Australasia/ Pacific

Come on up! to Upper Hunter country

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Drive on up to the beautiful Upper Hunter Shire from Sydney or Newcastle in just a few hours or, if you are coming from the north, it’s only an hour from Tamworth.

Before you even leave the highway you will see horses, cows, sheep, and goats grazing and galloping in the fields.

Most of the Upper Hunter’s generous 8000 square kilometres is devoted to National Parks and nature reserves and rural uses like grazing, cropping, dairy farming, and horse studs.

The Upper Hunter boasts one of the best fishing spots in NSW at Lake Glenbawn. There’s also space for water sports from swimming to water skiing, some great picnic spots and a range of accommodation options in Lake Glenbawn State Park.

The main Upper Hunter townships are Scone (Horse Capital of Australia), Aberdeen (the heart of horse country), Merriwa (birthplace of Australian Pony Clubs) and Murrurundi (known for its vibrant arts and cafés scene).

Merriwa, Aberdeen, Scone and Murrurundi are all RV friendly towns but throughout the Upper Hunter you will find plenty of places to stop and stay, beautiful historic buildings, stunning natural surrounds, a freshly brewed coffee or a refreshing ale and friendly hospitality.

Upper Hunter_hay

Take some more time and explore our villages including Gundy, Cassilis, Moonan Flat and Wingen (close to the smouldering ‘Burning Mountain’) all of which have an authentic local pub.

Upper Hunter is also the starting point to explore the stunning Barrington Tops or take a tour at Devil Ark. This conservation park for the endangered Tasmanian Devil runs monthly “Devils in the Wild” tours.

While there’s plenty to see and do at any time of the year, why not visit during one of the major festivals that celebrate the unique heritage of the region?

Aberdeen is home to the annual Aberdeen Highland Games held the first weekend in July. The weekend event celebrates Celtic traditions with mass pipe bands, Tug o’ War, the Tartan Warriors displays of strength, Scottish dancers and much more, in the name of clan and culture.

Upper Hunter_landscape

Merriwa in the west hosts the popular Festival of the Fleeces in June. The weekend celebrates the region’s woolly history with a parade led by a flock of sheep in red socks, shearing demonstrations, working dog displays and many stalls, fireworks and entertainment.

Murrurundi is known for the annual King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge in February. Hundreds of competitors enter the hard fought competition showcasing traditional skills including cattle-work, pack-horse, bareback riding, whip cracking, horse-shoeing and cross country, before the top ten finalists attempt to catch and lead a wild horse and ride a bucking horse. There’s plenty of other entertainment on offer, and many visitors camp on location for the weekend.

Scone is renowned for its thoroughbred horse industry and the popularity of many different equine endeavours. The Scone & Upper Hunter Horse Festival is held over ten days in May with events including the Horse Parade, fetes, exhibitions, campdraft and rodeo, thoroughbred stud tours, Stud Open Days and the Emirates Park Scone Cup which attracts over 16,000 people to the scenic Scone Race Course.

There is so much more on offer including tours of horse studs, vineyards and art galleries.

The Upper Hunter is on your way to everywhere, surrounded by the shires of Gloucester and Dungog in the east, Singleton and Muswellbrook in the south, Liverpool Plains and Tamworth in the north and the Mid-Western Region and Warrumbungle in the west.

Whether you are travelling to somewhere else or looking for a short break, the region offers an enticing variety of activities.

Unlock the secrets of the Upper Hunter at  and sign up for our fortnightly newsletter ‘What’s up!” that lists all the events, sports and cultural activities held throughout the year.

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