Adventure | Beach | Family | Food and Wine | Golf | Romance | Road Trip 05 October 2022

New South Wales Country To Coast

Make Your Stay with Oaks Last Longer

Explore the best that NSW has to offer with a five-night country to coast holiday. Discover the famed wineries, cellar doors, lively farmers markets and artisan producers of the Hunter Valley before breathing in the salt air and exploring the sand dunes of Port Stephens, with plenty of memorable experiences in between. 

Conveniently, the Hunter Valley and Port Stephens are only an hour apart, and this multiple day adventure makes the perfect getaway from Sydney. Get ready to buckle up and explore beaches, stunning scenery, and wineries in this five-day loop of this postcard-perfect pocket of the state.

Renowned for semillon and shiraz, the Hunter has more than 120 wineries, including household names McGuigan and Tyrrell's. While the well established vineyards keep calling visitors back year after year, there is also a new wave of impressive organic and biodynamic wineries to visit. Don’t miss Harkham Wines and Krinklewood, to name just two. 

Feeling like a VIP experience? Then visit one of Australia’s oldest vineyards (established in 1858) on their Premium Tasting Experience at Tyrrell’s Wines. Join the experts for a guided tour of the cellar door and tutored tasting of current vintages and aged release wines that have been carefully selected from the Tyrrell family’s own private cellar.

Group of friends enjoying the wines at the Hunter Valley vineyard

When you’re ready to check into your accommodation, head for the Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort to enjoy first class hospitality and the peaceful hinterland surrounds. Nestled amongst some of the most premium Hunter Valley wine producers and set against the Broken Back Mountain Range, this resort is reason enough to travel to the Hunter Valley. With onsite dining, golf and a wellness retreat you will never want to leave. 

For the adventurous traveler, reserve a spot on a sunrise hot air balloon, which will take you over the Hunter Valley’s rolling vineyards. After a lavish buffet breakfast, farewell this stunning wine country and head for the sandy beaches of Port Stephens. 

On the way, drive 100 kilometres east and take a break at the Nelson Head Lighthouse, where you’ll be greeted with panoramic views over the bay. You can have brunch at the Inner Light Tea Rooms, a heritage-listed building overlooking Shoal Bay. 

A picturesque view of Shoal Bay

Port Stephens is just another 15 minutes up the road, and here you’ll discover why visitors say it is a nature lover’s dream. You’re in Australia’s dolphin watching capital, so why not join a whale watching tour?  Set sail from Port Stephens to enjoy a magical encounter with humpback whales and dolphins. Visit between mid-May and November and on this three-hour cruise to Nelson Bay you can witness the annual whale migration along Australia’s east coast.

Cruises at Port Stephens with panoramic views over the bay

Another option is to wade into the shallows and get up close with marvellous marine life at Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters. The famous shallow encounter will see you dip your feet or venture into waist-deep water to touch and hand feed sharks and rays. Joined by marine experts, you’ll learn about these curious creatures during a personal encounter in the shallows.

Other adventures include exploring giant sand dunes at Stockton Beach in the nearby Worimi Conservation Lands, kayaking through sparkling blue bays and enjoy epic coastal views from Tomaree Head summit.  

Finish the day with a late afternoon swim or snorkel at one of the 26 sandy beaches in the area. Check in to Oaks Port Stephens Pacific Blue Resort and enjoy the sun set over a casual seafood meal while sipping on colourful cocktails. Featuring a huge lagoon-style pool, a heated spa, Japanese steam room and tennis courts, you’ll be spoiled for choice of on-site leisure activities. Book one of the swim out studio rooms for direct access to the pool, or a 2-or-3-bedroom apartment for your own private plunge pool in the courtyard.

After a comfortable night’s sleep, the next morning enjoy a leisurely breakfast then roll out your towel on one of the gorgeous beaches and marvel at the azure waters of the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park.