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Discover the Upper Hunter

Kihope Riding Centre, Upper HunterCREDIT: KRC Scone

Saddle up for a ride at Kihope Riding Centre on the outskirts of Scone in the Upper Hunter.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Discover the
Upper Hunter

Kihope Riding Centre, Upper Hunter CREDIT: KRC Scone

Saddle up for a ride at Kihope Riding Centre on the outskirts of Scone in the Upper Hunter.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

The Upper Hunter in New South Wales, around 300km northwest of Sydney, is famous for breeding excellent thoroughbred horses, but it also produces outstanding wine, cheese and olive oil. The region’s green hills and heritage towns, including Denman, Muswellbrook and Scone, are great to explore by car.  

Follow the compact wine trail 

A handful of wineries circle Denman, all within a 20-minute drive of the small country town. Located near the confluence of the Goulburn River with the Hunter River, Two Rivers Wines offers wine tastings and antipasto platters to enjoy on the verandah overlooking the vines. Small Forest is run by Japan’s first female winemaker, Atsuko Radcliffe, while the vineyard plantings at James Estate Wines date back to 1968. Hollydene Estate grows classic valley and emerging grape varieties such as tempranillo and is home to the excellent Vines Restaurant.

Hollydene Estate, Upper Hunter CREDIT: Hollydene Estate and April Josie Photography

Hollydene Estate, near Denman in the Upper Hunter region.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hollydene Estate, Upper Hunter CREDIT: Hollydene Estate and April Josie Photography

Hollydene Estate, near Denman in the Upper Hunter region.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Corker Trail, Barrington Coast NSW CREDIT: Catherine Boyd and Destination Barrington Coast

Hiking in Barrington Tops National Park.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Corker Trail, Barrington Coast NSW CREDIT: Catherine Boyd and Destination Barrington Coast

Hiking in Barrington Tops National Park.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Eat, drink, play and stay 

The region is a rich agricultural area and is justifiably proud of its regional producers. In the largest town, Muswellbrook, watch the cheesemaking process at Hunter Belle Cheese, sample the range of olive oils at Pukara Estate and then stop for excellent coffee at Double Picc.  

On the main street in the charming village of Scone, 30km north of Muswellbrook, The Cottage is a delightful restaurant serving house dry-aged and smoked meats. Just down the road, the Belmore Hotel is a classic pub with accommodation in a beautiful restored building from 1866. While you’re in Scone, make like a local and jump in the saddle for a country trail ride with Kihope Riding Centre on the outskirts of town. 

For a luxurious retreat 3km from Scone, Strathearn Park Lodge has private rooms each with spa bath and a fireplace, as well as views across the valley. And for a rural escape near Denman, Baerami Pines Retreat is nestled within a native cypress forest on the edge of Wollemi National Park. This beautiful converted church has three bedrooms and a courtyard garden with outdoor pavilion — perfect for keeping an eye out for kangaroos and wombats. 

Nearby, the Sandy Hollow Tourist Park is set within eight hectares of gardens and natural bush, and features cottages, motel units and a campground.  

Explore the local national parks 

Beyond the remarkable beauty of Upper Hunter farm country, the area is a gateway to several national parks, including Barrington Tops National Park. And if you follow the Hunter River to its upper reaches at Lake Glenbawn, an hour’s drive northeast of Muswellbrook, you’ll hopefully reel in a bass fish or two. The lake is also popular for watersports, so head out on a stand-up paddleboard or join the flotilla of motorboats taking waterskiers and wakeboarders for a spin. In the rainforest and snow gums of Towarri National Park you’ll spot wallabies and black cockatoos and can laze in the natural cool bath of Washpools waterhole. 

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