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Road Trip to the Hunter Valley, Newcastle & Port Stephens

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by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun! Find me on instagram: @australianrecipesbythebay
Published January 18th 2022
Visit the country, city & coast - all in one trip
If you would like to escape the city for a few nights, then why not do a road trip to the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and the Port Stephens regions! Each area has its own highlights and things to discover - whether you like the country, city or coast. In the Hunter Valley you can drive through the rolling green hills and stop at Cellar Doors to try local wines, then stay the night at quaint farmhouse accommodation. The city of Newcastle has its own attractions with cafes, restaurants, beaches and breweries. If you continue on to Port Stephens, you can take a whale-watching cruise (May to November) or spend the day overlooking spectacular beaches, sipping on colourful cocktails.

Sounds good, doesn't it? Why don't you get online and book some accommodation, pack your bags, load up the car and hit the highway this weekend!

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Original map sourced from Google maps


The Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley is just over 2 hours north of Sydney and it is a "must" for wine lovers, with large and boutique wineries dotted all throughout the region. Popular Cellar Doors include Tolluch Wines, Oakvale Wines, McGuilan Wines, Tyrrell's Wines, Brokenwood Wines, Tempus Two Wines, Bimbadgen Winery, Harkam Wines and Gartelmann Wines, just to name a few! Make sure you coordinate your route so that you arrive at a winery just in time for lunch, so you can pair your favourite wines with your meal. A popular place to stay in the centre of the wineries is the Crown Plaza Hunter Valley - especially if you want a hit of golf in the morning.

If you have kids, also check out the Hunter Valley Gardens and the Hunter Valley Zoo, for some family fun. You could easily spend your entire weekend, or even a whole week, exploring this relaxing rural haven, just a few hours from Sydney.

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Go wine tasting and stay for lunch at Gartelmann Wines


Newcastle

It takes 1 hour to drive between the Hunter Valley and Newcastle, so it is just a short trip into the "big smoke". Newcastle is the second-largest city in NSW after Sydney, with steel making and coal a major part of the city's history.

Newcastle has many hidden attractions, but you can't visit the city without checking out the main Merewether Beach, grabbing a takeaway coffee and walking along the coastal path - or at least do part of it! Along the way check out the Newcastle Memorial Walk and the art deco Newcastle Ocean Baths and soak up the coastal breeze along this spectacular walkway. If you have kids, then take a drive to Kotara and visit Blackbutt Nature Reserve, which has playgrounds, an animal park and peacocks wandering around. For more ideas, check out the article Top 5 Things to do in Newcastle.

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Visit Newcastle's beaches, walks and attractions


Port Stephens

The region of Port Stephens is located 1 hour north of Newcastle, with the little town of Nelson Bay the central hub. The town has cute shops, cafes, a boat marina for tours and waterfront restaurants, which overlook the clear blue waters of Port Stephens. Take a walk along the walkway between Nelson Bay and Little Beach and look for dolphins in the water as you wander along. Another popular tourist destination nearby is Shoal Bay, for its bright white sand, clear blue water, kayak & SUP hire, boat ramps and Shoal Bay Country Club - for cocktails and seafood overlooking it all. There is also at least 40 things to do for kids too! See the article on Top 5 Things to do on Holiday in Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, for more details.

The Hunter Valley, Newcastle and Port Stephens tourist areas are only within an hour of each other, so they make the perfect getaway from Sydney - where you can experience a wide variety of attractions all in the one trip. You will feel like you have had a real escape from everyday life, just a couple of hours from your front door...

road trip, newcastle, port stephens, NSW, day trips, weekend away, things to do, domestic travel, quick, short, australia,
You may not want to go home! Beachside bliss around Port Stephens

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Why? Escape the city and explore NSW
When: All year around
Where: The Hunter Valley, Newcastle & Port Stephens
Cost: From camping to 5 star - there is something for every budget!
Your Comment
Looks like a beautiful trip combining great beaches and great wines. Perfect combination
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|4674) 125 days ago
Road trips used to be thing of the past, with a leisurely drive to somewhere enjoying the journey. These days it seems like we all want to leave point A and head for point B as quickly as possible. A road trip as described by Sue could be a great holiday in itself.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4054) 125 days ago
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