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Explore Our Top 9 Hunter Valley Suburbs for Home Buyers July 25, 2022

The Hunter Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Australia, with lots to offer tourists and locals alike. If you want to plant your feet in a family-friendly area with lots to see and do, the Hunter Valley won’t disappoint. 

This post explores our top 9 Hunter Valley suburbs for home buyers.

Cessnock

Where else would we start other than the home of Oliver & Co. Conveyancing itself, Cessnock? 

As the largest town within the Hunter Valley region and home to over 63,000 residents, Cessnock ensures that everything you need is at your doorstep. From local wineries and tourist attractions to popular shopping outlets like the Cessnock Village, you’ll find most of the conveniences of a larger town coupled with that good old country charm. 

There is a range of schooling options available within Cessnock or neighbouring suburbs, including the following public and private schools:

Cessnock Public School

Cessnock East Public School

Cessnock West Public School

St Patricks Primary School

Nulkaba Public School

Cessnock High School

Mount View High School.

For families with younger children, you’ll also find a range of daycare options to ensure you find the centre that’s just right for you. 

In Cessnock, a four-bedroom home will likely set you back on average $610,000 compared to Newcastle’s much larger price tags. If renting is your thing, expect to pay around $500 a week for a four-bedder. 

What we love about Cessnock

It’s a thriving community, the locals are welcoming, and it’s central to everything in the Hunter Valley. Sip on your favourite coffee at Quick Bites Cafe or enjoy delicious Thai food at Blue Thai.

Bellbird

Bellbird and Bellbird Heights are thought to be named after a colony of bellbirds that were so loud bullockies could not hear their bullock bells. 

With access to all the benefits of Cessnock and just a short seven-minute drive southwest, you’ll find Bellbird worth a look. If having a local watering hole with tasty pub grub and ice cold drinks is essential, look no further than the Bellbird Hotel. Established in 1914, this new ‘old’ pub features a range of dining options, happy hours, live entertainment and maybe a few ghosts. According to hotel staff, strange things happen during the night, like blankets pulled off guests, the sound of footsteps running across the room and bottles randomly thrown across the room. Don’t believe us? Visit them and ask for yourself.

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Kids will love Carmichael Park’s popular BMX track, shaded playground and picnic facilities. The Bellbird Park State School is centrally located within walking distance of many local families. Home prices for a four-bedroom home in Bellbird are slightly higher than Cessnock, at $652,500, with rentals asking around $550 per week.
Bellbird is a growing hub with plans for a future town centre as part of the Mount View Grange development. Road improvements will improve access to Pokolbin and Mount View High School. You’ll find a new doctor’s surgery opening just this year (taking new patients) and a 24/7 Cold Rock Ice Creamery ready to satisfy your sugary cravings day or night.

What we love about Bellbird

Definitely, the Bellbird Hotel! The chicken schnitzel is drool-worthy, and the $10 lunches are an absolute bargain!

Nulkaba

Only five minutes north of Cessnock, you’ll find the sprawling suburb of Nulkaba, which is home to the Hunter Valley Zoo, Monarchs in the Hunter, Ernest Hill Wines, Hanging Tree Wines and plenty more beautiful wineries to explore. This is one of the more prestigious suburbs in the Hunter Valley, and it’s here you’ll start to feel like you’re living in and experiencing wine country. 

A search on realestate.com.au for homes in Nulkaba shows a mix of opportunities for new builds and existing family estates on larger parcels of land. A short car trip up the road will find Crowne Plaza and Hunter Valley Golf for all you golf enthusiasts. 

This area offers plenty of accommodation options for visiting family and friends. There is also easy access to a range of schools in Nulkaba and across the greater Cessnock LGA, as well as fun activities like the popular Nulkaba Park Run, held every Saturday at St Phillip’s Christian College.

Out of the nine suburbs we’re covering in this post, Nulkaba is the most expensive in terms of property prices. The average house price in Nulkaba is a commanding $1.2 million, which is a staggering 114.3% growth over 12 months. We couldn’t find your average rental prices on either of the big real estate websites, and a quick search for a rental property in the area returned zero results (as of 18/07/2022). We believe this is indicative of the larger homes and estates within the area that are generally owner-occupied and not rentals. 

What we love about Nulkaba

The wineries and a trip to The Mighty for a few sneaky Foghorn Brewery samples or even a tour! Whether you’re keen to get on board a wine tour, explore the cellar doors by car, or you’re looking to settle down on a sprawling estate in wine country – Nulkaba has it all.

Aberdare

South-east of Cessnock, you’ll find the charming village of Aberdare. Like Bellbird, Aberdare is a small centrally-located suburb just 15 minutes from beautiful Hunter Valley wine country, 45 minutes to Newcastle and only two hours to the hustle and bustle of Sydney. It’s in Aberdare that you’ll find Cessnock Public School and High School, as well as Aberdare Preschool.

Image Source: Jasmine Cottage, Aberdare – Airbnb

If you’ve got guests visiting but not enough room at home, you don’t have to look far for suitable accommodation. Check out what’s available through Airbnb, including the quaint Hamptons Style, Jasmine Cottage or ManiCottage @ Hunter Valley.
If a drive around Aberdare makes you curious, you’ll find the property market on par with Bellbird. Average house prices for a four-bedroom in Aberdare are $645,000, but if it’s a smaller-sized rental you’re looking for, a two-bedder is likely to cost you $330 per week.

What we love about Aberdare

A drive through Aberdare never disappoints. We love the tastefully restored charming cottages that add character to the streets. Renovators can also discover the perfect property to add their touch too.

Abermain

Take a 10-minute drive north-east of Cessnock, and you’ll come across Abermain. You’ll find pockets of peace and quiet here with less hustle, but it’s far from a sleepy town.  Residents and tourists alike love frequenting the new local small batch brewery by Abermain Brewing Company, located in the Abermain Hotel
You’ll have access to Cessnock on your left, or Kurri Kurri on your right, for a variety of larger retail stores like Bunnings, Coles and your usual big-name takeaways. There are local schools and childcare options, and the Kurri Kurri Hospital is only a 7-minute car ride away. The new Stockland Greenhills shopping centre is only a hop skip and a jump down the expressway.

The average home in Abermain sells for $545,000, a 45.3% growth in the last 12 months. Rentals are a little cheaper here, averaging around $395 per week.

What we love about Abermain 

Ridgy Didge Pies! With over 30 varieties of beef, chicken, vegetable and gluten-free pies, you’re guaranteed to find something to tickle your taste buds.

Kurri Kurri

Just along the road from Abermain, you’ll find Kurri Kurri – a town named in 1902 by District Surveyor T. Smith, who believed it meant “hurry along” in the language of the local Awabakal Aboriginal people.

As an up-and-coming area of greater Cessnock, there are many reasons why Kurri Kurri is an ideal choice for homebuyers. It’s close to the M15 Hunter Expressway and has centrally located schools, a range of local shopping options and that relaxed, family-friendly feel. 

Kurri Kurri is known for its big Kookaburra and internationally famous murals. The annual Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival sees the township transformed into a bygone 50’s and 60’s era with retro markets, dancing, free entertainment, fashion parades, and more. Local families look forward to this well-known event rolling around each year, and you can’t miss out on the Mullet Fest either!

According to domain.com.au, a family-sized four-bedroom home takes on average 31 days to sell with a median price of $675,000.  65% of residents in this area are owners, with 38% being families. On average, rentals for the same-sized home cost $495 per week. 

Image Source: Trip Advisor

What we love about Kurri Kurri

Locals take great pride in their suburb and even have an IloveKurriKurri Facebook page! There’s a wonderful community spirit here with lots of local activity and only a short drive to other significant areas within the Hunter Valley region. 

Rutherford

What we love about Rutherford

The Braddie (aka The Bradford Hotel) is a favourite within the Hunter Valley region. Parents can enjoy all the usual pub classics or choose a delicious pizza. While enjoying the live entertainment, the little ones will have plenty of fun in the wild jungle outdoor playground. And yes, they do kid’s parties! Claiming to turn your next night out from ‘meh’ to ‘hell yeah!’, Dullboys is also a popular choice. 

In Rutherford, you’ll find homemaker centres Home + Life Rutherford and Rutherford Homemaker Centre with the likes of  Spotlight, Harvey Norman, BCF, Pillow Talk, Amart, Fantastic Furniture, Baby Bunting and Officeworks. There are also good local employment opportunities in the light industrial area.

East Maitland

We’ve already mentioned the Green Hills Shopping Centre, which you’ll find down the road from Rutherford in East Maitland. This area of the Hunter Valley has a lot going for it, especially if you’re an architecture buff or appreciate modern contemporary homes or those beautiful heritage properties. East Maitland is well placed between the Hunter Valley wineries and only a 35-minute drive to the Newcastle beaches, which is perfect for those hot summer days. 


According to local Stephen Durrheim, East Maitland is a ‘booming town and a fantastic place to live’. Obviously, Cessnock is our favourite Hunter Valley Town, but if we had to choose a plan B, we’d agree with Stephen. You’ll find both the East Maitland Railway Station and the heritage-listed Victoria Street Station, offering an easier commute option to Maitland or Newcastle. There’s also no shortage of educational opportunities with several schools in East Maitland like East Maitland Public School, Maitland Grossmann High School, St Josephs Primary School and Maitland High School. Of course, Maitland is only a hop, skip and a jump away, so you’ve got a whole range of schools to choose from.

Four-bedroom homes in East Maitland fetch around $770,000 and rent for about $580. The increase in pricing from the previous suburbs is no surprise given the extra infrastructure, facilities and closer proximity to Newcastle. 

What we love about East Maitland

The Green Hills Shopping Centre is a perfect day out for Cessnock locals. Catch a movie, shop until you drop or chat over a coffee at popular cafes. If dining is a favourite past-time, Dukes Restaurant and Bar has a self-proclaimed menu that strikes the perfect balance between simplicity and sophistication.

Cameron Park

If you’re not looking for a country vibe and prefer living closer to the big smoke, check out Cameron Park. This modern area is sought-after by families, which is no surprise given the choices regarding schooling, amenities and health facilities. A big bonus is that you’ve got the Hunter Valley wineries in one direction and the other, a 30-minute drive to popular Nobby’s Beach or Newcastle Beach. 

If getting outdoors with the family is a favourite activity, kiddies will love exploring the all-inclusive park at the Pasterfield Sports Centre, bike paths, BMX track, walking trails and outdoor exercise equipment. 
It’s no surprise that property prices in this popular area are generally higher than what you’ll find in most regional areas of the Hunter Valley. An average three-bedder in Cameron Park will set you back around $767,000, while your average four-bedroom home is closer to $885,000. Rentals are also considerably more expensive, with a median rental price of $610 per week.

What we love about Cameron Park

Beaches are on your doorstep! Pack the kids and a picnic, and within 30 mins, you could be sitting on the beach destressing after a hectic week. Residents love how family-friendly and modern this suburb is, with streets lined with safe footpaths, plenty of recreational activities and reputable schools.

Work, live and play in the Hunter Valley, NSW

Hunter Valley is a popular choice for home buyers who enjoy the best of both worlds. Everything you need is on your doorstep, from visiting the beaches around Lake Macquarie and Newcastle to the picturesque countryside and wine region. Housing is generally affordable, traffic is not too intense, and there are plenty of activities to keep people and families entertained. 

If you’re thinking about finding your next home in the Hunter Valley, we’d love to hear from you. Working with a conveyancer from the moment you start househunting ensures you understand the home buying process and makes your journey as smooth as possible. As Cessnock and Hunter Valley locals, there’s no one better to talk to for all the local insights.
Book your free 15-minute consultation by calling (02) 4056 1070 or fill out our online conveyancing quote form. It’s that easy!

Oliver & Co. Conveyancing - Tayla Oliver

Hi there! I'm Tayla Oliver

I founded Oliver & Co. Conveyancing to educate and support you through the buying and selling process with affordable, full-service conveyancing services. You can count on our experienced and friendly team to look after your best interests, all the way from ‘just looking’ to settlement and beyond. 

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