday to Sunday afternoons in a beautiful outdoor setting.

The entrance to a building with a sign that says Cellar Door

Afternoon – Audrey Wilkinson

Audrey Wilkinson is a quintessential Hunter Valley experience with the tasting room perched high on top of the rolling hills looking down over the vineyards. Bookings are $5 for a standard tasting experience that runs for 45 minutes in a beautiful light filled room.  

It’s a perfect way to close out the afternoon and take in the last rays of the day as golden hour hits the Hunter Valley. Enjoy your final tasting of your two days in the Hunter Valley and head back to the hotel to refresh before dinner.

Grey sky over rows of grapevines

Evening – Dinner at The Mill 

A little further out of Pokolbin is the gorgeous Estate Tuscany which features fine dining restaurant, The Mill. A three-course meal will set you back around $80 per person excluding wine, so it is relatively reasonable compared to some of the other dining options in the Hunter Valley whilst still providing a fancy dinner out.

Estate Tuscany is perfectly positioned atop a hill which gives great sunset views. The drive out to the estate is also a treat with wild kangaroos hopping around the fields enjoying the twilight hours.

At the end of two days in the Hunter Valley, this itinerary will provide a great appreciation for the region’s wineries as well as the uniquely beautiful landscape of Australia’s oldest wine growing region.  

Where to stay in the Hunter Valley

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley in Lovedale which is very well located a short driving distance from many of the wineries listed in this post. The Crowne Plaza is also well appointed with balcony rooms, tennis courts, two pools and a restaurant and bar.

Other options for accommodation that come highly recommended are Chateau Elan at the Vintage or the Convent Hunter Valley also located close by.

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Two Days in the Hunter Valley - Australia's Oldest Wine Region - Emma Jane Explores
Two Days in the Hunter Valley - Australia's Oldest Wine Region - Emma Jane Explores

4 Comments

  1. LINDA

    What a lovely way to spend a weekend In the Hunter Valley! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Krista

    This looks like a lovely area to explore, and I would definitely be hitting up at least one winery while I was there!

    Reply
    • Emma Jane Explores

      It is definitely the perfect setting for a winery… or three… haha

      Reply

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