Hunter Valley |The Ultimate Travel Guide

Escape to a region filled with savoury cuisine, fine wines and picturesque scenery.

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In between wine and cheese tastings, there are boundless vineyards to wander, spas to unwind in and gardens to explore, making it a mecca for friends, families and couples alike.

Often visited as a day or weekend trip, you can drive up from Sydney or can fly into the Newcastle Airport to access this picturesque wine region.

Stay a day or spend the night; neither is wrong. Especially when you have a cheeky tipple of wine in your hand to toast the experience.

Getting around in the Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley is a large region famous for its vineyards and beautiful landscape. Hopping from one winery to another on foot or by public transport is tricky.

However, all attractions are easily accessible by road, so drive your own vehicle, rent a car or take a private tour to explore the area.

Hunter Valley public transport

  • Transport to the Hunter Valley: Trains to the Hunter Valley are operated by NSW TrainLink and connect Newcastle and Sydney to the Hunter Valley towns of Maitland and Singleton. From Maitland you can connect to a regular bus service which will take you to Cessnock and Pokolbin. To get to Port Stephens, take the train to Beresford or Newcastle then connect to a bus service. You can use the NSW Trip Planner to find the best route to your Hunter Valley destination.
  • Transport within the Hunter Valley: While car hire offers you the most flexibility to get around the Hunter Valley, if you'd prefer not to drive, numerous shuttle services operate to take you between vineyards. This includes Vineyard Shuttle Service and iHop Hunter Valley. Private shuttles can also be hired. You may like to enquire with your accommodation for recommendations.
  • Transport within the Hunter Valley Region. Buses connect the main towns within the Hunter Valley. However, if you're time poor, it may be more efficient to hire a car to visit the sights. Organised day trips from Sydney are also popular.
  • Paying for transport within the Hunter Valley Region: As The Hunter Valley belongs to the NSW Transport system, you can use the electronic Opal travel card to pay for public transport. This can be purchased online or at a retailer and is a reloadable card from which funds are deducted whenever you use it. For longer trips, the Discovery Pass is a flexible train and coach pass that allows unlimited travel across 365 destinations in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. You can buy a pass for 14, 30, 90 or 180 days.
  • Getting to and from the airport: Newcastle Airport is the closest airport to the region. There is no direct public transport from the airport to the Hunter Valley, so taxi or car hire may be your most convenient option to get to and from the airport. Some taxi companies, such as Cessnock Radio Cabs, offer restaurant and vineyard tours, where you can choose which vineyards to visit on a metered fare. You can also look into airport transfers.
  • Best apps for getting around: There is no official transport app for travelling around the Hunter Valley.

Car hire in the Hunter Valley

Car rental service desks of major car hire services such as Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty are available at the arrivals end of the terminal at Newcastle Airport, which is the closest airport to the Hunter Valley. You can also drive up from Sydney in about two hours.

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Taxis and Rideshare

Taxi: Taxis are readily available in the Hunter Valley, as well as at the airport and major train stations. You can call them to pick you up, or book in advance. In addition to airport transfers, many offer restaurant transfers as well as vineyard tours, on a metered basis.

Uber: You can call Uber if you are flying into Newcastle, and a driver will take you to the Hunter Valley for a cost of $100–$150.

Airport transfers to the Hunter Valley

The closest major airport to the Hunter Valley is in Newcastle. It's about a one-hour drive into the Hunter from the airport, depending on where you're staying within the region.

In the absence of efficient public transport from the airport, transfer services are the best option for those who prefer not to hire a car or pay for a taxi. You can pre-book a shared shuttle or a private vehicle from companies such as Taxico, Hunter Connection Airport Shuttle, Jayride and Hunter Valley Coaches.

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