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HUNTER VALLEY BLOG

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.

Top 10 things to do these school holidays

There is a lot more to the Hunter Valley than award winning wineries and restaurants (I mean, that in its own right is nothing short of amazing!). What many may not know is that the Hunter Valley ticks all the boxes for dad, mum AND the kids, as the ideal school holiday destination. Breathe in the sweet valley air and explore the destination with some quality family bonding thrown in. Use our list of the Top 10 things to do this winter in the Hunter Valley to guide the family around:

1. Let it Snow: Yes, it doesn't snow in the Hunter Valley; however the clever people at Hunter Valley Gardens have put together an icy wonderful for all ages to enjoy. Glide on a giant ice skating rink, slide down a mega ice toboggan or build a snowman in their man-made Snow Play Zone plus loads more activities to try from Saturday 29 June - until Sunday 21 July.

Horse riding with Hunter Valley Horses

2. Saddle up: Soak up the picturesque views of the Hunter Valley while meandering between the vineyards and the bush on a Horse Riding tour.

Little camper experience at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

3. Winter School Holidays Program: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley has an exciting host of activities during the school holidays including a night at the zoo, s'mores and sweets next to a toasty fire, Yoga on the Lawn, Ubika Spa Beauty Bar and a unique accommodation experience for little people with their very own magical forest tent. Bookings essential.

4. Markets: Hunt for handmade treasures while sampling delicious local produce. The Hunter Valley is lucky enough to have several markets over the school holidays. The Handmade in the Hunter Markets are held in the grounds of Kevin Sobel Wines, Pokolbin every Saturday during school holidays, Dalwood Markets on Saturday 13 July and the Hunter Valley Gourmet Markets on Saturday 20 July. 

Cupcake Espresso at Hunter Valley Gardens

5. Sweet Spots: Eat your body weight in treats at one of Hunter Valley's sweet spots - Cupcake EspressoCocoa Nib Artisan Chocolates, Hunter Valley ChocolatesSabor Dessert Bar. You're spoilt for choice. 

Love Gelato? Then head to the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop for authentic Italian gelato made on-site including Sprinkles, Bubblegum, Mars Bar and Smarty Pants.

6. Wildlife Spotting: ​Power through the gorgeous Hunter Valley scenery on a Segway Tour. Be guided through back roads and paddocks, the perfect opportunity to spot local wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies and maybe even a goanna or wombat. This adventure is ideal for all ages from 11, all fitness levels (don't forget your camera).

7. Day on the Green: After some showtime fun in the Hunter Valley Gardens, challenge the kids to 18-holes of putt putt or whack a few golf balls into the lake (and win a prize if you land a ball in the net) at Hunter Valley Aqua Golf and Putt Putt.

8. UGG Up: Unique to the Hunter region, is the oldest continuously operating sheepskin factory in the world! Visit Mortels Sheepskin Factory and tour their factory and learn about the making of Mortels UGG boots. While you're there, get an insta-worthy shot out the front with the largest UGG boot in Australia.

Kids Marathon at the Winery Running Festival

9. Get Active: Explore the scenic vine-fringed path of Hermitage Road, a 10km bike friendly pathway. Bring your own or hire an electric bike through Sutton Estate. Participate in a kids marathon during the Winery Running Festival on Sunday 21 July. Nulkaba Parkrun is a free event held every Saturday morning at St Phillips Christian School at 9am.

10. Animal Encounters: Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village are throwing a free petting party in the Rotunda. Pat cute furry animals on selected dates throughout school holidays. When you're done, browse an array of boutique shops and grab a bite to eat from the local cafes.

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