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Hunter Valley Facts & Maps

The Hunter Region, also commonly know as the Hunter Valley, or The Hunter, is a region in the state of New South Wales (NSW) Australia. The Hunter Valley is one of the largest river valleys on the NSW coast, and most commonly know for its wineries, tourism, and coal industry.

Most of the population of the Region lives within 25 km of the coast, with 55% of the entire population live in the cities of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. There are numerous other towns and villages scattered across the eleven local government areas that make up the region. At the 2011 census the combined population of the region was 620,530.

The Hunter Valley is a major tourist destination in NSW and is the 6th most visited place in Australia attracting more than 2.5 million people annually. The Hunter offers visitors a diverse range of destinations in the one region which include:
Newcastle - the second most populated area in New South Wales with its pristine beaches and working harbour.
Lake Macquarie - Australia's largest coastal salt water lake covering 110 square kilometres.
The Vineyards - one of Australia's best known wine regions with over 150 wineries producing internationally award winning wines which are sold around the world.
Port Stephens - boasting a Bay twice the size of Sydney Harbour and Sand Dunes that are the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Lower Hunter - the event and festival capital of the region steeped in Heritage and History.
Barrington Tops - internationally acclaimed Wold Heritage Wilderness area.
Upper Hunter - picturesque Australian country side and home of one of the largest thoroughbred horse breeding areas in the world.

Getting There
The Hunter Valley is just a 2 1/2 hour drive north of Sydney's CBD. Transport services run regular service daily between Sydney and Newcastle and other parts of the region. Newcastle Airport is located just 25 minutes from Newcastle with daily services from Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, and will soon be offering some international flights to and from New Zealand.

The temperature can vary considerably between the coast and inland areas all year. Generally in the winter the temperatures inland are cooler than the coast, but due to the effect of sea breezes on the coast, the temperatures are warmer inland during the summer. Temperatures around the Barrington Tops and other mountain areas can be cooler than other parts of the Hunter due to their elevation.

Summer averages are:
Coastal - 19C (66F) overnight to 25C (77F) daytime
Lower Hunter - 18C (64F) overnight to 30C (86F) daytime
Upper Hunter - 17C (62F) overnight to 32C (90F) daytime

In the Upper Hunter it can reach 42C (108F) at times in the warmer months (November to March). During heatwaves, it is common for the inland to record 3-5 days of temperatures 35C (95F). It is typical on hot summer days for the coast and Lower Hunter to receive a refreshing sea breeze by the afternoon.

Winter averages are:
Coastal - 9C (48F) overnight to 18C (64F) daytime
Lower Hunter - 5C (41F) overnight to 18C (64F) daytime
Upper Hunter - 2C (36F) overnight to 15C (59F) daytime

Snow occurs in the Barrington Tops and some of the other higher mountain areas of the Upper Hunter. It snows on average 2 times a year in the Barrington Tops with the Lower & Upper Hunter areas receiving daily frost during the winter. The coastal areas receive very few, if any at all, frost during the winter.

The average annual rainfall on the coast is 1200mm (47in) and then drops the further you go inland. The Lower Hunter having an average of 900mm (35in), whilst the Upper Hunter has an average of 650mm (26in). The highest rainfall of the region occurs on the Barrington Tops with some of the elevated areas recieving more than 1500mm (60in) per annum.