A Hunter Valley Girls Weekend | Expedia Australia Travel Blog

A Hunter Valley Girls Weekend


A Hunter Valley Girls Weekend

Craving a gourmet weekend getaway with your girlfriends? Or maybe you want to celebrate your hen’s party with wining and dining? Look no further than a Hunter Valley holiday.

Just a couple of hours north of Sydney, this haven of quaint villages, fresh produce and fine wines is an authentic artisan experience and one of my favourite spots for a short break. If you’re considering making the trip, here’s a few of my treasured highlights:

Where tranquility and luxury collide

For secluded rustic cabins, cosy fires, hot tubs and warm crusty bread, Manzanilla Ridge is a truly boutique experience when it comes to Hunter Valley accommodation. I absolutely love this place. Dominic and Jane run these secluded cabins with a dose of old fashioned hospitality. They’ve put a lot of thought into what makes a perfect escape and sometimes a smaller scale helps. Boutique hotels in the Hunter are popular with Expedia’s Aussie travellers and it’s obvious why.

My last visit to Manzanilla Ridge was in winter and my cabin was a cosy home away from home. The fire was crackling, soothing music crooned from the Bluetooth stereo, the wine rack was stocked and a decanter of port and a welcome letter sat on the kitchen bench. An espresso machine and a fridge full of local produce for breakfast was the icing on the cake.

Add a hot tub on the balcony and I was in heaven. And there’s the fact the cabin is located just up the road from my favourite Italian restaurant outside of Italy. Lillino’s Bar and Trattoria is a must, the simplicity of the handmade pasta and fresh local produce is a gourmet delight.

If you’re after something closer to the main wineries, The Sebel Kirkton Park Hunter Valley, Crowne Plaza and The Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens are popular with Expedia’s Aussie travellers.

Cycle the artisan trail

The perfect way to soak up all the Hunter Valley has to offer is definitely by bike. The freedom of the open air, the beauty of the Australia bushland and the thought of the next winery to quench your thirst makes this a fun way to spend the day.

Depending on what you want to see and do, plan your ride around visiting cellar doors, tasting local produce, visiting local art galleries, stopping off at alfresco cafes, squeezing in some shopping, visiting a day spa or taking a picnic break. Check when the local markets are on too.

Grapemobile Bicycle Hire offers a huge selection of bikes for rent and they can also give you ideas on a suggested trail to follow. Or if you have a sense of adventure why not download the Hunter Valley Map, draft up your route and see where the day takes you!

Picnics, wine and local produce

Woven into the wine map of the Hunter Valley is an array of gourmet foods that will tempt any palate. I always head to Lovedale Smokehouse Gourmet Pantry and stock my picnic hamper full of gourmet goodies. My staples are olives, olive oil, fresh bread, smoked salmon, aged cheese and a bottle of homemade chutney. I find a spot at one of the picnic facilities at wineries around town, picking up a full bodied bottle of red en-route. This is a fabulous way to sample the best of the Hunter Valley while spending quality time with your girlfriends.

Hot air balloon and champagne breakfast

I’ve left the best to last. A hot air balloon flight is a must. I received this package for my birthday last year and loved every single minute of it. There’s no better way to greet a new day than gently floating into the sky. The colourful balloon drifts over the sleepy valley for a private bird’s eye view of a beautiful sunrise. After the flight, the excitement of the morning continues over a gourmet champagne breakfast served on a sun-drenched deck overlooking the vines at Peterson’s Champagne House. Sit back and sip champagne with the girls.

These are just a few of the things that the Hunter Valley offers. Whether it’s a cheeky glass of wine at every winery or a really long lunch, there’s plenty to do on a girls weekend in the Hunter Valley. A the end of the day, it’s not the destination that matters most, it’s the journey you create – and there’s no one better to share it with than with your best girlfriends. For more ideas on where to go, check out Expedia’s Hunter Valley Travel Guide or make things easy and book a Short Break now.

Images by Hunter Valley Tourism, Chris Elfes

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Claire-Maree Charters

About the Author Claire-Maree Charters

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