The best activities to enjoy in the Hunter Valley with kids
Just a two-hour drive north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley is a world-renowned wine region with over 150 cellar doors. And it’s just as rich in child-friendly attractions! From whimsical gardens and animal encounters to putt-putt and chocolate factories, there are plenty of exciting things to do in the Hunter Valley with kids.
Ready to make memories that will last a lifetime? Spend quality time together out in nature, discover delicious local dishes and meet some adorable furry friends with our guide to the best Hunter Valley activities for families.
Plus, if you’re planning to spend the weekend (or week) in this beautiful destination, discover the perfect Hunter Valley family accommodation options below.
10 fun things to do in the Hunter Valley with kids
1. Go horseback riding through the countryside
Address: 917 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin NSW 2330
Phone: 0431 337 367
With Hunter Valley Horses, your whole family can enjoy a rural adventure that brings you through lush farmland. Not sure if you’ve got the skills? There are various trails to choose from, depending on the age and capabilities of each rider.
Little kids can enjoy gentle pony rides led carefully by guides – a great way to instil a love of horses! Alternatively, take older kids and adults on a 30-minute horseback ride along one of the many paths that crisscross over 300 acres of bucolic countryside!
2. Meet the animals at Hunter Valley Wildlife Park
Address: 138 Lomas Lane, Nulkaba NSW 2325
Phone: (02) 9622 1644
From meerkats and monkeys to lions and lemurs, the Hunter Valley Wildlife Park is home to a variety of native and exotic animals! Little ones will love hand-feeding the farmyard fauna, holding the reptiles, and learning about wildlife at the daily zookeeper talks.
Stroll through interactive enclosures, book a private encounter with your children’s favourite animals or arrange for kids aged eight to 11 to join the zookeeper for a full-day program.
However you decide to spend time with the animals, make a day out of it and pack the Esky so your family can enjoy a lunchtime picnic!
3. Explore Hunter Valley Gardens
Address: 2090 Broke Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Phone: (02) 4998 2320
This is likely the most popular of all things to do in the Hunter Valley with kids. Hunter Valley Gardens is a sight to behold at any age, offering eight kilometres of walking trails that wind through ten themed gardens.
Head straight to the Story Book Garden, which features lifesize statues of classic characters like Little Bo Peep and Humpty Dumpty. Before you leave, don’t forget to join Alice in Wonderland at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!
Then visit the Oriental Garden with its Japanese pagoda, or the Indian Garden to admire 180-year-old gates guarded by big bronze elephants. Meanwhile, the Italian Grotto is full of edible plants like lemons, oranges and olive trees. Wherever you wander, Hunter Valley Gardens is a beautiful place for your children to connect with nature and learn about different cultures.
If possible, plan your visit at the same time as one of the many exciting family-friendly events held here each year. School holiday celebrations include Mega Creatures, Easter and the Christmas Lights Spectacular. At each of these incredible festivities, you’ll find amusements like a Ferris wheel, swing chairs and a carousel.
4. Play a round at Aqua Golf & Putt Putt
Address: 2090 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Phone: (02) 4998 7896
You’ll find Hunter Valley Aqua Golf & Putt Putt perched right at the entrance to Hunter Valley Gardens. Not to be missed on a trip to the Hunter Valley with kids, you can choose from two wholesome activities or play both back-to-back if you’re feeling competitive.
The goal of aqua golf is to hit a golf ball into a net that is floating on the lake. Do this and you could win anything from a restaurant voucher to a free hot air balloon ride!
Alternatively, play a round or two on the putt putt course beside the water. This 18-hole course weaves its way through the Hunter Valley Gardens Village.
Whichever game you go for, your whole family is guaranteed to have a great time!
5. The Chocolate and Fudge Factory
Address: 2320 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Phone: (02) 4998 6999
A must-do on any list of things to do in the Hunter Valley for families, the Chocolate and Fudge Factory is a child’s dream! Take a look behind the scenes of the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company, where they create all sorts of sweet treats. From giant jaffa cakes and gloopy honeycomb bites to jelly snakes and chocolate frogs, your little ones can learn how their favourite goodies are made – and sample a few while they’re at it!
If chocolate isn’t your thing, there are also all kinds of Australian dried fruits and nuts to nibble on, as well as unique pure fruit oils. Whatever your preferred taste, there will be a delicious delight waiting for you at The Chocolate and Fudge Factory.
6. Feed fluffy alpacas
Address: 1100 Milbrodale Road, Broke NSW 2330
Phone: (02) 6579 1081
Yes, you read that right. Offering one of the most special Hunter Valley kids’ activities, Starline Alpacas is a working alpaca farm open seven days a week.
Stop by anytime between 10am and 4pm and pick up a bucket of feed to treat these fuzzy friends to a meal in the paddocks. One order of alpaca snacks should be plenty for two to three people to share.
And when you’re finally ready to part ways with the alpacas, there is a swimming pool, playground, bikes, scooters and even chickens to keep everyone entertained!
7. Enjoy a family meal at NINETEEN
Address: 1 Claret Ash Drive, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Phone: (02) 4998 2244
Unwind and relive your amazing day together over some yummy local dishes at the best family restaurant in the Hunter Valley. Conveniently located in the centre of Pokolbin, NINETEEN offers relaxed dining seven days a week. With a sure-to-please kids’ menu and delicious local fare for mum and dad, the Bistro is perfect for diners young and old.
With no reservations necessary at NINETEEN, you can just walk in when tummies start to rumble. Until then, have a look at their menu (all children’s meals come with ice cream!).
8. Find the perfect souvenir at the Hunter Markets
Address: 5 Halls Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Phone: 0434 722 808
Going to the Hunter Valley with kids doesn’t mean you have to forgo a spot of shopping. Bring your children to the charming Hunter Markets and discover the bounty of beautiful products on offer. From toys and candles to ceramics and jewellery, all the goods sold here are grown or crafted by local artisans.
Take your sweet time strolling from stall to stall – there are over 50 to browse! And when your little one comes across their favourite find, you might just treat them to a souvenir.
9. Go Karts Go Hunter Valley
Address: 202 Neath Road, Kearsley NSW 2325
Phone: 0455 999 096
A relatively safe adrenaline rush, go karting is one of the most fun Hunter Valley family activities for those with kids aged eight and over. That said, Go Karts Go also offers double carts so that parents can bring children as young as five along for the ride (depending on how tall they are).
Pay for as many 15-minute sessions as you like and meander along a course of fast and slow corners as you race each other to the finish line. Ready, set, go!
10. Adventure through The Vintage Resort together
Still wondering what to do in the Hunter Valley with your family? The good news is that you’ve got a wealth of fun activities for all ages just a stone’s throw away from your accommodation.
All guests at The Vintage Resort enjoy exclusive access to world-class amenities. Take a plunge in the lap pool, hold a family tennis tournament or teach the kids how to ace their swing on the award-winning Greg Norman-designed golf course – all before unwinding in your private holiday home together.
The best Family accommodation in the Hunter Valley
Discover a few of our favourite family-friendly holiday homes in the Hunter Valley below.
1. The Clubhouse Pokolbin
Overlooking the renowned 18-hole championship golf course, Clubhouse Pokolbin is a contemporary rental home that offers unrivalled convenience. This modern and spacious property sleeps as many as eight guests, with flexible bedding configurations to suit any family.
Convene around the gas fireplace in the open-plan living area, which is ideal for lazing around after a day out in the Hunter Valley with kids. Alternatively, open the large sliding doors and enjoy a BBQ in the covered entertainment area, complete with roof heaters for winter feasts. And in between outings, children can take their pick of the private swimming pool or pool table!
- Swimming pool
- Outdoor BBQ area
- Pool table
2. Hamptons on Figtree
Take on the Hunter Valley with kids in sophisticated style. Spread over two large plots with double-block golf frontage, Hampton’s On Figtree brings coastal charm to the countryside. This enchanting property can sleep up to 10 people, with every room featuring its own ensuite.
With a grand circular driveway, classic weatherboard cladding and a gabled porch, this holiday home’s facade is just as stunning as its bright, breezy interior. Step inside the double-door entranceway to enjoy effortless luxury in sweeping open-plan living spaces.
Gather around the long, rustic dining table for a family meal or head to the games room for some friendly competition. Then head outside to take a dip in the swimming pool or try out the 6-hole putting green.
Don’t forget to take a stroll through nearby Figtree Park, either – you might just spot some local kangaroos leaping through the bush!
- Swimming pool
- Private putting green
- Games room with billiard table
3. Vineyard Views
Bringing the extended family? Nestled in a quiet close with panoramic views of the Broken Back, Barrington and Molly Morgan Mountain ranges, Vineyard Views is a luxurious holiday home that can sleep up to 14 people. With spacious open-living areas, a swimming pool, an entertaining deck, table tennis and pool table, it’s no wonder this modern property is favoured by larger families.
When you’re ready to explore further afield, Vineyard Views is conveniently located just a short drive from the Hunter Valley Gardens, a myriad of restaurants and other family-friendly attractions!
- Swimming pool
- Pool table
- Table tennis
Book family accommodation in the Hunter Valley
Ready to discover the Hunter Valley with kids? Tucked away in its rolling hills, The Vintage Holiday Houses welcomes you and your little ones to a collection of privately-owned rental properties. With every holiday home offering child-friendly amenities and plenty of fun family activities on its doorstep, this is the ideal destination for all ages.