8 Hunter Valley winter activities for 2023
A Hunter Valley winter getaway is one for the bucket list. Expect beautiful scenery, gourmet feasts and festive activities in the crisp, country air. So, gather your nearest and dearest and make some magical memories this season in one of Australia’s most renowned wine regions.
Not sure what’s on? Whether you want to stay snug indoors or explore a snowy wonderland, we have compiled the best things to do in the Hunter Valley in winter 2023. Read on, wrap up and discover the wealth of experiences to enjoy here during the chillier months.
8 things to do in this Hunter Valley this winter
1. Get pampered without stepping foot outside
Enjoy the ultimate evening in with an at-home massage. Bringing all of the benefits of a rejuvenating spa experience to your doorstep, a mobile massage therapist will treat you to blissful relaxation in the comfort of your heated holiday rental.
If staying at The Vintage Holiday Houses, you can book a massage or facial treatment in your private retreat seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.
Afterwards, curl up by the fire with a glass of red and your favourite book, or snuggle up for a movie marathon. Many of the holiday houses at The Vintage feature fireplaces and luxurious lounge areas. For example, stay at Belle Bleue for a magnificent floor-to-ceiling fireplace and dedicated home theatre. This is staying in done right.
2. Share a meal at NINETEEN
Dine and unwind at NINETEEN this winter. Serving the freshest seasonal food in front of a roaring fireplace, this cosy Pokolbin restaurant is perfect for a relaxed meal when you want a break from the cold. From vegan mushroom burgers to angus rump steaks, there’s a dish to delight every foodie.
Afterwards, visit the downstairs beer garden for live music year-round – complete with blankets to keep you warm in any weather. NINETEEN offers a variety of beers on tap, including a rotating selection of local craft beers. Discover your favourite against the wonderful backdrop of The Vintage Estate.
Open seven days a week, NINETEEN is your perfect place to relax for a light or indulgent breakfast, lunch or casual dinner in the Hunter Valley.
With walk-ins welcome, simply come in and grab a table when you’re ready to eat. Bookings are recommended for larger groups.
3. Discover Snow Time in the Gardens
Every June and July, the Hunter Valley Gardens transform into a winter wonderland for revellers young and old. This year, Snow Time in the Gardens is in full swing from Saturday 24 June to Sunday 23 July.
Enjoy an assortment of festive activities, like building a snowman or making a snow angel in the mega snow pit, taking a toboggan down the giant ice slide, or skating around the huge ice rink.
You will also find lots of family-friendly amusement rides, from the Ferris wheel and carousel to twirling teacups and chair swings. It’s no wonder this annual attraction is one of the most popular things to do in the Hunter Valley each winter!
4. Brave a beautiful winter bushwalk
Boasting multiple national parks, such as the Watagans, Yengo and Werakata, the Hunter Valley is home to an abundance of breathtaking bushwalks. In the winter season, these trails tend to be less busy, leaving you to explore the local region’s nature in peace.
Hike to some of the area’s most significant Aboriginal Cultural Heritage sites, go birdwatching, waterfall chasing and more… The wilderness here seems endless.
One of our favourite bushwalks is the Great North Walk, which stretches from Bimbadeen to Mount Bright. Take your pick of two route options, depending on how easy or challenging you’d like it to be. Whichever you pick, you will be rewarded with a picturesque panorama of Cessnock.
Before you head out, remember to wear warm clothes and pack your thermos with a hot drink for stops along the way.
5. Watch the sun come up as you float through the clouds
Hunter Valley is just as stunning in winter as it is in summer, with vine-covered hills bordering magnificent mountains. Each morning, the patchwork farmland becomes illuminated in flashes of colour.
Take it all in as you float through the sky on a sunrise hot air balloon ride. Bundled up in your basket, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for family, friends and couples alike.
6. Warm up with a mug of delectable hot chocolate
Tucked away in the heart of Pokolbin, Cocoa Nib is a must visit on your Hunter Valley winter holiday. As well as an artisan collection of award-winning bonbons, tarts and sweets, you’ll discover the best hot cocoa you’ve ever tasted. Or indulge in a variety of hand-crafted creations with a scrumptious chocolate and wine tasting!
With no bookings necessary, you can pop in for a quick morning tea, afternoon treat or post-lunch dessert. This charming cafe is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday between 10am and 4pm.
7. Head to the Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival
This year marks the 11th annual Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival. Taking place at the Crowne Plaza on Saturday 24 June from 11am to 5pm, this Hunter Valley winter tradition serves up some of the very best food and drink in the region.
Book a ticket to feast on a rich assortment of wine, beer, cider and gourmet snacks all day long. And with child-friendly fun and light entertainment available throughout the festivities, this event caters to all ages.
8. Don’t miss a fireside wine tasting
Stomp! Wine’s Fireside Tasting will be held Saturday 22 July from 4.30pm – 6pm. Relax fireside to the melodies of guitarist Mark Henderson, as you sample your way through new release wines (some still in the barrel) and Binnorie Dairy cheeses.
And that’s not all. As well as including a glass of sparkling upon arrival, this unforgettable experience will finish with toasted marshmallows and fortified wines.
Sound like the ideal way to spend a night on your Hunter Valley winter escape? Make sure to book in by Monday July 17.
Book a holiday home for your Hunter Valley winter getaway
With snowy events, cosy eateries and peaceful countryside, a Hunter Valley winter holiday will be truly spectacular.
Need somewhere to rest your heads after all those winter festivities?
Book a stay at The Vintage Holiday Houses. Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley, each privately-owned villa offers a unique luxury escape this season – including a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course just a snowball’s throw away.