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  Where to Stay >> Hotel Report: Kirkton Park Hunter Valley


The Hunter Valley may be known for its wine tourism, but there is also plenty for families to experience, especially if they are staying at the chic and luxurious Kirkton Park.

WORDS Snezana Belevska-Bennell PHOTOS Dave Bennell

THE LOCATION Kirkton Park is located in the picturesque village of Pokolbin, the heart of the Hunter Valley. Close to many of the region’s best wineries and attractions, it is only two hours from Sydney and less than 45 minutes from Newcastle.

THE STYLE Setting a new standard in the hotels you’ll find in the Hunter Valley region, Kirkton Park has been transformed from a quaint country manor to an opulent boutique hotel. The interior public spaces and all of its 70 guest rooms are all the result of the perfect marriage between contemporary elegance and country home charm.

KID-CENTRIC Absolutely. Wide, open spaces, expansive grounds and spacious rooms offer little ones plenty of place to run around. Kids also have lots of activities to choose from: cooking classes, farm animal feeding, tennis, basketball and, of course, the elegant Pool House. For times when they just want to stay inside, an Xbox and paid Wi-Fi provide hours of entertainment.

THE ROOMS Luxurious and spacious, the rooms have timber verandahs that offer uninterrupted views of Pokolbin Valley or the rose gardens. Some rooms have two queen beds, interconnecting suites and even a sofa bed, perfect for large families or groups. Bold colours, rich fabrics and an abundance of natural light enhance the sophisticated feel of the rooms, as do modern furnishings from Greg Natale’s Hudson collection.


EATING Locavore Dining is Kirkton Park’s fine dining restaurant, set in modern and elegant surroundings that echo the cobalt and monochrome colour palette you’ll find throughout the building’s interior. The paddock-to-plate experience makes use of its own homegrown and local produce to create delectable dishes that kids and adults alike are sure to enjoy.

Epoch Lounge Bar serves kid-friendly dishes from burgers to pizzas that the little ones can help make themselves in an outdoor wood-fire oven.

Ideal for a relaxed breakfast for the whole family, the Conservatory provides excellent views of the rose gardens and water fountain.

HUNTER VALLEY FOR FAMILIES Animal-lovers will have a wonderful time at the Hunter Valley Zoo, while Hunter Valley Gardens offers 24 hectares of exploration. Kids will especially love the Storybook Garden. The region also has plenty of familyfriendly vineyards such as Keith Tulloch Wine with its resident artisan chocolate shop, Cocoa Nib, and Dark Horse, a boutique equestrian-themed cellar door with plenty of space for the kids to run free and feed the horses while adults enjoy wine tasting and shopping. For the more adventurous, Balloon Aloft offers a high-flying experience that the whole family will enjoy. Another way to explore the Hunter by air is to take a chopper with Skyline Aviation.

This article appeared in volume 9 of Five Star Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.

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