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With more than 150 wineries and cellar doors, 65 restaurants and 180 comfy accommodation places to stay, where do you start?

Follow our insider tips by the people who know best… the locals. We ask talented winemakers, chefs, farmers, brewers and journalists to blog about their favourite places and experiences in this fertile wine region.

Have pooch, will travel. Pet-friendly stays.

Is your pooch your bestie? Don't think a holiday is the same without them? No need to leave your four-legged friend behind with these pet-friendly stays in the Hunter. Let's face it, we all know pets like a weekend break too!

Are you a discerning dog owner looking for designer digs? You'll want to check in to the grande dame of Hunter Valley hospitality then. voco Kirkton Park now allows pets and they've sold 40 puppy rooms already this year and created a special hashtag #kirktonbark for your social media posts. They have two luxury accommodation rooms with private courtyards where your pooch (under 20kg) can sleep inside or out. Your pup will get luxury amenities including a dog bed, home-made puppy treats and can also dine with you in a variety of places including Epoch Bar Pizzeria, all courtyards and balconies, and go on picnics in the grounds any day of the week. The sprawling 70-acre estate has walking trails in the northern paddock, which your four-legged friend can enjoy on a lead. Pictured above.

Estate Tuscany

This Tuscan-style resort is perched on top of a hill with panoramic views of vineyards and mountains – and it's very pet friendly with warm cuddles from the team one of the treats. The 26-acre resort has oodles of space for your four-legged friend to explore on lead, five pet-friendly rooms and a pet-friendly table outside the restaurant so doting parents can still enjoy excellent food and wine with their doggo in tow. They also offer a pet-sitting service called Critter Sitters. Any other animals allowed? "Other furry guests have included rabbits, birds in cages and cats," says general manager Kirsty Gregson. "We recently had a cat, which was on a lead and enjoyed being walked throughout the property."

Not only does it have a large enclosed yard for pups to romp around in, Misty Glen also has a 16-acre vineyard where you can take them for a walk on lead and there's a dam where they can practise their dog paddle. Canines are allowed inside the self-contained cottage, and they provide a dog bed, toys, bowls and dog tags too. It's also close to some dog-friendly cafes where pooches are welcome outside including Matilda Bay Brewhouse & Dining, Brokenback Bar at Estate Tuscany, Two Fat Blokes and Restaurant Botanica. But if you decide to ditch the dog for a day, owner Vicci Lashmore-Smith has been known to offer to dog sit and Fido can hang out with her two #hunterhounds, Semillon and Chambourcin. Cats and horses are also welcome to enjoy a Wine Country getaway

Wirral Grange

A farm stay in a cosy cottage perfect for the entire family… including the furry members? Yes please. Well-behaved pooches can kip down inside the three-bedroom house, which has great views overlooking the vineyard, and there's a fenced backyard for them to chill out in if you decide to go sightseeing minus the mutt. Owners Carol and Terry Hughes love having happy hounds come and stay. "Our two Chocolate Border Collies Remy and Jack are friendly and we have lovely dams where dogs can swim and plenty of run-around areas." You can also holiday with your horse as the 40-acre property has a grazing paddock with a shed and dam.

This accommodation and property management group has a large portfolio of self-contained properties for every taste and budget, including canines. They have eight properties that are dog friendly, where your furry pal is welcome to sleep outside and enjoy sniffing out new scents on the walking trails and making a splash in the dams. Vets say pet enrichment can be as easy as changing your daily walk, so a fun weekend in a new rural environment is certain to have tails wagging. The pet-friendly properties include Degen Estate, Tharah, Hillbrook Estate, The Lodge at Mount Rivers, Maranda Country Estate, Claremont Cottage, Hillcrest House and Kings Retreat. And The Lodge at Mount Rivers is horse friendly too.

For other pet-friendly properties click here.

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