NSW Explorer ... Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains

Discover wines, vines, gourmet produce and spectacular vistas on our tour to New South Wales featuring the Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains, Mudgee and Armidale. Embrace the Christmas spirit and be dazzled with sparkling lights, immersive displays and delightful entertainment at the annual Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular.

11 Day Tour

Monday 28 November - Thursday 8 December 2022

Tour Cost (GST inclusive):
$4,275 per person twin share
$1,095 single supplement


  • Guided town tour of Nambucca Heads
  • Guided tour and lunch at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre
  • Entry, train tour and Christmas Lights entry at Hunter Valley Gardens
  • Tasting at McGuigan Wines
  • Tasting at Hunter Valley Cheese Company
  • Dinner at Harrigan’s Irish Pub
  • Lunch and tour of Denman area with Upper Hunter Tours
  • Guided tour and lunch at Mulla Villa Farm
  • Ultimate Discovery Pass at Scenic World
  • Lunch at the Carrington Hotel
  • Entry to Small Arms Factory Museum
  • Lunch and tasting at Mudgee Brewing Co
  • Guided tour of Mudgee
  • Guided tour, morning tea and lunch at Gooree Park Stud
  • Tasting at Mudgee Honey Haven
  • Guided tour and tasting at Baker Williams Distillery
  • Entry to Wax Museum and lunch at the Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre
  • Guided town tour of Armidale
  • Guided tour and lunch at Saumarez Homestead

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: (D)

Brisbane to Nambucca Heads

Mon 28 Nov 22

Welcome to our tour to New South Wales featuring the dazzling Hunter Valley Garden Lights Spectacular, stunning Blue Mountains and charming towns of Mudgee and Armidale. After our morning pickups, we travel south on the Pacific Motorway through the Tweed and Clarence Valleys.  We stop to stretch our legs in Coffs Harbour for our afternoon stop before travelling to Nambucca Heads. The town sits at the mouth of the river, with its sparkling estuary being home to playful dolphins.

Lunch at own expense | Dinner at the hotel

Day 2 : (BLD)

Nambucca Heads to Hunter Valley

Tue 29 Nov 22

This morning we are joined on the coach by a local expert who will share some interesting stories of life in Nambucca Heads. Our drive then takes us to Port Macquarie where lunch is at the splendid Sea Acres Rainforest Park, comprising of 72 hectares of rare coastal rainforest. This afternoon we express though to Maitland for our two-night stay. We have time to freshen up before dinner in the motel’s restaurant.

Breakfast and dinner at the hotel | Lunch Sea Acres

Day 3: (BD)

Hunter Valley Gardens

Wed 30 Nov 22

Discover the sensational sights, colours and fragrances of the stunning Hunter Valley Gardens. Explore over 25 hectares of spectacular flowers, trees and shrubs. Take in the views from the lookout, rest above the waterfall in the Sunken Garden or step back in time with your favourite characters in the Storybook Garden. Of course, no visit to the Hunter Valley would be complete without a wine tasting, which we enjoy at McGuigan’s before a visit to the Hunter Valley Cheese Company to taste some delightful samples. We have dinner at Harrigan’s Irish Pub before our evening out at the magical Christmas Lights Spectacular. Wander through a magical wonderland of twinkling illumination and remarkable displays. The lights spectacular is bound to capture the spirit of Christmas!

Breakfast at the hotel | Lunch at own expense | Dinner at Harrigan’s Irish Pub

Day 4: (BLD)

Upper Hunter Valley

Thu 1 Dec 22

Our sightseeing today takes us to the Upper Hunter region where we meet our wonderful local guide. Our first stop, Darley Stud is a magnificent operation with animals and scenery that will be long remembered. Darley (Woodlands) is owned by Sheik Mohammed from Dubai, the largest breeder of thoroughbreds in the world. We stop for lunch in Denman, before visiting some local enterprises and enjoying a delightful wine tasting.

Breakfast and dinner at the hotel | Lunch included           

Day 5: (BLD)

Hunter Valley to Blue Mountains

Fri 2 Dec 22

Tucked away in the mystical Wollombi Valley is Mulla Villa, a beautiful property dating back to the 1800s. Here we learn about the local history of the convict-built house, on a tour followed by lunch. We also have some time to appreciate the area and the resident animals that live in the paddocks. This afternoon we continue to Lithgow, in the gorgeous Blue Mountains.

Breakfast and dinner at the hotel | Lunch at Mulla Villa Farm      

Day 6: (BLD)

Blue Mountains

Sat 3 Dec 22

Marvel at the spectacular vistas and sensational views from Govetts Leap Lookout and Echo Point. After some fantastic photo opportunities, we head to Scenic World where we’ll immerse ourselves in the stunning cliffs, waterfalls and forests. Experience the wonders of the area with a ride of the Railway taking us into the depths of the Jamison Valley, journey to the forest floor on the Cableway and jump aboard the Skyway and travel high over the canyon for superb views of the Three Sisters and Beyond. Following a morning in the outdoors, we are ready for our delicious lunch at the beautiful heritage listed Carrington Hotel, featuring understated elegance and a warm ambience.

Breakfast and dinner at the hotel | Lunch at the Carrington Hotel

Day 7: (BLD)

Blue Mountains to Mudgee

Sun 4 Dec 22

Be prepared for a fascinating visit to the Small Arms Factory Museum this morning. Formed to celebrate the history of the Small Arms Factory and its achievements, it tells the story of British influence and the endurance of social hardships. Showcasing Australian manufacturing, it houses a comprehensive collection of experimental weapons. In later years, it also made sewing machines, sheep shearing handsets, handcuffs and other commercial items. We make our way to Mudgee for lunch at Mudgee Brewing Co. Taste their unique beers and be amazed at this excellent venue as we enjoy a delicious meal together. We are given a warm introduction to this idyllic town nestled within a soft, green valley, with a local guide before checking into our hotel.

Breakfast and dinner at the hotel | Lunch at Mudgee Brewing Co.

Day 8: (BD)


Mon 5 Dec 22

Heading out of town we visit Gooree Park. This historic and picturesque property has the enviable reputation of being one of the country’s leading thoroughbred breeding grounds. Enjoy morning tea before our host leads the way as we explore the park. Back in town we stop at Mudgee Honey Haven to taste some local honey and mead – you may also like to purchase some of your favourites. Our final stop for the day is at the Baker Williams Distillery, where they make handcrafted spirits and liqueurs focusing on regional flavours and influences. We are taken on a tour to see the distillation process followed by some time to taste test. The rest of our afternoon is at leisure.

Breakfast and dinner at the hotel | Lunch at own expense

Day 9: (BLD)

Mudgee to Armidale

Tue 6 Dec 22

We hit the road and travel to Tamworth where we stop at the Big Golden Guitar for a group photo opportunity before entering The Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre, a tribute to Tamworth’s rich music heritage. Make sure you get the full experience by visiting the National Guitar Museum and the Gallery of the Stars Wax Museum, both located inside the centre, where we will enjoy lunch. Late afternoon we arrive in Armidale in the New England High Country. Home to colonial buildings and tree lined streets, the elegant town is our home for our final two nights on tour.

Breakfast and dinner at the hotel | Lunch in Tamworth

Day 10: (BLD)


Wed 7 Dec 22

Exploring Armidale today, we are joined by a local expert who will showcase the gorgeous town. Our tour also includes a visit to the University of New England. The campus has many charming buildings, but none are more beautiful than the historic mansion, Booloominbah. In the countryside, just outside of town, sits Saumarez Homestead, a stunning Edwardian mansion. With most of its original furnishings still intact, the homestead gives us an authentic glimpse of 19th century family life on the land. After our guided tour we’ll enjoy a delicious lunch and stroll in the old-fashioned gardens.

Breakfast and dinner at the hotel | Lunch at Saumarez Homestead

Day 11: (B)

Armidale to Brisbane

Thu 8 Dec 22

We depart Armidale and continue north to Glen Innes, known fondly as “the land of the Beardies”. Settled by Scotts, the town regards itself as the heart of the New England Highlands and some of the street signs are bilingual so keep a lookout. From here we travel to Tenterfield, referred to as the birthplace of the nation. It was here that Sir Henry Parkes made his famous speech which set in motion a popular movement resulting in the federation of Australia. From Tenterfield we cross the border back into Queensland and make our way through Warwick to Brisbane. We’ll say goodbye to our new friends but take incredible memories with us from our NSW adventure.