Only a short 90 minute drive from Newcastle CBD and 3 hours from Sydney, the Upper Hunter Valley offers visitors a true country experience. If you are after a weekend break to escape the hustle and bustle of city life but don't want to venture too far then the Upper Hunter is the ideal location.
Most of the Upper Hunter's generous 18,000 square kilometres is devoted to national parks, nature reserves as well as rural uses like grazing, cropping, dairy farming and horse studs. Before you even leave the highway you will see cows, sheep and goats grazing and horse galloping in the fields.
We have an enticing selection of award winning and boutique epicurean food producers, wineries, cafes and restaurants. There is an annual calendar of festivals and events which includes many diverse horse activities to experience and enjoy.
The region is world famous as the horse capital of Australia and is home to many world-renowned horse studs, and the Australian Stock Horse Society National Headquarters.
The Upper Hunter is also the gateway to the wilderness of the Barrington Tops National Park where you can get lost from the outside world and embrace the rivers, forests and mountainous countryside. Lake Glenbawn also provides for fishing, water skiing and boating, with some gorgeous picnic spots to indulge in sampling the region's food and wines.
The region is one of the most diverse environments in Australia, from western grassland to alpine forests and subtropical zones. There are a wide variety of national parks ranging from comfortable family picnic grounds at Towarri National Park to wilderness areas of the Barrington Tops and Goulburn River National Parks. So whether walking, riding or four wheel driving, there's a place for you.
The Upper Hunter has a wide variety of accommodation from luxury B&Bs to award winning motels, caravan parks, cabins, farm stays and apartments.
Whether you are looking for a short break or a long stay, the region offers an enticing variety of activities. So pack the family, bikes and boats and come on up!
A beautifully restored cottage built in the 1860s and nested in the main street of Scone is home to the Upper Hunter's newest restaurant - The Cottage.
New Zealand-born chef Colin Selwood serves up his award winning signature dry aged, hormone free, grass fed beef.
The meat is hung for a minimum of six weeks before being served in the restaurant and can be viewed from the courtyard through the window of the purpose-built, humidity-controlled dry-ageing room.
The menu reflects Colin's classic French training with influences of Asian and Mediterranean flavours.
There are daily specials and a lighter lunch menu if you are after a more informal style of dining
When possible The Cottage sources from local producers and supports other businesses in the region and is currently working with local livestock farmers to deliver the quantity and quality the restaurant demands.
Having grown up amongst farmland on the south island of New Zealand, Colin is a country boy at heart despite living in the centre of Sydney for many years.
In 2010 Colin and his family moved to Willow Tree and established Graze at the Willow Tree Inn before moving to Melbourne in 2013.
He needed little persuasion to return to the district and start something of his own.
It's the wide-open spaces and old-fashioned country values that Colin likes most about the area.
2016 Savour Australia™ Awards for Excellence – WINNER, NSW (REGIONAL) Best Steak Restaurant
It is touted as the Hunter's best street party. So, on the first Saturday in May, tempt your taste buds at the Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair in Denman.
Fantastic gourmet stalls from local producers and restaurants line Ogilvie Street, while the regions wineries offer tastings and great deals.
With vast variety of dishes from around the globe and some of the finest cheese, jams, chutneys, salami, jerky, vinegar and oils from internationally renowned local producers to name just a few, there is something to please even the fussiest of foodies. But it's not all about the food and wine.
Top class entertainment is a high priority on the day with the lineup including some of the country's leading artists. Street theatre, air show, bands, woodchopping and dancers ass to the overall festival atmosphere on the day. There is also an enormous kids park which includes rides, face painting and clowns.
Buses are available from Maitland, Singleton, Scone, Aberdeen, Muswellbrook and Merriwa on the day ensuring you miss none of the fun.
Entry: Adults $10, kids $5, Wine/Beer glass with three tokens $5.
For more information visit - http://www.upperhunterwineandfoodaffair.com.au/
This year’s Spring Carnival is set to be a bonanza with Scone Polo Club teaming up with Event Mangers; Polo in the Paddock (Olivia Morgan) to present a spectacular weekend of Polo, food and wine. The Dougal Archibald Cup will consist of eight teams battling it out over three days PLUS four 16 goal teams in warm up matches before the Ellerston, Kerry Packer Cup the following weekend.
Saturday 27 September will be the highlight with special entertainment, sit down lunch in the marquee (side line), music and entertainment organised from midday right through till evening.
Tickets available for the marquee, hamper in the Club House or for a car stand to watch exciting polo with fine food and wine.
Book tickets online at http://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/DOUGALARCHIBALDCUP
Admission $25 per person;
Members & kids (< 15 yrs) free
Finals are on Sunday.
Further info: www.polointhepaddock.com.au