There’s plenty to keep Mum and Dad happy in the Hunter Valley, with incredible food, wine and views for days, but it is the Hunter Valley Gardens that excels in entertaining the kids.
The Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest and best-known wine region, lies just over 2 hours north of Sydney CBD. The perfect distance for a weekend away! So this week, being school holidays, I took the kids on a mini-break to get out of town and breathe some fresh air.
The Hunter Valley Gardens was an essential stop because of the fabulous kids activities that they put on throughout the year, but especially during school holidays.
With over 60 acres of gardens, 8 kilometres of walking paths and 10 individual feature gardens, Hunter Valley Gardens is first and foremost a place of nature and beauty. But all that space also means plenty of room for kids to run around and explore winding paths, waterfalls and fragrant flowers.
This is what the kids were looking forward to the most. They just love seeing all the well-known nursery rhymes and fairytales brought to life!
Jack and Jill, Hansel and Gretel, Hey Diddle Diddle, Humpty Dumpty and many more are represented here with delightfully colourful statues. Plus lots of topiary animals to meet!
The Hunter Valley Train is invaluable for seeing most of the gardens without walking all day. At half an hour long it is well worth the extra money, but I recommend ringing in advance to reserve your seats, because they book out very quickly.
The Oriental Garden in particular was a wonderful new find for us. We loved seeing the pagoda on the lake and all the colourful koi fish swimming below as we trundled our way through. Perhaps next time we’ll make it down there for a proper wander around!
Special Kids Events
Throughout the year a series of fabulous kid-friendly events are held at the Hunter Valley Gardens.
In winter they have Snow Time in the Garden (the kids are super keen to go back for that one!), in summer they have the Christmas Lights Spectacular, which we love, and in the autumn and spring breaks there’s always something different.
These school holidays it’s all about the Minions! Stuart, Kevin and Bob perform daily shows and do meet and greets. There are also three huge jumping castles and a treasure hunt. Plenty to keep the kids busy!
25 June – 17 July 2016 Snow Time in the Garden – ice-skating, tobogganing and man-made snow
24 September – 9 October 2016 School holiday activities to be announced
4 November 2016 – late January 2017 Christmas Lights Spectacular – millions of Christmas lights, live entertainment, sound and light displays and Santa
More information – Hunter Valley Gardens
Disclaimer: We visited as guests of Hunter Valley Gardens
Want to save this to read later? Just hover to pin the image below –
Have you been to the Hunter Valley?