It ain’t all sipping old merlot and spitting into wooden buckets. Take note: the Hunter is now hip! Here’s our under-30s guide to the Hunter Valley, including all the best things you didn’t know were available to you in Sydney’s satellite locale. Think music festivals, skydiving, go karting and cute animals!

MUSIC FESTIVALS

Music in the Hunter Valley doesn’t have to be all acoustic sets with 40,000 people, listening to old hits written 65+ years ago by rock legends from overseas. Forget the picnic blankets, leave the foie gras at home. The Hunter has new and exciting festivals, with food trucks, craft beer and contemporary cool lineups.

For your consideration, FKA Festival is leading the charge when it comes to this youthful injection of music and colour, with a lineup featuring Kingswood, Luca Brasi, Ali Barter and The Jungle Giants. You can camp or stay in hotels, depending on your level of millennial-fanciness. There are also three ticketing levels, so if you totally can’t stand slumming it, you can upgrade yourself to special viewing platforms and private bathrooms. Baller!

FKA Festival is happening at Hope Estate Winery on the 13th October, so head here for full lineup and tickets.

Collage of artists playing at FKA Festival by Georgia Moloney

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SKYDIVING

When the landscape is all softly rolling hills, expanses of plush grass dotted with fluffy farm animals and tidy rows of aging vineyards, the best thing to do is to fly up in a plane and hurtle towards the scenic vision below at a terminal velocity of 200km/h, right?

There are a bunch of places to book Skydiving on the web but this place seems to have no ‘my parachute didn’t open’ reviews.

GO KARTING

The other day I watched a video of a comedian talking about having OCD and all through the clip he kept telling ITSA ME! MARIO! And now all I want to do is be soothed by driving a teeny tiny car really fast in circles with all my friends screaming into my helmet ITS A ME MARIO

ALPACAS

The Hunter is a good place for cute fluffy animal sightings in general, especially if you’re a cubicle warrior stuck in Sydney working a 9 to 5 where your main animal contact is staring at other people’s dogs in the park. In the Hunter you can go do a farmstay and lay back watching majestic alpacas glide around your cabin like you’re a true earth human, connected to nature, living in harmony with beasts, and it’s the most natural thing ever.

NATURAL WINE

Have you heard of the new wave of wine? Natural wine is wine that is fermented naturally, without intervention from chemicals and additives. The descriptors for these ancient fermentation techniques are fascinating to learn about, much more interesting than sipping boring old basic merlot. Have you heard of a fermentation process called ‘skin contact’? Sexy huh?!

These wines are back to basics baby and this is wine that is, believe it or not, actually pretty good for you, while still being a party-party-booze time! Natural wine also tastes weird and wonderful! Think sour cider or a very delicious kombucha, or as one sommelier described it to me, ladies knickers!

For some of these delicious flavours head to Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard or Harkam Winery in Pokolbin

MORPETH

We have a writer in the office who grew up in Morpeth and he calls it ‘The Stars Hollow of NSW,’ claiming that his, ‘childhood was The Gilmore Girls.’ I have to admit I haven’t been to Morpeth and I am sad about it! The Visit NSW website says Morpeth has, ahem, a museum (boring) but just outside of town theres a giant ugg boot statue (swag) you can go take instagrams in front of. This is a very under thirties activity, non? Also my friend, ex-Morpeth local, says the town is overrun with both thrift stores and teddy bear stores. And who doesn’t love the Gilmore Girls?

Photo by Beau Nixon

 

FKA Festival is taking place in Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley on the 13th of October, and tickets are on sale now via Moshtix.