Your guide to biking around wine country
Cycling, biking, riding, cruising. Whatever you call it, there’s nothing quite like hiring a bicycle to explore the Hunter Valley and inject a bit of fun into your wine country adventure.
Whether you’re keen to get the blood (and endorphins) pumping or you're just after a new way to taste and tour, hiring a bike is easy and affordable to wine and dine your way around the Hunter Valley.
There are a few things to consider before you get pedalling though. Read on for our top tips on where to hire a bike and the best places to ride in the Hunter Valley.
Bike hire options
To pedal or not to pedal? Seriously, that’s the choice here!
If you plan on visiting a few cellar doors or traversing longer distances, an electric bike could be your best bet.
Electric bikes are a great option as they give you the freedom to pedal or to kick back on hilly terrain – great for when you’re feeling a bit tired at the end of a long day’s tasting.
Electric bikes can take a bit of getting used to if you haven't tried them before, but they can certainly get you from A to B a lot quicker.
Grapemobile Bicycle Hire and Tours on Palmer’s Lane in Pokolbin have electric bikes for hire. The gregarious Glen takes you through how to operate them and kits you out with your helmet before he lets you loose.
Sutton Estate Electric Bike Hire and Adventure Centre Hunter Valley have bikes for hire too, and hotels like Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort and Chateau Elan have bikes for hire from Hunter Valley Bike Hire.
If you prefer old school pedal power, then it’s a mountain bike or cruiser for you. These gems can be hired from a number of operators in the Valley including Grapemobile Bicycle Hire, Hunter Valley Cycling, and Hunter Valley Bicycle Tours and Rentals.
Some of these companies even provide a delivery and pick-up service so you can kick-start your cycling adventure from your accommodation or wherever you please in the local vineyard area. It's best to check in with them to see what your options are.
And don’t stress if you want to make some purchases along the way – many of the bikes have baskets attached!
Even better, if you plan on picking up more than a couple of goodies on your travels, Grapemobile Bicycle Hire allows you to buy your wine and have it delivered back to its HQ, ready to go home with you.
So, you’ve selected a bike. Now it’s time to figure out where in the Hunter you want to explore. Here are some options.
Around Hermitage Cycleway
Running from the beginning of Broke Road in Pokolbin to the New England Highway, the Around Hermitage Cycleway is a cool and safe place to ride in the Valley. The dedicated cycleway runs past many boutique cellar doors, such as Thomas Wines, Glandore Estate Wines, and Jac & Jones.
The stretch is also home to two breweries, Hunter Distillery and plenty of other lovely spots to explore. There’s no shortage of great places to eat here too including some of our favourites like Restaurant Botanica, Yellow Billy, and Muse Kitchen.
Palmers Lane Wine Eco Trail
This riding trail may be less well known than Around Hermitage but it’s no less enchanting. As the name suggests, the Palmers Lane Wine Eco Trail traverses the picturesque Palmers Lane in Pokolbin, visiting six wineries, some of which offer produce, lunch, and grazing plates.
The Lane itself is around 5km long and has a host of accommodation cottages and retreats, plus with Grapemobile Bicycle Hire on the lane, you can hire your bike and be on your merry way.
Tour de Lovedale
If you're not making it on the Tour de France anytime soon, then the Tour de Lovedale is the next best thing. Taking in Wilderness Road, Lovedale Road, and Wine Country Drive, this route is a great way to explore the plentiful cellar doors and eateries in Lovedale.