The Hunter Valley is a beautiful area 130kms north west of Sydney. 5. In 1820 John Howe discovered the first overland route to the Hunter and a road-way was constructed largely along his path from Windsor to Singleton in 1823. You can drive, take public transport, or join a coach tour. The Hunter River itself was discovered, by accident, in 1797 by British Lieutenant John Shortland as he searched for escaped convicts. Some of the greatest Hunter Valley wines that can still be found today are from those years of struggle. [4], The wine-making history of Hunter Valley begins with the European settlement of the Sydney and the New South Wales region of Australia in the late 18th century as a penal colony of the British Empire. Barrie, Douglas M., The Australian Bloodhorse, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1956. Discover a world of amazing destinations in the Hunter Valley. [8] State Water Corporation's dams supply water for irrigation, industrial use at coal mines and the region's coal-fired power stations and town water to upper Hunter Region towns. Within that, the Hunter region is almost as large, and includes most of the wine-producing areas, excluding the metropolitan area of Newcastle and nearby coastal areas, some national parks, and any land that was in the Mudgee Shire (at the western heights of the catchment). Commonly known as 'Wine Country'[16], The Hunter Valley is a major tourist destination in New South Wales and is the 6th most visited place in Australia attracting more than 2.5 million people annually. Other major centres of the Hunter Region are Dungog, Gloucester, Kurri Kurri, Muswellbrook, Raymond Terrace, Scone and Singleton. Coal ships are often seen off the coast of Newcastle. The early pioneers of the Hunter Valley’s long winemaking history were George Wyndham, William Kelman and James King. Much of the rolling countryside around Pokolbin is under vine and has a large number of vineyards, restaurants, shops, golf courses and country guesthouses. The port at Newcastle is the world's largest export facility for coal, most of which is brought to the port via railway. London: Mitchell Beazley, 2005. [1] Situated at the northern end of the Sydney Basin bioregion, the Hunter Valley is one of the largest river valleys on the NSW coast, and is most commonly known for its wineries and coal industry. Pokolbin, located in the "Lower Hunter Valley", is the centre of the Hunter Valley wine country, which claims to be Australia's oldest wine region. During the spring the Hunter Valley receives an average of 7.3–7.5 hours of sunshine a day. With the arrival of European settlers in the early 19th century, the lands of the Hunter Valley were estranged and transformed by occupation, clearing, cultivation and building, driving out the local Aboriginal communities. The great families of the Hunter Valley, of which some have been in the area for six generations, also made significant contributions to what the area is today. It contains the Hunter River and its tributaries with highland areas to the north and south. [2] With those cooling breezes also comes heavy rainfall and periodic cyclonic storms in the summer and autumn months. © Copyright 2020 Destination NSW. 1. The World Atlas of Wine. Follow walking trails past historic buildings and ancient Aboriginal art, learn about the region’s past at museums and see the work of local artists in boutique galleries. ». First planted with vineyards in the early 1820s, the Hunter Valley is rich with heritage and culture. Hunter Valley Vine Thicket[42] In order of population these are Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Maitland and Cessnock. Explore these on a guided mural tour. Following World War I, many returning Australian veterans were given land grants in the Hunter Valley. The soils of the Lower Hunter vary widely from sandy alluvial flats (often planted to Semillon), to deep friable loam (often planted with Shiraz) and friable red duplex soils. Between these two geological areas is the Hunter-Mooki Thrust fault. Apart from the wineries, there are beautiful art galleries, gardens, bicycle tours and hot air ballooning - simpley a myriad of things to do. Hunter Water Corporation's Grahamstown Dam, the largest dam supplying the urban areas of the lower Hunter Region, is supplied with water diverted from the Williams River just north of the Seaham Weir, through a large pump station at Balickera. By 1840 the Hunter Valley’s registered vineyard area exceeded 500 acres. The Hunter Valley Wine Zone Australian Geographical Indication was registered on 1 May 1996 and is approximately the entire Hunter River catchment. [20] It is located between the towns of Cessnock and Branxton, about 50 km (31 mi) west of Newcastle. By 1930 the Pokolbin area had built a reputation for quality wine production. Travel website design by Jimmyweb Or join local artists on the Wupa Aboriginal Art Trail between November and May. The main town in the Upper Hunter Valley subregion is Muswellbrook. [8] A proposal to build Tillegra Dam on the Williams River existed since the 1950s, but was scrapped in 2010. Grey Box-Grey Gum Wet Sclerophyll Forest[39] Today, the modern Putty Road between the cities of Windsor and Singleton follows Howe's exact path and is a major thoroughfare for wine tourists coming into the Hunter Valley from Sydney. The origins of the river begin the Liverpool Range of the volcanic Barrington Tops and flows south and then east down to the Pacific Ocean at the seaport city of Newcastle.[7]. Hunter Water Corporation's dams supply the large urban population of more than 500,000 living near the coast and centered on the cities of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. [10] With its northerly latitude and close oceanic influences, the Hunter Valley is one of Australia's hottest and wettest wine regions. [19] The Hunter Wine Region Australian Geographical Indication was declared on 18 March 1997. The steady demand of consumers from Sydney continues to drive much of the Hunter Valley wine industry, including a factor in the economy by the tourism industry. The remnants of this period has left an extensive network of coal seams that fuelled the early population boom of the Hunter Valley in the 19th century as well a high degree of salinity in the water table of much of the area. [7] At one time this fault was very geologically active and gave rise to the Brokenback range that feature prominently in the Hunter region. Follow walking trails past historic buildings and ancient Aboriginal art, learn about the region’s past at museums and see the work of local artists in boutique galleries. Blue Mountains website design by iVent. In the late thirties until the sixties the Hunter Valley experienced a decline in vineyard activity due to the depression and war. Other rivers in the region include the Allyn, Avon, Barrington, Bow, Bowman, Chichester, Gloucester, Goulburn, Isis, Karuah, Krui, Mammy Johnsons, Merriwa, Munmurra, Pages, Paterson, Wangat and Williams rivers. The further north and west, towards the Brokenback Range and the Upper Hunter, the more Triassic sandstone that can be found leading eventually to the carboniferous rocks that form the northern boundary of the Hunter with the New England Fold Belt and the foothills of the Barrington Tops. There are numerous other towns and villages scattered across the region in the eleven local government areas (LGAs) that make up the region. There are many ways to experience Australia's first wine region. [7], Overall, the Hunter Valley has more soils (mostly hard, acidic patches of poorly draining heavy clay) that are unsuitable for viticulture than they have areas that are ideal for growing grapes. [2], The Permian rocks in the central and southeastern expanse of the Lower Hunter Valley were formed when the area was underneath a shallow marine estuary. Start at sunrise and take in views of the picturesque wine regions of Pokolbin and Lovedale. Today, the Hunter Valley is certainly one of Australia’s most well-known wine regions, which, since its foundation, has produced many fine, world recognised wines. In the summer, the average daily temperature regularly exceeds 21.1 °C (70.0 °F) while during the winter the temperature averages around 14 °C (57.2 °F). A number of qualified winemakers enhanced the Hunter Valley’s reputation in Sydney and Melbourne. through the Yengo National Park and find Aboriginal rock engravings in lush bushland. You can see more cultural and local artwork at the. For the wine region within the valley, see, Significant places and items of interest in the, Population figure is the combined population of all LGAs in the region. [26], For the purposes of New South Wales elections for the Legislative Assembly, the Hunter Region is contained within the electoral districts of Cessnock,[27] Charlestown,[28] Lake Macquarie,[29] Maitland,[30] Myall Lakes,[31] Newcastle,[32] Port Stephens,[33] Swansea,[34] Upper Hunter,[35] Wallsend,[36] and Wyong.[37]. retains many of its colonial buildings, including St Michael’s Church, St John’s Church and the Endeavour Museum inside the former courthouse.

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