Getting to the Hunter Valley

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 GraftonCoffs 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 SconeMuswellbrook 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.

Fly into Newcastle Airport

The Hunter Valley is within easy reach from Newcastle Airport. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rentals, limousines, shuttle buses as well as group and private transfers. Public transport options are available from the airport to Australia’s oldest wine region.

Newcastle Airport offers up to 50 direct flights a day to cities along the east coast.

Jetstar flies direct to and from Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. QantasLink operates direct flights to and from Brisbane. Virgin Australia flies direct to and from Brisbane and Melbourne. FlyPelican operates direct flights to and from Adelaide, Dubbo, Ballina, Canberra and Sydney. Regional Express also flies to and from Sydney.

Passport And Visa

On 23 March 2013, the department implemented changes to the types of visas available to persons wishing to travel to Australia to attend, participate at, or compete in events being held in Australia.

Under Australia’s universal visa system, all visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia (other than New Zealand passport holders who will normally be granted a Special Category visa on arrival, provided they meet health and character requirements; and permanent residents of Norfolk Island who may be granted a Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa on arrival).  For more information, see the fact sheet: http://www.border.gov.au/about/corporate/information/fact-sheets/47temporary-residence

There are many visa options available to people wishing to visit Australia. The appropriate visa option will depend, amongst other things, on the person’s purpose for visiting Australia.

Click here for the new visa fact sheet, effective from 1 July 2013.  This fact sheet includes information about the visa options available for those who are travelling to Australia as business visitors, including the new arrangements in place for online applications for the Visitor (Subclass 600) visa and the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400). For the purposes of attending this event, you may wish to consider applying for one of these visas, based on your role at the event.

Please note that only certain passport holders are eligible to apply for these visas online.

If your sole reason for coming to Australia is to attend this conference, please apply for this VISA.

For information on who can apply for the eVisitor (subclass 651) visa online, please go to: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/651-

For any other circumstances, please view the below VISA’s

For information on who can apply for the ETA (Subclass 601) visa online, please go to: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/601-

For information on who can apply for the Visitor (Subclass 600) visa online, please go to: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/600-

For information on who can apply for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400) online, please go to: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/400-

IMPORTANT:

We recommend that applicants applying for a paper-based visa lodge their application at least 6-8 weeks before their intended travel date to Australia. All travellers to Australia must have a valid visa before boarding their plane. Travellers to Australia cannot apply for a visa on arrival.