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  • Liane Morris

SNOW TIME IN THE GARDEN | Frosty Fun for Everyone

Winter has come! And for families all across the Hunter, this means just one thing - it’s Snow Time in the Garden. Every year since 2012 (excluding 2020), Hunter Valley Gardens has created the coolest family event, bringing the snow to our region and all the fun activities associated with this freezing, powdery delight.


There’s no need to travel all the way to the NSW snowfields when Snow Time in the Garden is available on our doorstep, and nothing could be more beautiful than playing in the snow on one of our wintery sunny days with the children in your life. This year also marks the 10th Anniversary of what has become the Hunter’s most anticipated School Holidays event – so there’s plenty to get excited about.

Last year saw the introduction of a brand-new snowmaking machine that pumped out finer, more realistic snow in greater amounts than ever before. The snow was made by shaving ice for the Snow Play Zone in the past, but now the snow is as good as the real thing. And there will be heaps of it!

The event runs from Saturday 25 June until Sunday 24 July and is a wonderful way to use your Dine and Discover vouchers (valid until 30 June 2022 – so get in quick!) Vouchers can be redeemed online (both Discover and Parent vouchers) and some of the food vendors will be accepting the Dine vouchers.

Hunter Valley Gardens will be transformed into a magical ice adventure playground full of fun and frosty adventures for children of all ages. A perfect destination to celebrate Christmas in July with a snowy theme and frosty fun for all the family.




Spin round the ice on the Snow Time Ice Skating Rink. The extended Ice Rink with an allocated junior section gives skaters lots of room to glide around like a pro. With sessions lasting for 20 minutes and opening at 9:30am every day, the rink can hold more than 200 skaters at a time.

Skating sessions can only be reserved on the day at the ticket booth outside the Ice-Skating marquee. If you don’t want to miss out, get there early and book in – get your skates on! Skating aids (Bobby Seals) will be available for hire for $5 each and ONLY for children six years and under. An adult must accompany children under five on the ice.


Experience the super-fast Ice Toboggan – once won’t be enough! So grab a tube and glide down the 45-metre ice slide; it’s sure to get your adrenaline pumping. A firm family favourite, the Ice Toboggan is superfast and crazy fun. You have been warned! Children under four must be accompanied by an adult.


Have some icy fun in the fantastic snow play area. Man-made snow makes this a must for kids who want to build snowmen, make a snow angel, or just get their fingers a little chilly. Perfect for everyone in the family, this specially designed space has been created to provide a realistic snow experience that is ideal for people who have never seen snow before.

It’s recommended to wear weatherproof/waterproof clothing, including gloves, jackets, pants and shoes, especially for smaller children who will be sitting in the Snow Play Zone. It’s advisable to bring along an extra set of clothing and a towel.


Don’t miss the giant Snow Cave filled with animatronic Arctic animals such as polar bears and penguins. The little ones in your life will be absolutely delighted by this magical winter wonderland.


In addition to Snow Time activities, there will be roaming entertainment, and a range of winter beverages and hearty winter food on sale to help keep you toasty and warm.

As if that’s not enough, the Hunter Valley Gardens’ popular amusement rides will also be open and guaranteed to excite the kids – young and old. In addition to the all-time favourite Superslide (designed especially for thrill-seekers), other rides* include:


This beautiful 25 metre high Ferris Wheel provides spectacular views of the surrounding gardens, wineries, mountains and countryside, something the whole family can enjoy on a sunny winter’s day. Children below 120cm in height must ride with an adult.


The speedy Swing Chair will spin you around 11 metres off the ground. Feel the wind in your hair and revel in the carnival atmosphere. The Swing Chair will get your heart racing and is a favourite with the older kids. Please note: Children between 110cm-120cm must ride with an adult; those children 120cm in height and above may ride alone.


This beautiful traditional Venetian Carousel was built in Italy to the design of the Hunter Valley Gardens staff. It’s a firm family favourite harking back to a bygone era and the perfect backdrop for budding photographers. Please note: this ride is for children only. Children below 105cm in height must ride with an adult (who must stand next to the child).


The newest ride at the Gardens, the twisty, twirly Teacups, will have the kids spinning around in giant colourful teacups and squealing with delight. Join the tea party! Please note: not suitable for children younger than two years and under 95cm. Children between 95cm-120cm in height must ride with an adult; 120 cm and above may ride alone.

Heights are checked at each individual ride, and access will be approved by the operator. Individual ride tokens are available for $5 each and bonus 6 pack for $25 in the event area at the Gardens.

All of this energetic and icy fun will have everyone in the family craving yummy hot foods and drinks, and Hunter Valley Gardens does not disappoint in this regard. The Garden Terrace Café will be open, as well as several food stalls providing a hearty range of delicious food and beverage options to choose from.

Or visit one of the well-established dining establishments in the nearby village, such as the Cellar Restaurant, Eden Grounds, Taste of the Country, éléments bar & dining or Gigi & Chix Bonbon. If pub fare is more your style, pop on over to Harrigan’s Bistro. Same day re-entry to Snow Time is allowed, so keep your tickets to show on re-entry.

Hunter Valley Gardens Event Manager Amanda Andrews is expecting unprecedented numbers this year.

“A lot of families return to this event every year. One of our most popular options is the annual family passes that are available for $259 for a family of four. This enables families to visit year-round and enjoy all our major events, including the Christmas Lights Spectacular,” said Amanda.

“The Mega Creatures event last school holidays was a huge success, so we expect Snow Time to be bigger than ever this year.”

In addition to Snow Time, amusement rides and delicious food options, there are also 14 hectares of gardens with ten individually themed gardens to explore. The Shopping Village offers bespoke shops with everything from collectables, jewellery, glassware, clothing, deli and gourmet foods to crystals and Christmas decorations. There really is something for every member of the family or group. It’s a fun day out with all the benefits and enjoyable moments that a trip to the snowfields brings without the expense and travel time.

This School Holidays – when the kids complain that they’re bored, take them to Snow Time in the Garden! It’s a fun-filled frosty adventure they won’t be able to resist and could just be the start of a new family tradition like the Christmas Lights Spectacular for so many Hunter families.




Saturday 25 June until Sunday 24 July


Adult (16yrs +) $35 | Child (4 -15yrs) $26

Family Passes $90 (2A + 1C) or $110 (2A + 2C)

Extra Child $23 | Senior $28


Snow Time activities run from 9:30am until 4:30pm daily.


Tokens for individual rides are $5 each or 6 for $25. Ice skating, ice toboggan, snow cave and snow play zone are

included in the Snow Time ticket price.


Snow Time is an outdoor activity and is subject to changing weather conditions. Hunter Valley Gardens will make every attempt to ensure the activities can remain open, which means the activities will continue in the case of rain and will only be cancelled if the weather conditions are considered dangerous by event management.



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