The Hunter Valley just North of Sydney in New South Wales is one of Australia's biggest wine regions and, personally, one of my favorites too. The whole wine countryside is absolutely stunning, with winding roads through the vineyards. And the best part? It's just a quick drive away from Sydney.

You'll find amazing views, relaxing farm stays, plenty of charcuterie boards, and delicious wine and tastings wherever you go. If that sounds as good to you as it sounds to me, then you'll also fall in love with the Hunter Valley.

On my visit to the Hunter Valley wine country, I noticed that most people usually stay in the main area, Pokolbin. It's beautiful, no doubt. But let me show you in my ‘Where to stay in the Hunter Valley' guide what other little villages you should consider on your next trip to this stunning wine region.

Best places to stay in the Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley is a stunning wine region with picturesque countryside, charming towns, and villages nestled among the vineyards. These are my favorites:

If you're a first-timer, Pokolbin is the obvious choice. It's the main town in the Hunter Valley and offers a wide range of wineries, cafes, and restaurants to explore.

For families, Wollombi is the perfect pick. Here you can enjoy a wonderful countryside feel and plenty of fun activities to keep everyone entertained.

If you're a couple seeking a more local experience, I highly recommend Broke. Here, you'll get a relaxed and less touristy vibe, making it the ideal spot for a romantic getaway.

1. Where to stay in Hunter Valley for the first time: Pokolbin

where to stay in hunter valley - pokolbin

Pokolbin is the perfect spot for your first trip from Sydney to the Hunter Valley. It's convenient to get here and find accommodation, with plenty of hotels and guesthouses nearby.

Pokolbin is also the best address if you want to stay somewhere with restaurants, cafes, and shops close by, as the other towns in Hunter Valley don't have as many.

However, keep in mind that Pokolbin can get quite busy at times due to many day trippers or weekend warriors from Newcastle and Sydney. If you can, try to come during the week instead of on the weekends.

Best area for:

  • First-timers

  • Foodies

  • Day trips

Things to do in Pokolbin

When you stay in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, you'll have plenty of amazing options for things to do.

First, don't miss out on visiting the incredible wineries and going on a wine tasting. It's a no-brainer since the Hunter Valley is known for its exceptional wines. My personal favorites near Pokolbin are Pepper Tree Wines, Brokenwood Wines, and Tamburlaine Organic Wine. The best part about these is that you can easily cycle from winery to winery.

Make sure to also visit the stunning Hunter Valley Gardens. These breathtaking and lush gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll or a delightful picnic.

One of my absolute favorite activities in the Hunter Valley is taking a hot air balloon ride. You'll get to see the stunning landscape from above and catch the sunrise in all its glory.

And of course, don't forget to sample some of the delicious local produce. Pay a visit to the Smelly Cheese Shop for mouthwatering cheese or indulge in some sweet treats at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company.

Best hotels to stay in Pokolbin

($$$) The Convent Hunter Valley Hotel

One of the best luxury options in the area, The Convent Hunter Valley Hotel offers elegant and spacious rooms with stunning views of the surrounding vineyards. The Convent Hunter Valley also has a highly-rated restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool.

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($$) Thistle Hill Guesthouse

Thistle Hill Guest house is a charming guesthouse set in a beautiful countryside. Each room is individually decorated and has its own private entrance, making it feel like your little home away from home. Thistle Hill Guesthouse is especially great for bigger groups or families as you can book out entire cottages and villas.

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($$) Voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley

Voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley is a charming hotel situated on a 70-acre rural property. With spacious rooms, an indoor pool, and a fantastic spa with a spa bath, Voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley is perfect for a relaxing trip to Pokolbin.

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($$) The Carriages Boutique Hotel

Slightly smaller than the previous hotels, The Carriages Boutique Hotel offers cozy rooms and suites in a romantic setting. You can also enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool or take a walk among the vines on the property.

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($) H Boutique Hotel

If you're looking for something a little more affordable, H Boutique Hotel offers modern and comfortable rooms at a great price. The location is also perfect, with wineries and restaurants just a short drive away.

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2. Where to stay in Hunter Valley for families: Wollombi 

where to stay in hunter valley - wollombi

Wollombi is a fantastic spot if you're planning to visit with the whole family!

It's just a short drive from Pokolbin, and it definitely feels less touristy here. In fact, it has its own charming little village vibe. Wollombi also has loads of activities, which is perfect if you're bringing your kids along.

Now, it's worth mentioning that Wollombi may not have as many fancy restaurants and wineries as some other areas. So, if that's your primary interest, Pokolbin might be a better fit for you. But if you're looking for a family-friendly and laid-back experience, Wollombi is definitely worth considering!

Best area for:

  • Families

  • Laid-back vibes

  • Activities

Things to do in Wollombi

One of the best things about Wollombi is that there are so many activities to keep the whole family entertained. Let's start with the wineries. While Wollombi may have fewer wineries than Pokolbin, the ones here are absolutely fabulous. My top picks are Undercliff Winery and Stonehurst Cedar Creek Vineyard.

If you're in the mood for the best coffee and cake in the region, you have to try Myrtle House. They even have a small bookshop attached to it!

Wollombi also offers some fantastic nature walks and hikes. One of my favorites is The Great North Walk, which starts right in the heart of Wollombi and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Definitely make sure to stop at Finchley Lookout for the best views!

Oh, and don't forget to visit the Wollombi Cultural Center to learn about the rich indigenous culture and history of Wollombi.

Best hotels to stay in Wollombi

($$$) Blair Athol Estate Wollombi

Nestled on 800 acres of wildlife and farmland, this beautifully restored estate offers spacious and cozy cottages for families. You'll have access to an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, and even a golf cart to explore the property.

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($$) Wollombi Wines

If you're looking for a fantastic mid-range option, Wollombi Wines offers a rustic and charming holiday home with all the necessary amenities. The property also has its own vineyard and cellar door, so you can taste some of the best wines from the comfort of your accommodation.

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($) Capers Guesthouse, Barn and Cottage

A little more affordable, Capers Guesthouse offers cozy barn and cottage accommodations at unbeatable prices. Capers Guesthouse is perfect for bigger families, as they offer a cottage for up to 8 people and a chalet for up to 10 people. And of course, they have a swimming pool as well.

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3. Where to stay in Hunter Valley for couples: Broke

where to stay in hunter valley - broke

If you're looking for a place to truly enjoy a delightful couples getaway, then Hunter Valley's Broke is the perfect choice. This charming little town is just a short 20-minute drive from Pokolbin, but it offers a much quieter and less touristy atmosphere.

Broke is a place where you can experience a genuine local vibe, and the locals here are incredibly friendly. Although the town itself is small and doesn't have many cafes, it does have some amazing restaurants and stunning boutique wineries. And if you're craving more, you can always take a short drive to Pokolbin.

While Broke may not have many hotels, it offers fantastic farm and vineyard stays where you can rent out entire holiday homes and charming cottages. I suggest going for a self-catering type of accommodation anyway, as there aren't many restaurants in the area.

Best area for:

  • Couples

  • Romantic getaways

  • Families

Things to do in Broke

As mentioned earlier, Broke is definitely on the quieter side, but there are still some cool things to do here. Let's start with my personal favorite, the wineries. Many of them have a more modern vibe and are smaller, which can be really refreshing. My top picks are Running Horse Wines, 1813, and Krinklewood.

Apart from visiting wineries, one of the highlights for me was the Starline Alpacas Resort. I've mentioned it below as one of the best places to stay, but even if you're not staying there, you can visit their Alpaca farm and cuddle with those adorable animals. It's so much fun!

And if you're up for some exercise and breathtaking views of Broke and the Hunter Valley, you should definitely check out the Yellow Rock Lookout. It's a bit of a challenging drive, so I recommend a 4WD, or you can take your time and hike up. But let me tell you, the views are absolutely worth it.

Best hotels to stay in Broke

($$$) Winmark Wines

This luxurious vineyard estate offers a stunning cottage for couples, perfect for a romantic getaway. The property also has a lake and BBQ facilities, so you can enjoy a cozy evening with your significant other. The property also offers cottages for up to 14 people, making it ideal for families or larger parties.

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($$) Nightingale Villas

For a more affordable option, Nightingale Villas offers beautifully decorated and spacious villas with all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. The property also has its own vineyard and winery, so you can try some of their delicious wines during your stay.

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($$) Starline Alpacas Farmstay Resort

This unique resort offers cozy cottages on an alpaca farm, making it a perfect place for animal lovers. The property also has an outdoor swimming pool, BBQ facilities, and a tennis court.

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($) Yellow Rock Views

For a budget-friendly option, Yellow Rock Views is a modern and cozy tiny home with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. It's perfect for couples looking for a quiet and romantic escape.

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Where to stay in Hunter Valley – Frequently Asked Questions

🚗 How do I get to Hunter Valley?

If you're wondering how to get to Hunter Valley, it's conveniently located near Newcastle and Sydney. Lots of people from the city head up here for weekend getaways. The closest airport is in Newcastle, and from there, it's just a quick train journey or an hour's drive. If you're coming from Sydney, it's about a 3-hour drive to reach Hunter Valley. Either way, I'd recommend driving yourself for more flexibility once you're there.

🚲 How do I get around in Hunter Valley?

It really depends on where you're staying! If you're in Broke or Wollombi, I totally recommend having a car. You can either drive here yourself or rent one in Sydney or Newcastle on your way to Hunter Valley. It's just the easiest way to explore the region and hop from winery to winery. However, if you're staying in Pokolbin, there will be loads of bicycle rentals in town! Here, you can easily cycle from winery to winery, which is pretty cool.

🍷 What is Hunter Valley famous for?

Hunter Valley is absolutely famous for its world-renowned wineries and stunning vineyards! The region proudly produces some of Australia's best wines, including the delightful Semillon, rich Shiraz, and classic Chardonnay. It's not just a dream destination for wine lovers, but also a foodie's paradise, with plenty of gourmet restaurants and food festivals that celebrate the finest local produce.

🍇 When is the best time to visit Hunter Valley?

The best time to visit the Hunter Valley is from September to November, when the weather is mild and pleasant, and all the vineyards are in full bloom. It's also a great time for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and hot air balloon rides. If you're looking for a quieter or more budget-friendly option, consider visiting during the winter months (June-August), when there are fewer tourists and lower prices. However, keep in mind that some wineries may be closed during this time.

🗓️ How many days do I need in Hunter Valley?

I recommend spending at least 3 days in Hunter Valley to fully experience everything it has to offer. This will give you enough time to visit several wineries, try different restaurants, and explore the beautiful nature surrounding the region. To make the most of it, try to avoid holiday times and weekends as it can get a little touristy.

Where to stay in the Hunter Valley – Final Words

Hunter Valley is a beautiful region with something to offer for everyone. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or just want to relax and enjoy some delicious wine and food, this is the place to be.

The fact that it's so close to Sydney and Newcastle makes it perfect for shorter or weekend trips as well. The wineries here are some of the best in the country, and even if you're not a major wine enthusiast, the vineyards and the whole wine country are just beautiful and perfect to spend some relaxing days.

I hope that my guide has shed some light on where to stay in the Hunter Valley and will make your trip planning a little easier. No matter which Hunter Valley stay you choose, I'm sure you'll have an amazing time in this picturesque region. Cheers!

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