The Hunter Valley is an extremely popular tourist destination, as many visit this area to sample some of its fine wine and enjoy world class accommodation. It is the sixth most visited place in Australia and attracts over 2.5 million people every year, making it a top choice if ever planning your holiday to NSW.
About Hunter Valley
The Hunter Valley is situated less than two hours away from Sydney and is 45 minutes from Newcastle Airport. There are many things to do here with 120 wineries, 60 restaurants and 160 accommodation places.
The Wonnarua, known as the people of the hills and plains, were the original inhabitants of this area (Coqunn). The north eastern shores were inhabited by the Worimi and the Awabakal lived on the south eastern shores. The Wonnarua have occupied the Upper Hunter Region for over 30,000 years and these three tribes have been travelling along the ancient trading route, which stretches between the Hunter Valley and Sydney.
The European settlers arrived here in the early nineteenth century and the lands were transformed by clearing, cultivation, development and occupation, which was done by driving out the Aboriginal communities, thus reducing their number by uprooting them and also by the spread of diseases. The Hunter River was first sighted by Lieutenant John Shortland when he was out searching for escaped convicts.
The Hunter Valley has developed a lot since the days when its value was in its coal industry, which provided the necessary coal and timber for steamships that provided transport to Sydney and its surrounding areas. The famous Convict Trail built by the convicts between 1826 and 1836 can still be viewed in its original form in some areas along the Tourist Route 33 to Wollombi.
Vineyards were first established there in the 1830s and since then the valley has not only grown in size, but also in its worldwide reputation. There are generations and generations of wine makers who take pride in the fact that they have given the world the unique gift of the finest Hunter Valley Semillon. The Australian Shiraz from this region is praise worthy too, and many will second that.
In 1823, the vineyard expanse was around 20 acres, which was first planted around the north bank of the Hunter River, which is famously known as Dalwood/Gresford area, located between Maitland and Singleton. By 1840, the registered expanse of the vineyards was around 500 acres and today there are over 120 wineries all over the region, giving birth to the world famous Hunter Valley Semillon.
If you want some more information about Hunter Valley accommodation or tourism, please check out this website at www.huntervalleytouristinfo.com.au.