Upper Hunter Smoke House

Producing top line artesian smallgoods; any old pig simply will not do.

Artisan Butcher

I am lucky enough to call the Upper Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s finest food bowls, home. I decided that we needed to find a glue to connect my smokehouse with our farm. Pigs of course! Given the smokehouse will produce top line artesian smallgoods; any old pig simply would not do. After extensive research, I landed on free-range Wessex Saddlebacks. A rare, slow growing, black pig with a white belt that’s very chic in the paddock to plate foodie world right now. This rare breed originates from the west country of England (Wessex) but is said to be extinct in its homeland.

We ventured out and purchased two gilts (female pigs that have never produced a litter before, although our two girls are now up the duff) and a boar, Boris Big-Balls. Rather than producing pork from a bogas backyard venture we paid a premium, purchasing registered stock with traceable bloodlines. We are now in the process of becoming one of the few registered breeders of saddlebacks in the country.

Good meat is attributed to much more than just the breed. Environment and diet are critical factors. Free range pigs with plenty of space to fodder, quality shelter and fresh drinking water is a given so I have now turned my mind to the food.

Spain is undoubtedly famous for their jamon (Spanish for ham, although it’s more like a prosciutto), so I looked to the great for inspiration. Top class pigs used for jamon were traditionally finished off on a diet of nothing but acorns and olives. Our specific breed of pig traditionally scavenged their food in forests with a diet consisting of acorns and chestnuts. We have therefore agreed our next endeavour is to plant a number of oak trees around our pig pens to foster natural foraging of acorns. We’re also looking to plant a small apple orchard of different varieties and some nut trees for piggy treats – stay tuned on this.

Some  facts on pigs:

  • A pig’s gestation is very easy to remember- 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days
  • A boar is a male pig with his family jewels still in tact
  • Pigs are said to have the intelligence of a 3 year old
  • Pigs have eyes in the back of their heads, okay they don’t actually have eyes in the back of their head, but they do have a wide 310 degree angle of vision
  • Pigs are not able to focus both eyes on the same spot
  • Grower pigs eat about 3% and drink about 10% of their body weight daily
  • Pigs cant sweat, they typically bury themselves in mud to cool
  • A ‘baconer’ is for exactly that, delicious bacon. Pigs used for bacon weigh in at approximately 60-80kgs after they’ve been slaughtered, whereas a backfatter is bigger. A spit pig generally sits between 15 and 30kgs post slaughter and a delicious suckling is generally 12kg live weight.
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Group Information

What is the minimum number of people you will pick up?

There is no minimum restriction to book so singles and couples can book tours, but there is a minimum number of people needed to run tours effectively.

We do our best to make sure every tour runs, which sometimes means shuffling minimum numbers together so tours can operate.

We need to group together at least  4 people (minimum number shown on each tour) for it to operate.

Do you take parties like a 40th or 50th?

Yes. A day tour with your friends enjoying drinks and tasty food is one of the most enjoyable but hassle free ways to celebrate a birthday. We take care of the details and let us know if you would like something extra special too!

What size groups can you cater too?

Each tour vehicle contains passengers from multiple bookings until it is filled to the ‘maximum guest limit’ (shown on each tour). This limit keeps our group small so it’s fast and fun with premium access.

A tour will operate when a minimum of four seats are booked. If there are only four seats booked, great you will have the tour all to yourselves in one of our smaller vehicles. The more a tour fills up, the bigger the vehicle we use until our maximum guest limit for that tour is reached.

If you would like a completely private tour for two, or, have a larger group than the ‘maximum guest limit’ please contact us for options.

We can cater to larger groups by combining multiple vehicles for any tour.

Transfer Locations

$50 flat rate
$50 flat rate
$15 per person
$50 flat rate
$15 per person
$50 flat rate
$100 flat rate
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$60 flat rate
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Not Available

Sydney Transfers

  • SYDNEY direct transfers are not available.
  • To arrive from Sydney customers can catch the train between ‘Sydney-Newcastle-Maitland’ and request a Two Fat Blokes pick-up/drop-off at ‘Maitland’.

Transfer Fee Information

  • Flat rate is a single price for pick-up/drop-off at that location whether it’s two people or a full group of people.
  • Minimum 2 person pickup is required to operate the pickup service to fee based locations.
  • Fees are in addition to your tour booking and will be collected by your guide at time of pick-up. Please pay these fees by cash, ATM’s will be available on the tour.
Visit Wineries

Discover up to 3 great wineries handpicked for you.

How do you determine which wineries are best for my group?

Because we know the area so well and try to deliver the best experiences based on:
– Rave reviews from previous tour groups
– Boutique, non-touristy locations
– Excellent wines, moderately priced
– Warm & friendly service
– Perks available (cellar tours, barrel-tasting, wine-maker available, etc.)

Which wineries do we visit?

There is no set schedule of wineries. Our tour guides will take advantage of the best winery experiences available on that day, including special events, to make sure you get the most value from your itinerary, have an enjoyable day and maximise your taste time of the Hunter Valley.