Located in Pokolbin, in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country, the Hunter Valley Gardens make for an amazing day out. Just 165km from Sydney, the region is famous for its Shiraz, local cheese and laid back country atmosphere, perfect for a long weekend or family holiday away from the city. 

Spend an afternoon exploring some of the most picturesque national parks in NSW. Enjoy a spot of retail therapy and make the most of Hunter Valley wine at some of the region’s best vineyards, wineries and cellar doors. 

To help you plan an amazing day at the award-winning Hunter Valley Gardens, here are some of the best things to see and do when staying at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. 

Explore the Award-Winning Gardens

Spread out across 24 hectares and home to 10 landscaped and themed gardens, 8km of walking tracks and a backdrop of the spectacular Brokenback Mountain Range, enter a world of colour and fragrance that changes with every season. 

Spend some time ambling around the highly-perfumed Rose Garden before exploring the Indian mosaic, Italian grotto and the mesmerising Oriental Garden. For those traveling with children, the Storybook garden brings childhood dreams and fantasies to life. There are also plenty of Hunter Valley Garden events to enjoy year round. 

With more than 15 popular storybook characters, including Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Little Bo Peep, and Alice in Wonderland to name a few, the gardens have something for all ages. Enjoy carnival rides, including swing chairs, super slides, the carousel, teacups, the Ferris wheel and many others before moving on to the shopping area. 

hunter valley gardens

Hunter Valley Garden Shopping

The Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village is the ultimate place to stock up on a whole variety of goodies from a unique collection of bespoke shops. From antiques to toys and fashion to jewellery – treat yourself to gorgeous glassware, handmade jewellery, boutique clothing, homeware, and local produce loaded with flavour and freshness. 

Be sure to make your way past the two life-sized British toy soldiers and into a world of sweet treats, candy and chocolate add the British Lolly Shop. Other popular stores include the Australian Alpaca Barn, Wilson and Hunter, the Elephant shop, Daisy Lane gifts and Small Mouth Vodka 

The Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village is also home to some amazing places to grab a bite to eat, including the Cellar Restaurant, Taste of the Country and Gigi & Chic Bonbon French Patisserie. Take your time exploring the stores at your leisure before recharging your batteries with delicious food guaranteed to please.

Tour the Local Hunter Valley Wineries

No visit to the Hunter Valley would be complete without visiting at least one winery or vineyard. Luckily, when staying at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley you’re spoilt for choice with local offerings. Some of the most popular places to enjoy sampling local white, red and sparkling include:

Of course, when staying at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, you don’t need to leave the resort grounds to enjoy a glass or two of local vino. Lovedale Bar & Grill, Redsalt Restaurant and Vista Lounge all carry some of the finest Hunter Valley wines along with 36 varieties of whisky, signature cocktails, and craft beer and cider. 

group exploring wineries

Go Wild at Hunter Valley Zoo

When it comes to a day out in the Hunter Valley, where better to go than the Hunter Valley Zoo? Located just a 5-minute drive from Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Hunter Valley wildlife park is a crowd-pleaser for all ages. 

To make your visit one that is extra special, an animal encounter is a must. Get up close and personal with black and white ruffed lemurs, meerkats, marmosets, emperor tamarins, binturongs, squirrel monkeys, maned wolves and capybara. There are also plenty of daily shows and interactive walkthrough yards to enjoy during your visit.

Open daily from 9 am till 4 pm, enjoy spending time with Australian native mammals, African animals, reptiles, birds, South American animals, primates and many more. Adult tickets are $38, kids aged between 3 and 15 years old are $25 and infants aged 2 and under enter for free.

Elevate your experience

While beautiful from the ground; the Hunter Valley is spectacular from the sky. One of the best ways to take in all of the region’s beauty is by hot air balloon or a VIP helicopter ride. Luckily, both of these are easily accessible from Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.

For those who want to gently soar across the sky with nothing but the sound of the birds and the occasional roar of the flame, a hot air balloon is the way to go. Enjoy a sunrise or sunset flight just moments from the resort with Beyond Ballooning, adding a touch of magic to your trip.

If you want to speed your way across the Hunter Valley, then a VIP trip with Hunter Valley Helicopters is for you. Departing from Cessnock Airport, 14km from the resort, take to the skies for an adrenaline rush as you race above vineyards, parklands and the river. Both options provide unforgettable memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime, no matter your choice.

hot air balloon hunter valley

The Best Hunter Valley Accommodation

With a variety of award-winning luxurious resort villas, king premium spa rooms, Haven pool rooms, kids suites and resort rooms to choose between, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley resort is the ultimate place to stay in the Hunter Valley. 

Enjoy fine dining, family meals and bar bites at our lounge, cafe and restaurant. Sample craft beer and cider at the onsite Sydney Brewery, or take to the beer garden at Lovedale Bar & Grill. 

Enjoy a round of golf on our 18-hole championship golf course, relax in our open-air family resort pool and spend the day at Splash Waterpark – the only waterpark in the Hunter Valley. Not forgetting the mind, body and soul-soothing Ubika Spa. 

Rediscover the beauty of a luxury holiday in the Wine country. Book your stay at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley