Spring is a wonderful time to visit the bucolic surrounds of the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales. The lush greenery and warm, sunny days make for the ideal conditions to sample your way around one of Australia’s most renowned wine countries. And the perfect mode of transport to view the rolling green fields and rustic vineyards? By hot air balloon, of course. Rise early to take in the still crisp air and sights of this beautiful pocket of Australia.

But really, any time of the year is a great time to take some time out in the Hunter Valley with each season indulging the senses. Eating and drinking is a major drawcard with no less than 78 wineries offering cellar door tastings and some providing wine tours and schools for oenophiles. Cheese shops and regional produce stores offer the perfect complement to the region’s famous wines, and there are also boutique breweries and liqueur distilleries for something different.

When it’s time to turn in for the night, accommodation in the Hunter Valley ranges from cozy country pubs and B&Bs to 5-star hotels and boutique offerings. Settle in by the fire in winter, book a romantic break overlooking the vineyards in spring, or luxuriate in spa surrounds in the summer months. The Hunter Valley really is a year-round destination.