If you are looking for some fun in the Hunter Valley with the kids then look no further than the Mega Creatures in the Hunter Valley Gardens. The Hunter Valley Gardens are the largest display gardens in Australia and during the school holidays they have the fabulous Mega Creatures, bugs and Dinosaurs displayed throughout. Not just any creatures but proper life-sized creatures and dinosaurs that make noises and move!
The Hunter Valley is just a short 1 hr 45 mins trip up the M1 freeway from Wahroonga and there is a huge amount of places to stay if you feel like spending a bit more time there. We took a wander up Friday afternoon to check the dinosaurs out during the day and to also see them at night alongside the Christmas Lights Spectacular which runs through December and finishes on 26th January. The lights are amazing and really something worth seeing as the whole garden is lit up with different themes from nursery rhymes, fairy lands, Australia but during the school holidays, the dinosaurs are roaring amongst all of it!
The Hunter Valley Gardens are huge but the dinosaurs are setup over an approximate 2 km walking area scattered in different areas throughout. There is everything from a life-size 8 metre t Rex, Triceratops lurking in the bushes, giant snails, and even a huge Tarantula! The bugs and dinosaurs move and even make real noises that terrified and excited the kids all at once! There was also really interesting information displayed on the boards showing when they were thought to have roamed the earth as well as other interesting facts about each animal.
About half way around the mega creatures display is a large area in the middle set up with a concert put on by the group Scallywags, rides and jumping castles and also an arena area full of bugs that you can ride or you can even try and pop out from a dinosaur egg! There is also plenty of food stalls with a great range of different foods to try as well as iced cold or hot beverages.
So here are my bullet points for visiting the Mega Creatures in the Hunter Valley Gardens:
- Wear comfortable shoes. The walk is an easy flat 2 km walk and is very pram friendly but for the smaller people, it is a fair way so make sure comfortable shoes are on!
- Take plenty of water. The staff are super friendly and very helpful when advising about the weather. When we were there the temperature did sore up over 40 degrees and they made sure everyone was aware of the situation. In saying this, take lots of water for the walk but also half way through there are places to stop and buy supplies if you run out.
- Stay the night if you can! The dinosaurs and lights are well worth seeing at night time as well. The gardens reopen at 6.30pm but the lights aren’t at their best until sundown. We didn’t leave the park til 10 pm so instead of the driveway back to Sydney, we stayed at the Mercure Hunter Valley Gardens which was wonderful, friendly and has a fantastic breakfast the next morning!
- Take your time! Allow around 2-3 hours to take it all in. There is so much to see, stop and look at. It is also worthwhile hanging around to watch the Scallywag show for the smaller children, and the giant slippery dip and jumping castles are always something they won’t let you walk past!
All in all, we had such a fantastic day and night at the Mega Creatures. I highly recommend taking the short trip up to visit the beautiful gardens and the mega creatures. It is a fantastic day for adults and children!