Edited by: Ella Holgate
Looking to escape the buzz of the city for the weekend but don’t want to leave your dog with a pet sitter? How about a visit to dog friendly Hunter Valley? Yes, that’s right. There is plenty of great dog friendly accommodation to choose from, dog friendly wineries to explore and dog friendly cafes / restaurants to dine in. We have put together the ultimate guide to a dog friendly Hunter Valley holiday to inspire your next visit to this stunningly beautiful wine region, located just 2.5 hours away from Sydney.
Check out also our other Dog Friendly Guides for further inspiration:
Dog Friendly Accommodation in Hunter Valley
As dog owners ourselves, we know finding a dog friendly accommodation can be a daunting task. We have personally talked to the management of each accommodation listed on Pupsy and therefore can guarantee your pooch will always be warmly welcomed to each one of them.
We have handpicked the best dog friendly places to stay in the Hunter Valley, including various types of accommodation from private homes to winery stays and hotels.
Déjà vu Estate is a well equipped, self-contained villa in the heart of the Hunter Valley. Amenities include a king sized bed, gourmet kitchen, fireplace, free WiFi and a heated outdoor spa.
Tara Lee is an air-conditioned holiday home with a bbq, pool and private garden. It is located in Cessnock, only a short drive away from the Hunter Valley wineries.
Thirsty Palette Wines is a tiny boutique winery / art house that also offers dog friendly accommodation. A fenced garden encloses the premises, providing your pup with a secure space to sniff around and play. You can also book an art retreat guided by the residence artist.
Estate Tuscany is a dog friendly estate with a pool, restaurant and cellar door. Five rooms out of 38 are dog friendly, and dog friendly dining options are available on the estate. Estate Tuscany also offers pet sitting, which is perfect if you would like to enjoy a fine dining experience in the valley.
Tonic Hotel is located north of Lovedale and has a shared pool and lounge facilities. All the rooms are air-conditioned and come with free WiFi. Dogs of all kinds are welcome to the hotel for no extra fee.
Rothbury Escape is set on 20 acres of beautiful gardens. It offers free continental breakfast and a guest lounge with a fireplace. Upon arrival, guests receive a free bottle of wine, as well as cheese and crackers. The property also offers a barbecue area and a shared kitchen.
Misty Glen Wines is a cellar door also offering dog friendly stays. Their furry residents, Chardonnay & Semillon, are local celebrities after having featured in a Wine Dogs Australia book. Owners Eric & Vicci are sometimes able to offer pet sitting services in case you are visiting some non-dog friendly venues in the valley.
Find the full list of dog friendly accommodations here!
Dog Friendly Wineries
Now that we have dog friendly accommodation sorted, it’s time to look at cellar doors that welcome our extended family for delicious tasting sessions (two legs – wine tasting, four legs – H2O tasting). We have some great news to share! Nowadays, there are plenty to choose from.
Based on rating high on dog friendliness, location and wines, here’s our pick for the ones not to be missed.
Pepper Tree Wines offers a unique Hunter Valley experience with stunning surroundings and beautiful wines. Wine dog Spence is always ready to welcome new visitors. Pepper Tree is the host of the annual Pooch Picnic.
Margan Wines is located in Broke, a bit further out from the centre of Hunter Valley action, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The winery features a dog friendly restaurant and is very popular wedding venue.
Capercaillie Wines is one of the most dog friendly wineries in the region, located in the beginning of Lovedale Road. Responsible dog owners in good control of their dogs can even have their pups off the lead (ask the venue first).
Hanging Tree Wines welcomes dogs to have a little play with their wine dogs Vodka & Muscat (golden labradors). Built in an old cow shed, Hanging Tree has a very rustic feel to it. Their focus is on Hunter classics: Shiraz, Chardonnay, Semillion and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Stomp! Wines is a tiny family winery with a unique twist, crafting astonishing items (even dog beds) out of recycled wine barrels. The owners and their wine dog Kimba will greet you on arrival.
Lucy’s Run Wines is not an ordinary dog friendly winery. They even have a dedicated range, Woof Woof Wines, for our furry friends. Pet Rescue receives 10% of all the profits from the Woof Woof range.
Find the full list of all dog friendly wineries in the Hunter Valley here!
Dog Friendly Restaurants
As a dog owner, one of the most complicated parts of any travel with your pup is knowing where to eat without leaving your furriest family member tied to a tree or a post outside the venue. Yet again, the Hunter Valley doesn’t disappoint. We talked to and/or visited most of the venues in the area and can thoroughly recommend the following places to visit with your dog, all of which offer a great range of choices (especially for breakfast and lunch) for you to enjoy with your pup relaxing at your feet.
Bistro Molines is owned and run by the godfather of dining in Hunter Valley, Robert Molines. You can enjoy a delicious French style lunch in the courtyard, taking in the fresh air and stunning views with your pup by your side.
Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen is all about organics, from food to beer and wine. Located south of Pokolbin, the family-run restaurant offers a nice relaxing break from your wine tasting tour.
The Deck Café Lovedale is a lovely restaurant style dog friendly cafe. A verandah overlooking the dam provides protection from both rain and sun. Chill out with your pooch over brekkie or lunch. If your dog is a big swimmer, don’t forget to ask if he/she can have a quick dip into the dam
The Cellar is located a short stroll away from the Hunter Valley Gardens. Their Mediterranean-inspired menu has something for everyone and your pup is welcome to join you in the outside seating area.
Matilda Bay Brewhouse offers beer lovers a break from all that wine. An impressive list of local brews is available on tap and their Italian style menu has plenty to offer, from snacks to proper mains. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor area, which is protected from the sun by big sails.
In our opinion the best way to enjoy Hunter Valley in the evenings is to relax at your accommodation with some local deli platters (or BBQ) and of course some delicious Hunter wines with the entire family. If however, you want to pamper yourself with a culinary experience, a great option is to stay at the Estate Tuscany or Misty Glen Wines and make use of their in house pet sitting service. Alternatively you can find trusted pet sitters in the area through Mad Paws.
In case of emergencies…
… No probs. Rest assured, Hunter Valley has an excellent vet services covering everything from upset stomach or rashes to laboratory and surgical services. Although we hope you will not need this list, it is always handy to have the local vet details close to you when travelling.
That’s it, you are all set. Hopefully we have inspired you enough to make your next visit to the iconic Hunter Region a tiny little bit furrier.
Discover other dog friendly destinations, places and services on Pupsy!