Wine, cheese and more: Experience the full breadth of spring in the Hunter Valley

Jul 11, 2024
Source: Wendy Harch

Travel at 60 holds regular social holidays throughout Australia and this Spring we’re heading to the Hunter Valley. If you’re interested in great food, great wine, great company and love a garden in bloom, read on!

This trip came about after guests on our annual “Christmas in July in the Hunter Valley” holiday wished they could see the Hunter Valley gardens in bloom and the vineyards vibrant with leaves. Wendy hosted last year’s holiday and says, “Wandering around the 14 hectares of gardens consisting of over 6000 trees, 600,000 shrubs and over 1 million ground cover plants, you could not help but want to return in spring to see it in all its blooming glory”.

The short getaway timed in Spring features:

  • 3 nights’ accommodation at Mercure Resort Hunter Valley
  • Daily breakfast
  • Welcome dinner
  • Full-day Winery Tour including lunch and wine tastings
  • A free day to wander around the 14 hectares of the Hunter Valley Gardens

Read on for a preview of what to expect…

Day one

Kick off your spring getaway with a relaxing drive to the Hunter Valley and stop along the way to enjoy the stunning scenery and sample the local produce. Complimentary car parking (one car per room) is available during your stay. Meet your fellow group travellers with a Welcome Dinner at the resort.

“Getting to know everyone over dinner in the resort is a great way to start. You can stay and have a drink in the bar area after dinner or retire to your room early if you are tired after your day of travel,” says Wendy, “so your trip will be off to a really good start.”

  • Overnight: Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens
  • Included Meals: Dinner
Source: Getty Images

Day two

The flexibility of this free day will appeal to many people. After a relaxing breakfast at the resort, you can make a full day of it at the Hunter Valley Gardens, or you can do a half day at the gardens and spend the rest of the day exploring everything the Hunter Valley has on offer.

“Top of my list is the Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory, but last year many people in the group headed out to wine and dine their way around the Hunter Valley’s cellar doors.” Says Wendy, “The absolute highlight for our garden lovers was of course the Hunter Valley Gardens. They need to be seen to be believed and I can’t wait to see them in spring.”

If you head to the Hunter Valley Gardens, the peaceful gardens are an easy 10-minute walk from the resort. Built over four years with a dedicated team of over 40 landscape gardeners, architects and engineers, the gardens have 8km of walking paths winding through 14 hectares of gardens consisting of over 6000 trees, 600,000 shrubs and over 1 million ground cover plants, plus waterfalls, statues and murals. The 10 individually themed gardens showcase the artistry of gardens around the world and use both native and exotic varieties of plants.

“Be sure to add a stop in at the Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village on your way home from the gardens,” says Wendy. “It’s a great way to grab a souvenir for any friends or family who won’t appreciate a bottle of wine from the surrounding cellar doors.”

For those heading out on a cellar door hop, you won’t be disappointed (unless perhaps if you are the designated driver!).

“Your hardest decision will be which of the wineries you wish to call in at, because with over a hundred to choose from, you are spoilt for choice,” says Wendy. “Hunter Valley is of course home to some of Australia’s most iconic wine producers, including McGuigan’s and Tyrrell’s Wines, but there are also many independent and unique experiences to be had. You can of course also make your choices based on the style of wine you prefer. Do your research before hand, so you have a plan!”

Tonight, the evening is yours to dine locally at one of the many restaurants in the Hunter Valley, or book in to the restaurant at the resort (own expense).

  • Overnight: Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens
  • Included Meals: Breakfast
The Hunter Valley Gardens. Source: Getty Images.

Day three

Join your fellow Travellers and explore some of the local wineries and local producers in the Hunter Valley.

Your tour today will feature cheese tasting at Hunter Valley Cheese, wine tasting and a two course lunch with glass of wine at Brokenwood Estate followed by wine tasting at Hungerford Hill.

“The wine tour day is usually a highlight for the group” says Wendy. “Especially considering they don’t have to drive and can sample as much wine as they like along the way. The bus is not only a little rowdier at the end of the day, but there is also usually plenty of cellar door souvenirs onboard as well!”

Tonight, the evening is yours to dine locally (own expense)

  • Overnight: Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Delicious olives, flavourful wines and hearty jars of fig jam await you. Source: Wendy Harch.

Day four

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast before checking out of the resort and heading home with great memories and new-found friends.

  • Included Meals: Breakfast

From just $875 per person twin share and $1199 per person sole use, this itinerary is perfectly suited to our audience looking for a close-to-home easy-paced getaway.

Willing to share:

One of the advantages of travelling on a dedicated group departure is that we have the ability to match solo travellers, so that you can avoid paying the single supplement. Please note this is subject to availability of another guest of the same gender willing to share, otherwise a single room rate will apply.

Keen to join the fun? Phone Travel at 60 on 1300 414 198 (for the cost of a local call anywhere within Australia), learn more here.

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