Discovering the Hunter Valley Gardens
The Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia, is world renowned for its wines - particularly Semillon and Shiraz.
However it is not just home to one of Australia's major wine regions - it's also home to one of the prettiest Gardens I've ever seen - the "Hunter Valley Gardens".
We're not in Sydney anymore!
It was on an early November Spring day that a friend & I drove for a couple of hours from Sydney up to the Hunter Valley to explore this beautiful floral oasis - on the way to the gardens we were able to stop by some vineyards to take photos and I loved seeing the cows & horses along the way!
I've always loved being in the country and around animals as it feels very rejuvenating, especially seeing as I live in Australia's most populous city in Sydney.
Santa is on his way!
One of the main attractions of the Hunter Valley Gardens (apart from the flora) is the annual Christmas decorations display. Every year from early November to late January the Gardens are enchantingly enhanced with customized Christmas decorations that light up in the evening - a perfect place to take children for a visit at this special time of year!
Not only are there Christmas themed decorations - the whole area has various themes and this year I was able to discover the "Storybook" Garden which included a Cinderella display with her castle and pumpkin carriage and all the Alice in Wonderland characters... there's also a "Candy land" complete with mini cupcakes, assorted lollies & gingerbread men as well as a section dedicated to cities around the world including New York, Sydney and Paris with the Eiffel Tower (and snails).
My favourite part of the gardens apart from the beautiful flowers was the rides as I'm a big kid at heart! There is a carousel, ferris wheel and slide to ride on however it was the flying chairs ride that really captivated me - exquisitely decorated with monuments of international cities including Sydney, Paris, London, Rome, New York, Moscow, Venice and other world famous places.
The rides weren't operating the day I visited unfortunately so I'm going to have to return to try them out and to take more photos!
"This is what you came for"
Of course, the main reason for the visit was to see the gardens and although there had been a severe storm through here the night before we weren't disappointed...there are different themed gardens including a sunken garden, Italian grotto, Chinese garden, formal garden, Oriental Garden and among others the masterpiece that is the "Rose garden".
It 's the Rose garden I really enjoyed the most - wandering through this delightful circular heaven there is a myriad of rose varieties and colours and my most favourite photos of the gardens were taken here.
Something for everyone
If you love flowers, gardening, Christmas decorations, fun-park rides or just need to get out of Sydney for a while then I'd really recommend you visit here for a couple of hours. It's the perfect place to bring children as well as throughout the year there are different themed events including an Easter egg hunt, snow-time in July and New Years Eve fireworks.
There is also a shopping centre which is located just outside the gardens as well with restaurants & bespoke shops for you to browse and also ample parking. Whether you're in the area for a wedding, touring the wine region or just need to get away then be sure to stop by the Hunter Valley Gardens!
Their website is: www.huntervalleygardens.com.au