Newcastle, Pokolbin & Hunter Valley
The Hunter Valley is home to dozens of wineries; and while it is wine that constitutes the area's main attraction, the Hunter is also a very pretty region, with plenty of forest and grazing land, and soft rolling hills (albeit in an Australian palette of browns and burnt greens rather than the rich greens of Ireland or England).
At the foot of the Hunter is the great industrial town of Newcastle, famed for its trade in coal, steel and many other commodities. While there is still plenty of industry in Newcastle, its days as a Steel town ended in 1999, when BHP pulled out of town. Nowadays, the town is trying to reposition itself as a youthful and creative city with arts festivals and the excellent Newcastle University to the fore.
Heading inland there are a couple of other small cities and towns, most notably Maitland and Cessnock, both of which make good bases to the area. Heading further West, there is a particular concentration of wineries around the Pokolbin area, including massive internationally distributed wineries such as Rosemount and Lindemans, both of whom maintain cellar doors in the region, alongside smaller boutique wine makers like Littles Wines and Audrey Wilkinson Winery.