The state’s second largest city is known for its proximity to the beach, coastal vibe, eclectic underground art, sporting events, music community and fast-emerging food and coffee scene. It’s worth a visit on its own, but the seaside city can also be a launching pad for the Hunter Valley.

Australia’s oldest wine region is also one of its most famous, for good reason – more than 200 years after the first vines were planted, it’s now home to some of the best wineries in the country, with many specialising in semillon. And with good wine, picturesque rolling hills and a slate of excellent restaurants, it’s no surprise this is a favourite holiday destination too.

Whether you’re visiting Newy to catch a sports match or to spend the weekend sipping around the valley, there are plenty of places to stay. Here are some of our picks.


Flourish on Bull, Newcastle

Sleeps 5 / from $265 per night / two-night minimum Right in the inner city, this award-winning loft-style apartment is above the owner’s interior design studio, so you can expect a thoughtful, aesthetically pleasing design across both bedrooms. It’s just a 10-minute walk to the harbour and foreshore, and situated close to the city’s cafes, restaurants, parks, galleries and beaches.

Lil Birdsong, Cardiff South

Sleeps 2 / from $399 per night Soak in an outdoor bath under the stars at this compact couple’s retreat between Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. It’s been made with recycled materials, giving the space a slightly rustic feel, while the gum and banana trees in the spacious yard make you feel like you’re in a secluded oasis. There’s also a firepit in the yard, plus a semi-outdoor shower and a patio.

Surf Mist, Newcastle

Sleeps 4 / from $524 per night / two-night minimum With fifth floor views, this residential apartment offers sprawling views of the beach and ocean beyond (you might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins swimming past). It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus an open-plan living, kitchen and dining area that flows out to the balcony.

The Beach House, Merewether

Sleeps 7 / from $1300 per night / two-night minimum Watch the sunrise over Merewether Beach from the comforts of your queen-sized bed in this luxe beachfront home. You’ll want to spend plenty of time on the back deck overlooking the beach, but there’s also a spa, fireplace and courtyard. Plus, the beach is a stone’s throw away, or it’s a short walk to Merewether Ocean Baths and Bathers Way.

Hunter Valley

Forever Sunday, Paterson

Sleeps 8 / from $1394 per night / two-night minimum Every day feels like the weekend when you wake up to views of the Moonabung Range at this off-grid home. Just two hours’ drive from Sydney, it’s set on 211 acres in the Hunter Valley and features outdoor soaking baths, a magnesium pool, infrared sauna, pizza oven, woodfired smoker and more.

Harkham House, Pokolbin

Sleeps 8 / from $712 per night / two-night minimum Set on the Harkham Wines estate, this fully restored four-bedroom spot is right in the heart of the Hunter wine region. There’s a central stone-built fireplace in the lounge, and a sandstone balcony with a barbeque and picturesque views of Brokenback Range. In the same neighbourhood you can enjoy a private wine tasting at the cellar door.

Tiny Three Ten, Fosterton

Sleeps 2 / from $300 per night / two-night minimum Tiny home, sprawling acreage – the only neighbours you’ll encounter at this secluded off-grid retreat are native animals roaming around the surrounding hills. With a queen loft bed, study nook and compact kitchen inside, the eco-friendly house opens out into nature – through the doors you’ll find a deck, outdoor bath and firepit.

The River Haus, Morpeth

Sleeps 5 / from $395 per night / two-night minimum In the historic river port town of Morpeth, this three-bedroom picket-fenced cottage combines old-world charm with modern amenities. Warm up in the freestanding bath or by the wood fireplace, then use the house as a launching pad to explore more of the region’s wineries, restaurants and sights.

Amelie’s, Pokolbin

Sleeps 2 / from $280 per night / two-night minimum Just a few minutes’ drive from Mount Bright Lookout, this romantic red-brick cottage has stunning views of its own – from an indoor spa bath, no less. Watch the sun sink across the valley with a glass of wine in hand, then retreat inside for the queen-sized bed and gas fireplace in the open-plan space.

Additional reporting by Nick Connellan, Alice Jeffery and Evan Jones

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