Paterson is one of several villages and towns of the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales. Situated a few minutes to the north of Maitland, this quaint hamlet is the ideal place to stay while exploring the wineries of the Upper Hunter and comes with several nice bed and breakfasts and pubs for accommodation.
More discerning visitors to Hunter Valley often stay in Paterson rather than the likes of Maitland or Pokolbin since it is quieter and very friendly. In addition, it comes with lots of history, having been surveyed and founded by one Colonel William Paterson way back in 1801.
The best way to get the most out of it is to take a walk and explore its many historic buildings. The grandest of them is the Paterson Court House, which is home to a good museum with many interesting artefacts.
The Rail Motor Museum is also worth a look. Alternatively, the park in the village centre has a lake and plenty of shade and is good for picnics and barbeques.
Most people hole up here in order to visit the Hunter Valley proper and its multitude of wineries. There are literally dozens of them with cellar doors that allow you to roll up and sample their wines. Some wineries have accommodation on site, though the traditional hotels and bed and breakfasts in Paterson are usually cheaper.
Nearby to the north is the Barrington Tops National Park. It is a major daytrip destination in the Upper Hunter noted for its walks, waterfalls and camping. Tocal is also quite pleasant, while Maitland is farther south and has some of the best shopping and eating.
Paterson is on the North Coast Railway Line, which connects Sydney and Brisbane and is also within easy reach of Newcastle. You can easily drive from both Sydney and Newcastle.