It’s that time of the year again when Hens Tour’s in the Hunter Valley are being hastily organised and booked.
Organising a Hens Wine Tour can be a nightmare for multiple reasons, particularly as the Spring wine tasting season in the Hunter Valley starts to escalate in popularity, thus competition for bookings is heavy.
Here at diVine Tours, we thought we would share some key tips to navigating both the Hen’s Party and the many experiences the Hens group can participate in, in the Hunter Valley.
Accomodation and a reputable tour operator is a must
Accommodation for at least 2 nights is a must. Accommodation provides the group with a base, a meeting point for the night prior to the big day, as well as a place to freshen up, should party members require it. Accommodation allows the group to make a full day and night of the actual Hens Party and a lot more can be experienced.
Don’t think of a tour operator as just a bus driver, but more as your local guide and someone who can provide great tips for the day! We have seen many Hens walking between venues or refused entry in cellar doors due to being late for their booking.
View a reputable tour operator as a concierge service that understands all the in’s and out’s of planning group bookings and time between experiences. A good tour operator will ensure the day runs smoothly and can attend to those extra things that often pop up during the day and or night.
It is worth paying a little bit more for a tour operator that will assist with transfers on a night out between venues, as transfers can be quite difficult late at night in the Hunter Valley.
Another tip is to ensure that the tour operator has a Bluetooth speaker in the bus, so you control your own music.
Understand that cellar doors are there to sell the great wine, spirits and other products. They want to help you understand and appreciate their products
It is essential that the Hen’s group are on the same page as the Hen in what the objective of the day is. Afterall it is her day!
If it is a travelling party with alcohol and food, there are many places in the Hunter that cater for this. The micro brewery’s and some of the distilling houses have tasting paddles which are a great option. There are plenty of great pubs and taverns in Cessnock, Huntlee, Branxton.
Like pubs, the cellar doors are licensed venues so can refuse entry.
If the day is about tasting fine wine and dining, then the cellar doors will love to have you. Limits on group sizes and tasting fees are the norm since Covid, so this is important to understand as an added cost and possible limitations to cellar doors.
As your parents no doubt told you growing up – being polite will get you long way with the cellar doors and the group will have a much better time if they are interested in the wine or spirit they are tasting.
Eating is not cheating!
It may sound obvious, but planning is everything if you are to get through the day and all members are to be still standing ready for a great night out.
Plan your meals and work the experiences around your set meals. Grazing throughout the day is the best option, so alcohol and food are combined all day, or at least at every alternate stop.
Most cellar doors also sell cheese boards and various nibbles so it’s easy to graze on food throughout the day.
Probably the best tip to optimise your time is to start with a late Hens Breakfast which sets you up to graze throughout the day and maximise time and tasting at the various cellar doors. You will fit in a lot more if you do it this way.
Peterson House has multiple breakfast and sparkling wine options.
Plan the Hens Party around two key activities and experiences
This could be something that the Hen wanted to do and a special dinner that night that all party members enjoy. Whatever the experience, these are the cornerstones of the day – night, and the rest of activities in between are lower key and give everyone time to chat, laugh, and catch up.
Games between tastings, or on the bus are always a good laugh as well – so have these ready.
Music as already stated is a must.
There is a great range of options, experiences, and hidden gems for a Hen’s Party that a lot of people don’t know exists in the Hunter Valley, and why a finding a good Tour Operator and or Guide can assist in identifying some of these activities and experiences for the party.
In all, the Hunter valley is full of people dedicated to helping you have a good time so ask around well before the Hens Day is upon you.
We have seen many a Hens party spoiled over the course of the day because members are worried and concerned about financial contribution.
Clearly outline cost of each activity and have transparency of contribution well before the day.
If need be, create a WhatsApp group so everyone is on the same page and provide a payment date well before the day.
Give everyone time to save for the day and provide an account for the money to be transferred.
We know this sounds so simple – but you would be so surprised at how many Hens parties are spoiled because of bickering over money.
So, it is not surprising the most crucial tip is to plan well ahead of the day to ensure a great Hens Party – don’t try and organise it a week out as many do!
diVine Tours is always available to help organise your Hens Party to speciailly suit your requirements.