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Hot air balloon sunrise cruise
Photograph: Supplied/ Klook

Nine incredible experiences you and your mates can share in the Hunter Valley

Assemble the squad and get planning the ultimate trip to NSW's famous wine region

By Time Out in association with Tourism Australia, Destination NSW and Klook
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The beautiful Hunter Valley is one of the true jewels of regional New South Wales, with its rolling landscapes of verdant vineyards and winding country roads, not to mention its collection of world-class cellar doors. The state’s principal wine-making region is a must-visit destination for any budding sommeliers out there, but you don’t need to be a wine buff to have a great time with your mates in the Hunter.

There's a whole range of innovative experiences to discover that reach beyond just quaffing a fine vintage, and they make for either a great day trip or the perfect addition to a group holiday itinerary. We’ve selected a handful of the surprising excursions you can book right now for you and the gang in the Hunter Valley.

Thanks to Destination NSW, Tourism Australia and Klook, Time Out readers can get a 10 per cent discount on NSW activities. Simply enter 'LOVENSWKLOOK' at checkout before January 31, 2021. For even further discounts add 'LOVENSWCAR' for 10 per cent off car rentals and 'LOVENSWACCOM' for 7 per cent off accommodation. To browse more fabulous Sydney activities visit the Klook website here.

What to do with your mates in the Hunter Valley

Tulloch Chocolate and Wine Tasting Hunter Valley
Photograph: Klook

Try chocolate and wine pairings at this tasting

Wine and chocolate: two indulgences that more than likely helped you get through the highs and lows of 2020. Now you can experience both at once with this 45-minute tasting featuring five handmade decadent bonbons crafted by Donarch Fine Chocolates, faultlessly paired with corresponding vino by top vineyard Tulloch Wines. If there are kids or non-drinkers in your party, they can enjoy a non-alcoholic kombucha and chocolate tasting experience, so no one has to miss out. 

Chef-led food and wine tour
Photograph: Klook

Take a chef-led food and wine tour

Great food and superb wine go hand in hand, so it’s little wonder that the eating is as good as the drinking in the Hunter. This tour begins in Sydney’s fish markets, where you’ll be guided by a professional chef on which catch of the day to purchase. Then it’s off to the Hunter Valley, where you’ll explore three boutique wineries with a passion for food for a hearty dining and wine tasting experience. Best of all, all transportation to and from Sydney is taken care of, so no one has to be the designated driver.

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food and wine tour at Brokenwood
Photograph: Klook

Nerd out at this prize-winning winery

As the producers of the prize-winning shiraz named the best in the world by the James Halliday 2021 Wine Companion Awards, Brokenwood is a winery that no self-respecting wine nerd could go past. But for those who need yet more persuasion, this self-guided 45-minute food and wine tasting experience has it all. You’ll try six of Brokenwood’s acclaimed wines, each paired with a mouthwatering canapé-style snack, bursting with complementary flavours.

Antipasto and wine at Briar Ridge
Photograph: Klook

Have an antipasto feast and cellar door tour

The picture-perfect surrounds of Briar Ridge are well known for having some of the prettiest views in the region. On this curated tasting tour, you’ll be able to kick back with your friends while enjoying a selection of classic and modern marvel wines from Briar Ridge’s Varietal and Limited Release ranges, while snacking on a gourmet antipasto platter. Better yet, bookings for the tour include a $5 discount on purchases from Briar Ridge’s cellar door.

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Hot air balloon sunrise cruise
Photograph: Supplied/ Klook

See the sunrise on a hot air balloon flight

If you reckon the Hunter looks beautiful from the ground, just wait till you’re admiring it from hundreds of feet in the air. Taking flight at sunrise, this breathtaking four-hour aerial tour soars over the wine regions of Pokolbin, Lovedale, Rothbury and Broke. And should you and your party want to up the ante even further, you can also upgrade with a delicious gourmet breakfast and Champagne celebration.

 https://www.klook.com/en-AU/activity/45089-tulloch-wines-mystery-wine-tasting-experience/
Photograph: Klook

Crack the clues at this mystery wine experience

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Let your taste buds do the sleuthing on this cryptic tasting tour, courtesy of Tulloch Wines. You’ll have six incognito drops to suss out, handpicked by the in-house sommeliers, but don’t worry if you usually can’t tell a chardonnay from a Champagne. A private ‘wine ambassador’ will help guide you and your pals through the hour-long experience. You’ll also have a generous local cheese and charcuterie board to snack on while you all taste your way through this enigmatic wine selection.

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Vintage shiraz tasting
Photograph: Klook

Play sommelier with this shiraz tasting

If you and your crew consider yourselves amateur somms, this elevated tasting experience is for you. Tulloch Wines, one of the Hunter Valley’s most respected makers of shiraz, has created a tasting package featuring its best vintages from the last two decades. Take your seat in the private tasting room, as one of Tulloch’s wine ambassadors guides you through the bottles that made this vineyard such a champion of this variety. 

Tiny house accomodation
Photograph: Klook

Nab a discounted stay in a Tiny Home

Cute as a button, small but perfectly formed, these tiny houses, in Pokolbin and Broke in the heart of the Hunter Valley, are the perfect boltholes for you and your mates while you explore the riches of the region. Each diminutive domain is fully kitted out with comfy beds and kitchens, close to bathroom facilities, and when you book via Klook you can make savings of up to 20 per cent on your reservation (alongside the 10 per cent discount mentioned above). Whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape in nature, or somewhere to lay your head after a jam-packed day of winery tours, these tiny accommodations are the perfect fit.

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Savannah Estate cheese and wine tasting
Photograph: Klook

Stick with the cheese and wine classics

If there's a more classic combo than cheese and wine, we've never heard of it. These perfect culinary partners take centre stage at the Savannah Estate's paired tasting. First, take a stroll around this boutique winery’s grounds to take in the stunning views, before tucking into the locally-sourced cheese board with a glass of wine in hand. A trip to this cellar door would not be complete without a taste of Savannah’s superb sparkling Malbec, which just do happens to go famously well with, you guessed it, cheese.

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