We love roadtripping up to Hunter Valley Gardens and really, there is no better time than spring to enjoy how amazing this place really is. The flowers are in full bloom, the sun is shining on you as you explore every beautiful area of the gardens (we are big fans of pretending to drink tea at the Mad Hatter’s table in the Storybook Garden), and Amaze & Play in the Gardens is back this year to delight your littles.

If you were lucky enough to head along to Amaze & Play in the Gardens last year when it was a brand-new event, you’ll know this is a spring event not to miss. These school holidays, Hunter Valley Gardens will be transformed into an epic adventure playground! There will be a giant spring maze, an inflatable obstacle course, bubble zone, face painting, roving entertainers, rides and more to check out. We’re also really excited because our beloved Storybook Garden is set to become a fairy and gnome wonderland with bright birdhouses, potter colour displays and hanging baskets. Don’t forget to pack your kids’ fairy, unicorn, elf and dragon costumes to take some magical photos!

Below, we share everything you need to know about this fantastic school holiday event. Add it your school holiday ‘must-do’ list right now. And when you’re there? Don’t forget to tell them Playing in Puddles sent you.

Take a Walk Through the Fairy & Gnome Garden

If you’re looking for fun ways to spend time with the kids these school holidays, Amaze & Play in the Gardens should be top of your list. Our families love exploring the gardens (with a trusty map in hand – sometimes upside down!) and finding new things to ooh and ahh over. You’ll find gorgeous spring installations as you meander through the gardens. As mentioned, the Storybook Garden will be sprinkled with even more magic and there will be fairies and gnomes for the kids to spot, on top of the already classic nursery rhyme and book characters who make this part of Hunter Valley Gardens so special. Don’t forget to have a family photo with Humpty Dumpty when you find him!

Tackle the GIANT Maze and Inflatable Obstacle Course

Perfect for puzzle lovers, gamers and adventurers, the giant spring maze will have you finding your way through over 400 metres of twisted pathways searching for hidden animals. Expect your sense of direction to be challenged and lots of laughs as you keep running into dead ends!

Once you’ve untangled yourselves from the maze, jump on over to the inflatable obstacle course where you and the kids can crawl, scramble, balance and slide your way through a bunch of fun challenges. The kids will want to do this one over and over again so make sure you set aside enough time for repeat visits.

What about the tiny tots? Hunter Valley Gardens have thought of everything. There are also junior jumping castle so minis can enjoy bouncing in peace away from the bigger kids. Phew!

Rides at Hunter Valley Gardens

Does your family adore rides? You’re in luck, because Hunter Valley Gardens’ favourite rides will be running these school holidays.

There will be a:

  • Swing Chair
  • Ferris Wheel – this one is 25 metres tall and gives you the most amazing view of Hunter Valley Gardens from the top!
  • Superslide
  • Carousel
  • Tea Cup Ride

Hot tip: Finish up your time here and burn off the last of the kids’ energy before the drive home.

Other Things Not to Miss

Be sure to head along to the bubble zone to see how many you can pop! Also keep your eyes peeled for the creative zone and face painting in the event area, the colourful totem poles on the ferris wheel path (decorated by local primary school students), and the wheelbarrows in the rose garden.

Need somewhere to take a quick breather? A quiet zone will be set up in the igloo marquee.

The gardens will also be in full bloom so be sure to stop and smell the roses (and other beautiful flowers) along the way. There are 10 stunning gardens across 14 acres to enjoy here!

Food and Drinks Will Be Available Onsite

If just reading about all these action-packed activities has made you hungry, just think about the appetite you’ll work up on the day! Thankfully, a range of food and beverage options, including the Garden Terrace Café and the Hunter Valley Gardens food stall will be open 10am-3pm every day of the event.

Amaze & Play in the Gardens

Keen to get along to Amaze & Play in the Gardens during the spring holidays? Check the following details, find a date that suits then book your tickets by clicking the button below.

When: Saturday 23 September – Sunday 8 October | Amaze & Play activities run from 10am – 3pm. The Gardens will be open from 9am–5pm with last entry at 4.30pm. Rides are open between 10am–3pm.
Where: The Hunter Valley Gardens, 2090 Broke Road, Pokolbin.
Age group: All ages.
Entry costs: Family Pass (2 Adults + 2 Children) $116, Family Pass (2 Adults + 1 Child) $94, Adult (16+) $38, Child (4-15) $28, Additional Child with Family Ticket $27, Children aged 3 and under are free.
Ride costs: $6 per ride, or you can purchase a bonus six ticket pass for $30. Ride tickets can be purchased at the rides booth located in the event area. Height and age restrictions apply.
Contact: 02 4998 4000, www.huntervalleygardens.com.au

Header Image: Provided by Hunter Valley Gardens

To discover more about what’s happening on the Central Coast and surrounds these spring school holidays, visit our school holidays feature.



Louise spent a decade in the publishing industry writing for children and was the editor of K-Zone magazine prior to moving to the Central Coast in 2018. These days you’ll find her wrangling her toddler at playgrounds all over the Coast, and creating content from a cosy corner in her living room.