The beautiful Hunter Valley offers families with children myriad opportunities to experience both the great outdoors and a treasure trove of cultural and historical activities. The atmosphere is (mostly) glorious but even during times of inclement weather there is always plenty to do.
Hunter Valley Gardens
There is plenty on offer here for families during holiday and special event season as well as every day of the year. Explore the gorgeous gardens, partake in a hearty game of family putt-putt and adventure through the big park to make the most of the beautiful, wide open space. For the sweet tooths among you, the chocolate shop in the park makes the BEST hot chocolates.
Walka Water Works
This is a very popular picnic and recreation area in Maitland that is also rich in history of the region. You’ll find old-world buildings and design snuggled into walking trails and forestry that attracts over 140 species of bird and wildlife.
There is a playground for children and train ride at the old pumping station (circa 1887) as well as plenty of spaces to have a barbeque or stretch out a picnic blanket. A divine day out with kids in the Hunter Valley.
Fort Scratchley (Newcastle)
History buff? Fort Stratchley has been watching over Newcastle since 1882 and is open to the public. You and the family can enjoy FREE historical tours that let you soak up all of the history that surrounds you. Bunkers and disused artillery equipment could provide the backdrop to a memorable day out that’s topped off by incredible views of the coast.
Hunter Valley Zoo
The zoo is open 9am-4pm six days a week (closed Wednesday) but it’s open EVERY DAY in the school holidays. This is an environment that houses native and foreign species in a safe, sustainable way that allows visitors to experience animals in close-to-natural habitats. It’s a fantastic day out for kids and you can bring your own food to have a BBQ! (Maybe don’t do that too close to the lions, though.) Daily shows, animal feedings, informative talks and more – it’s everything you could ask for in a day trip to the zoo.
Blackbutt Nature Reserve
Blackbutt Reserve is a place where kids in the Hunter Valley region can explore wildlife exhibits and take park in a range of nature-based activities. There are places to enjoy a picnic, plenty of informative and fun things to do and a great day out to be had. It’s a smaller experience if you’re looking for something away from the maddening crowds or if someone in your family has sensory issues.
Horse Riding in the Hunter Valley
The ultimate experience for animal-loving kids in the Hunter Valley could well be a horse riding adventure. A healthy appreciation of nature, an exercise in patience and resilience and an enjoyable physical experience combine to make this an excellent choice for families in the region.
There are a number of horse riding experiences in the region that come highly recommended.
Things to do in the Hunter Valley with kids
Looking for more ideas for exploring the Hunter Valley with kids? You can find them here on All Mum Said.