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.
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Veronica is the publishing support lead for travel at Finder and has been scouting airline, hotel and tour package deals for over five years. She has a Bachelor of Tourism major in Travel Management from University of Sto. Tomas Legazpi, Philippines and has been a local tour guide. She does her own itinerary and budget research every time she travels and has mastered the art of packing light for her family of three.
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