Hunter Valley wines, Tourism New South Wales

Population 18318

Best known for being the hub of a region that produces some of Australia’s best wines and fresh produce, Cessnock is a relaxed, large town with a range of coffee shops, galleries, craft and antique shops. It has a railway station and services including banks, grocery and hardware stores, but also serves as a centre for ballooning, sky-diving, wine-tasting tours and golf.

Visitor Information

Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism Visitors Centre, 455 Wine Country Dr, Pokolbin; (02) 4990 0900


Nearby national parks

  • Yengo National Park

    Steep-sided valleys, sandstone ridges and a web of creeks and rivers are contained within the wilderness of Yengo National Park. Part of the...more

  • Wollemi National Park

    Wollemi National Park, the second largest national park in the state and its largest wilderness area, is a primeval landscape of precipitous...more

  • Popran National Park

    Popran National Park, 65 kilometres north of Sydney, has five sections, providing a corridor for wildlife between Brisbane Water and Dharug...more

Nearby towns

  • Maitland NSW

    Maitland is in the heart of the world-class Hunter Valley wine region, on the Hunter River. Built on flood plains, it has suffered 15 major...more

  • Singleton

    Singleton is a pleasant and sleepy town set next to the Hunter River among beautiful pasturelands, mountains and national parks. It is the...more

  • Raymond Terrace

    Situated on the banks of the Hunter and William rivers just outside Newcastle, Raymond Terrace was an important wool-shipping area in the...more

In Town

Galleries and antique and craft shops: brochures from visitor centre.


Hunter Valley wine region This is Australia’s oldest wine region. The Upper Hunter Valley also has many wonderful wines to discover. Read more. If you’re interested in attending a 2 hr ‘wine school’, head to Hermitage Road Cellars & Winery, Hermitage Rd Pokolbin; (02) 4998 7777.

Watagans National Park This park features several lookout points over mountains and valleys. The lookout at Gap Creek Falls reveals rainforest gullies of magnificent red cedar and Illawarra flame trees, and the Monkey Face Lookout takes in the Martinsville Valley below. There are many scenic rainforest walks along the creek, which is ideal for swimming. Some walks lead to picnic and barbecue facilities at Heaton, Hunter and McLean's lookouts and the serene Boarding House Dam picnic area, which is set among large blackbutt and blue gum trees; 33 km SE.

Hunter Valley Zoo: hands-on zoo where many animals (native and introduced) can be patted and fed; 9am–4pm Thurs–Tues; 130 Lomas Lane, Nulkaba; (02) 4990 7714; 7 km NW

Bimbadeen Lookout: spectacular views over Hunter Valley; 10 km E.

Hunter Valley Cheese Factory: factory tours, tastings and sales; 9am–5.30pm daily; McGuigan Cellars Complex, McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin; (02) 4998 7744; 13 km NW.

Richmond Vale Railway Museum: rail and mining museum with steam-train rides and John Brown's Richmond Main Colliery, once the largest shaft mine in the Southern Hemisphere; 10am–4pm 1st 3 sun of each month; Leggetts Drive, Richmond Vale; (02) 4001 0197; 17 km NE.

Wollombi: picturesque village with a wealth of historic sandstone buildings. Tour the Aboriginal cave paintings (inquire at general store). Visit Undercliff Winery and Studio (for etchings); 29 km SW.

Galleries and Craft shops: arts and crafts by local artists; maps from visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

Port Stephens 71 km

 Port Stephens is about 220 km north of Sydney and offers a mixed bag of quality species. In the estuaries, bream, flathead, mulloway and whiting dominate the catch while beach anglers do well on tailor, whiting and... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Birdwatching near Newcastle 41 km

A reclaimed 45-hectare wetland area just 10 minutes drive from the centre of Newcastle has been Ramsar-listed and is an excellent spot to see up to 213 bird species, including more than 2000 pairs of breeding egrets. The... Find out more

Golf courses around town

The Vintage Golf Club 11 km

Hunter Valley semillon, with its zesty aromas and flavours, is sometimes described by wine experts as ‘Australia’s wine gift to the world’. Its appeal also lies in its capacity to age well. The same... Find out more

Newcastle Golf Club 41 km

Long before American Tom Doak became the revered course designer he is today, he travelled the world playing and studying more than 800 courses. He made notes on every one, before compiling them into what he called ... Find out more

Pacific Dunes Golf Club 49 km

Advances in club and ball technology, aimed at helping players hit longer and straighter, have had a big effect on golf course architecture since the early 1990s. Many new developers have urged designers to stretch... Find out more

Kooindah Waters Golf & Spa Resort 51 km

Throughout his playing career, Craig Parry has won tournaments around the world thanks to a mix of sound strategy, good ball-striking and a first-class short game. He brought those same key elements – golfing... Find out more

Magenta Shores Golf & Country Club 56 km

There is something truly inspiring about a golf course – whatever the quality of its playing surfaces – that offers the smells and sounds of the ocean. This is perhaps what first persuaded the Scots to use... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Esca Bimbadgen

Bimbadgen Estate’s restaurant is one of the best lunch spots in the Hunter Valley to savour the area’s picturesque vine-swept hills. The food is sophisticated contemporary Australian fare, taking in some... Find out more

The Kurrajong Restaurant

The Kurrajong is the Cessnock Hotel’s in-house restaurant. The lunch and dinner menu features seafood and steak. Highly recommended for an informal bistro meal.... Find out more

Swill N Grill

One of Cessnock’s favourite eateries, the Swill N Grill boasts a fantastic mural along one wall, commissioned by a local artist, as well as sporting and mining memorabilia. The food includes lots of hearty steaks... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Hunter Beer Company 3 km

Potters Brewery, as this microbrewery is also known, might seem like a rather odd addition to this convention-based accommodation complex, which is named after the historic beehive-shaped pottery kilns scattered around... Find out more

Bluetongue Brewery 24 km

Set up in 2004 by a consortium of Hunter region identities, including wine man Bruce Tyrell and hotelier Ian Burford, Bluetongue Brewery soon established a significant regional market for its premium lager and alcoholic... Find out more

Steel River Brewery 35 km

Every brewhouse has its own distinct personality – new ones are punched out in uniform fashion and pretty much look the same, but pre-loved ones tend to have a bit more character and, more often than not, a... Find out more

Murray's Craft Brewing Company 60 km

But there’s a-nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear, Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer. So sang the late country singing legend Slim Dusty and, more importantly, the words of the famous song were penned... Find out more

Campsites around town

Watagan Headquarters camping area 17 km

Once a forest workers’ camp, this is now a quiet, grassy area ringed with protective native forest and blue-leaved stringybark. You’ll find it off Watagan Rd, 3 km north of Watagan Forest Rd. Bring your own... Find out more

Gap Creek camping area 21 km

To get here, continue along Bangalow Rd for 1 km past Bangalow Road camping area. Bring your own firewood; gas/fuel stove preferred. Gap Creek is situated near 2 rainforest walks, one of which wends its way beneath red... Find out more

Bangalow Road camping area 21 km

As its name suggests, you’ll find this on Bangalow Rd, 3.8 km from the Mt Faulk Rd intersection, amid majestic blue gum and blackbutt forest. There are wood BBQs, although you’ll need to bring your own... Find out more

The Watagan Track 24 km

This 61 km track from Flat Rock takes you through rural farmland and Awaba State Forest, past the Sugerloaf Range and on to the town of Teralba on Lake Macquarie. There are 3 camping areas on this stretch, and... Find out more

Casuarina camping area 25 km

No prizes for guessing what trees you’ll be surrounded by at this camping area, but wait until you hear the music the wind makes when it brushes through the casuarina leaves. This is a good spot for large groups as... Find out more

Turpentine camping area 25 km

This is only 100 m from Casuarina camping area, and provides secluded camping sites that are perfect for small groups and families. Boil or treat water from the creek before drinking it or bring your own.... Find out more

The Pines camping area 26 km

A nice shaded area under – you guessed it – pine trees, this is the starting point for several walks including Abbotts Falls Trail and the Pines Trail. Follow the signs along Watagan Forest Rd, 300 m north of... Find out more

Wattle Tree camping area 26 km

This is close to The Pines camping area, so if you prefer wattles and eucalypts over pine trees, this is your spot. It’s off Watagan Forest Rd, 1 km south of the junction of Watagan Forest and Walkers Ridge Forest... Find out more

The Cedar Brush Walk 26 km

Beginning in Somersby and ending 61 km later at Flat Rock Lookout, this section of the Great North Walk includes 8 camping areas and takes in Jilliby State Conservation Area, farmland and Olney State Forest.... Find out more

The Basin camping area (walk-in camping) 33 km

The Basin is open and grassy, and you can swim in the creek here if it’s warm enough. The Rock Lily Walking Trail starts here – a pleasant trip through eucalypt forest, rocky overhangs and rainforest gullies.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

BIG4 Valley Vineyard Tourist Park 2 km

This is the best-located park for exploring the Hunter Valley wineries. Just 3 km from the centre of Cessnock, the park offers good facilities including a Thai restaurant.... Find out more

Bellhaven Caravan Park 36 km

With good access to the Pacific Highway, this basic park has grassy drive-through sites ideal for an overnight stop. The town centre is only a short drive away. Bookings are recommended all year round.... Find out more

Belmont Pines Lakeside Holiday Park 37 km

Not far south of the city of Newcastle, this park is in a superb position on the shores of Lake Macquarie, in a quiet, off-the-highway location. It faces north, with great views across the water. It is a good family park... Find out more

Swansea Gardens Lakeside Holiday Park 38 km

This large, council-operated park is located in a quiet area on the shores of Lake Macquarie. Facilities are good and include tennis courts and a half court basketball area. There are a small number of absolute... Find out more

Blacksmiths Beachside Holiday Park 39 km

A very appealing park with modern amenities, this place is just 100 metres from the surf club. The photos in reception are testament to its popularity with caravan clubs. We like it. Bookings are required in peak periods... Find out more

Stockton Beach Tourist Park 41 km

This park is located on the beachfront, just north of the port of Newcastle. Stroll along the beach, join in with the fishing on the breakwater, or just watch the large ships come and go. The park has large grassy areas... Find out more

Munmorah State Conservation Area 47 km

The National Parks and Wildlife Service manage this recreation area. There are two camping areas, Fraser and Freemans, with tent sites and a limited number of unpowered caravan sites. It is just a short walk through the... Find out more

Budgewoi Holiday Park 49 km

This large council-operated park has good facilities and is well suited for a beachside family holiday. Those wanting to fish can make use of the nearby boat ramp.... Find out more

Australian Motor Homes Tourist Park 52 km

This park is designed for big rigs. Located alongside the Pacific Highway, west of Karuah, it is a great place for an overnight stay and popular with groups on weekends. The owners also operate a commercial fish farm,... Find out more

Canton Beach Holiday Park 52 km

On the shores of Tuggerah Lake, this is a large council-operated park with good facilities. It is a great spot for a family holiday on the protected waterway and ideal for watersports enthusiasts. The park offers the... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Cessnock Heritage Inn

Cessnock Heritage Inn dates back to 1922. Today, it’s a friendly B&B offering four-star comforts to guests looking for reasonably priced accommodation in the Hunter Valley. The queen- and family-sized guest... Find out more

Greta Main Pay Office B&B

This B&B was once the pay office of an early 20th-century coalmine, which ceased operation in 1973. The surrounding 33 hectares was returned to natural bushland. The original pay window, brick entrance and safe... Find out more

Peppers Guest House

From the outside, Peppers Guest House is a charming country-style homestead surrounded by gardens and overlooking the Hunter Valley's vine-swept fields. But inside each of the 48 deluxe rooms, you'll discover... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Somewhere Unique, Wollombi 22 km

The two stand-alone, couples-only cottages here are stylish, contemporary and have passive solar design. They are eco-accredited, on an 8-hectare bushland reserve, and use only renewable energy and Greenfleet vehicles.... Find out more

Banjo’s Bushland Retreat, Vacy 35 km

With three self-contained lodges of various sizes and a recreation room that includes an environmental centre, this eco-accredited resort keeps nature as its focus. Even the nine-hole minigolf course weaves around the... Find out more

Australia Walkabout Park, Calga 67 km

You can camp out with the 180 species of wild animal in this 32-hectare feral-proofed wildlife park that has a solid history of conservation and caring for injured and orphaned wildlife. The overnight camping experience... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Pothana Lane rest area 20 km

30km NW of Maitland (L) or 17km SE of Singleton (R)

Just off the highway at the end of the 'No Through Rd'.

Golden Highway Junction rest area 24 km

36km NW of Maitland (L) or 11km SE of Singleton (R)

Among a few trees off Golden Hwy.      

Singleton park area 33 km

At Singleton       

On the south side of town at the information centre.

Rixs Creek rest area 40 km

6km NW of Singleton (R) or 43km SE of Muswellbrook (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Service Centre 47 km

93 km N of Sydney (L) or 74 km S of Raymond Terrace (R)

Highway Service Centre just off the highway.

Medowie Road rest area 48 km

57km S of Bulahdelah (L)

Surrounded by trees just off the highway. For southbound only.

Twelve Mile Hill rest area 49 km

15km N of Raymond Terrace (L)

Just off the highway. For northbound only.

Ourimbah Exit rest area 57 km

80km N of Sydney (L) or 85km S of Raymond Terrace (R)

Well off the freeway via the exit.

What's on around town

Harvest Festival: throughout region; Mar–Apr.

Lovedale Long Lunch: May.

Jazz in the Vines: Oct.

Opera in the Vineyards: Oct.

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