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Throughout each year, hordes of eager Australians make their way to the various incredible wine regions the country boasts, for their annual grape tasting pilgrimage. A time in which they can sit back and relax, as they consume the finest tipples and nibbles of little treats that pair well for an exquisite marriage of flavours.
One region of particular notoriety is the Hunter Valley; located just north of Sydney, it is known primarily for the superb offering of the finest wines Australia has to offer, impressing both locals and tourists alike.
So, what happens if you don't drink? Studies have shown that there has been a decreased interest in drinking, and an increase in sober curious Australians, with percentages growing from 8.9% in 2001 to 22% in 2019 of people in their twenties choosing to say no to a boozy beverage.
In 2021 a bar in Brunswick, Melbourne, opened Australia's first non-alcoholic bar, Brunswick Aces, which serves a plethora of booze-free beer, wine, and cocktail options, for all to enjoy. With a location in Sydney jumping on the bandwagon soon after.
Even major liquor retailers are now choosing to promote their non-alcoholic offerings in a bid to appeal to the growing groups of people opting out of alcohol. With that in mind, this growing cluster of people are no longer a quiet few, and shouldn't have to sit out of all the fun when it comes to venturing into regions like the Hunter Valley, but Australia is far from a one-trick pony, our one regions have so much more to offer than simply world class grapes. Read on so to develop your itinerary for your next liquorless escapade.
Step one is to check yourself into the Crowne Plaza in the Hunter Valley for your first taste of luxury. The resort takes you away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life and brings you into a sea of calm, with grown-up-only facilities such as their pool and spa offerings. The beauty of the Hunter Valley is undeniable and in this incredible resort, you'll be placed smack bang in the middle of it.
Treat yourself to the Ubika spa if you're looking to truly lie back and relax. The gorgeous facility is on offer for you during your stay and will send you straight into a chasm of relaxation and rest with one of their truly indulgent massages.
If you're not looking to miss out on the fun that comes with winery tours and days out in the spectacular region, the good news is that you really don't have to, because what is wine without food to pair it with?
The Redsalt Restaurant is located in the aforementioned glorious Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. The resort's signature eatery boasts delectable meals made with the finest seasonal ingredients. And, to make good news great, the hatted restaurant is open from sunrise to sunset, otherwise known as breakfast to dinner, with mouthwatering options available to you at any time of the day.
If you're looking for an afternoon in the sun, grazing at cheeseboards, or perhaps something more substantial with a smokey barbeque meal, then the Lovedale Smokehouse is not to be missed.
The eatery will give you a taste of that refreshing homegrown country hospitality and allows you to graze over bites of cured cold cuts as you gaze upon the vineyard it's nestled beside. Head up in the early afternoon for some midday sun and a coffee. Truly, what more could you want?
If a calm and elegant atmosphere, then Hunters Quarter is the ideal destination for you to spend a long lunch, sampling all of their scrumptious options as you admire the scenery of Cockfighters Ghost vineyard.
The beautiful spot comes with a private terrace, nestled within the vineyard, making it the perfect setting to get away from the daily hustle and bustle and instead kick back and relax with your partner, friends or family.
Hot air ballooning has long been seen as an exhilarating adventure, a way to dip your toes into adrenaline-inducing activities. However, now it's been upgraded to must-try status, even for the more nerve filled amongst us, as when the words "hot air balloon ride" are preceded by "Hunter Valley" then you really can't turn it down.
Have your breath taken away by the striking panoramic views, bonus points if you choose to opt for a sunrise trip. Watch as the landscape is set on fire by golden light, illuminating all that is below the skyline.
Opt for a family-owned company to really hear the story of the Hunter Valley as told by true locals, and tailor your sky-high adventure to your liking with trips having the capacity to hold anywhere from two to twenty-four people on average.
The Hunter Valley is packed to the rafters with various things to see and do. Dine on delectable views, or simply enjoy an extraordinary balloon ride to very literally see all that this iconic destination has to offer. With such a variety of indulgent activities, you'll be looking to rebook your trip at the very next opportunity.