The Hunter region, known to most as the Hunter Valley was discovered in 1797 by Lieutenant John Shortland who at the time had been scouting the area for escaped convicts. One could imagine it would have been hard to keep up the chase with the scenic vista of the Hunter River Valley opening up in front of you. Whether or not Lt. Shortland found his convicts we may never know, but he had definitely found one of the most beautiful areas of Australia.
Since that time lots has happened in the Hunter region. In the early 1800’s the first road into the valley was built by convicts and people flooded in to take advantage of the coal, agriculture and beautiful scenery. Originally steam boats, the coal to power them and the lumber they carried were the mainstay of the region’s economy. The 1820’s saw the arrival of the first European grape vines and today most people relate the Hunter Valley with the production of Australia’s finest wines.
With 150 vineyards, loads of historical locations, beautiful rivers, 6 national parks and picturesque scenery it is not hard to see why the Hunter Region is the 6th most visited place in Australia.