The most direct drive north from Sydney is two hours via the M1 motorway, following the Cessnock/Hunter Valley Vineyards exit sign to Cessnock.
For a scenic road trip, take the Calga exit on the M1 for Tourist Drive 33 to historic Wollombi in the Hunter Valley. You can stop at the Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park on the way and explore the colonial heritage of the convict-built Great North Road, which linked Sydney to the Hunter Valley.
Trains depart from Sydney for Maitland and Singleton, via Newcastle. You can use an Opal card to pay for the trains to the valley, as well as on most trains to the Upper Hunter and to Paterson and Dungog near the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops, part of the Gondwana Rainforests.
From the North Coast, train services depart from towns including Grafton, Coffs Harbour and Taree for the Barrington Tops and Maitland. There are regular trains from northern country NSW towns such as Moree and Gunnedah, and Armidale and Tamworth, to Scone, Muswellbrook and Maitland.
Connecting buses and wine tours will help you explore the delights in the region. Tour operators will also pick you up from your accommodation. There are car rentals available, too. Coach and small group wine-tasting tours also depart from Sydney, Newcastle and other centres in Regional NSW.
Flying to the Hunter Valley is another option, with daily flights from Sydney and other cities to Newcastle Airport. Car rental is available for the easy drive to the vineyards – Pokolbin is 50 minutes away. Helicopter tours, with golf and dining packages, are available too from Sydney to the valley.
Once in the valley, you’ll find a wonderful range of tour experiences. For romantics, Hunter Valley Classic Carriagesand Hunter Valley Horses offer horse-drawn carriage tours. You can hire bicycles and pedal to wineries. The Hunter Valley Visitor Centre, near Cessnock, will help you plan your trip.