Upper Hunter Country

Upper Hunter Country

One of the crowd favourites at the Aberdeen Highland Games

The Tartan Warriors are a great part of the Aberdeen Highland Games, where athletes compete in a traditional Celtic strongman competition. There is tremendous strength and determination on display when the athletes compete in three traditional events: Stones, Sheaf and Caber Toss.

Stones: Clach Cuid Fir (Gaelic for Manhood Stone) is a traditional test of pure strength. The athletes compete against the clock to determine who can lift five stones of increasing weights off the ground and onto barrels. With stones weighing between 100 and 165kg this is not an event for the average person, but it is great to watch.

Sheaf Toss: This traditional Scottish agricultural sport involves using a pitchfork to hurl a burlap bag stuffed with straw over a horizontal bar above the competitor's head. The bag typically weighs about 7kg and athletes are given three chances to get it cleanly over the bar without touching it. The winner is the athlete who can successfully clear the highest bar.

Caber Toss: This traditional Scottish athletic event is said to have developed from the need to toss logs across narrow chasms to cross them. Using a large wooden pole, called a caber, the object is not the sheer distance of the throw but rather to have the caber fall directly away from the thrower after landing. A perfect throw ends with the 'top' end nearest to the thrower and the 'bottom' end pointing exactly away. This is an impressive feat when the caber is typically 5.94m long and weighs 79kg.

The Tartan Warriors will take to the field for their first display at 10.30am. Listen for announcements on the day for other display times.

Aberdeen Highland Games is on Saturday 7th of July. Gates open at 8.00am with the Grand Parade starting at 9.00am. Tickets can be purchased online at

Published in Events & Festivals

RV travellers welcomed in Upper Hunter towns

Aberdeen, Merriwa, Murrurundi and Scone are officially ‘RV friendly towns’.

Aberdeen is the most recent town in the Upper Hunter Shire to earn recognition from the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) for having facilities aimed at those touring in self-contained recreational vehicles.

Upper Hunter Shire Council’s Business Enterprise and Tourism Manager, Sean Constable, said the ‘RV Friendly’ status offered great potential for the Upper Hunter.

“The Golden Highway and the New England Highway are both popular routes for RV travellers and this will help encourage them to stop, stay and spend in our towns,” Mr Constable said.

“RV Friendly status is key to accessing a tourism market estimated to be worth $2.5 billion annually across Australia. The number of registered RVs in Australia is expected to grow to more than 700,000 vehicles by 2020,” he said.

Aberdeen offers RV travellers short term parking at Abercairney Terrace Campsite. Free overnight parking is available for up to 24 hours and access to bins, water and covered seating is available. Potable water is also located on site and pets on leads are permitted. A dump point can be found at Taylor Park, on Macqueen Street.

Scone received its ‘RV Friendly’ status in February 2017 with the installation of potable water and a dump point on the corner of Aberdeen and Kingdon streets. It offers casual parking in Campbells Corner car park and overnight parking is located at Scone Sports Club, for up to 24 hours for self-contained vehicles.

Merriwa provides 24 hour parking for self-contained vehicles at no cost in Sollys Lane, behind the Visitors Information Centre. Potable water and a dump point are outside the caravan park on Dutton Street.

Murrurundi offers casual and short term parking as well as a dump point in Wilson Memorial Park.

For more information about RV Friendly Towns visit and for more about tourism attractions in the Upper Hunter visit

Wayne Bedggood MAYOR

For further comment: Business Enterprise and Tourism Manager, Sean Constable 0428 659 705


Published in News
Monday, 09 January 2017 12:00

Upper Hunter Country

Only a short 90 minute drive from Newcastle CBD and 3 hours from Sydney, the Upper Hunter Valley offers visitors a true country experience. If you are after a weekend break to escape the hustle and bustle of city life but don't want to venture too far then the Upper Hunter is the ideal location.

Most of the Upper Hunter's generous 18,000 square kilometres is devoted to national parks, nature reserves as well as rural uses like grazing, cropping, dairy farming and horse studs. Before you even leave the highway you will see cows, sheep and goats grazing and horse galloping in the fields.

We have an enticing selection of award winning and boutique epicurean food producers, wineries, cafes and restaurants. There is an annual calendar of festivals and events which includes many diverse horse activities to experience and enjoy.

The region is world famous as the horse capital of Australia and is home to many world-renowned horse studs, and the Australian Stock Horse Society National Headquarters.

The Upper Hunter is also the gateway to the wilderness of the Barrington Tops National Park where you can get lost from the outside world and embrace the rivers, forests and mountainous countryside. Lake Glenbawn also provides for fishing, water skiing and boating, with some gorgeous picnic spots to indulge in sampling the region's food and wines.

The region is one of the most diverse environments in Australia, from western grassland to alpine forests and subtropical zones. There are a wide variety of national parks ranging from comfortable family picnic grounds at Towarri National Park to wilderness areas of the Barrington Tops and Goulburn River National Parks. So whether walking, riding or four wheel driving, there's a place for you.

The Upper Hunter has a wide variety of accommodation from luxury B&Bs to award winning motels, caravan parks, cabins, farm stays and apartments.

Whether you are looking for a short break or a long stay, the region offers an enticing variety of activities. So pack the family, bikes and boats and come on up!

Published in Attractions
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 00:00

2015 Aberdeen Highland Games Wrap Up

A record crowd of more than 5000 poured through the gates for the 16th Aberdeen Highland Games. Spectacular sunshine greeted those who'd travelled far and wide for the Scottish festival.

Sixteen bands travelled from across the state, winning huge applause for their performances in individual competitions and in the massed display at the opening and closing of the Games. But it wasn't just the pipe bands that won the hearts of Scot and non-Scot alike in Aberdeen on Saturday.

The Tartan Warriors entertained everyone with their heaving big lifts on the Manhood Stones, tossing the Caber and hurling the Sheaf, their camaraderie and support of each other there for all to see.

The Tug-of-War teams grunted it out on the big rope, some travelling from Glen Innes and Maitland to compete.

The Best Dressed Lassie and Laddie competitions won the hearts of mothers and grandmothers as they watched the parades of tiny tots in their tartan. The Highland Dancers from Lithgow, Armidale and Gunnedah were immaculately dressed in full Scottish garb, not a hair out of place in their tightly coiffed braids and buns, showing agility, strength and stamina as they danced to traditional Scottish songs.

In between competitions and dancing displays, thousands wandered from one stall to the next across Jefferson Park buying Scottish memorabilia, eating an icecream or basking in the sunshine and enjoying reunions with clan members they had not seen for some time.

2015 was a huge hit for the event, can't wait for next year!

Published in Events & Festivals
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 00:00

The Upper Hunter Shire Region

Our Region,

Striving to provide a quality rural lifestyle, the Upper Hunter has grown to become a leader in regional NSW. Steeped in the history of country NSW, the hills and flats of the shire are the place to be for spectacular festivals and ideal rural surroundings. Encompassing the towns of Murrurundi, Scone, Merriwa, Aberdeen and many other small villages, the Upper Hunter covers about 8,069 square kilometers with a population of about 14,500 people.

Stretching from the rugged mountain ranges in the north to Lake Glenbawn in the east, rolling hills in the south and golden plains in the west, the Upper Hunter Shire is a diverse, scenic and widely growing area to visit or make your home. There is plenty to see and do with a range of activities, events and vivid natural attractions. The Upper Hunter boasts excellent infrastructure, leading health and community services, quality education and there is also a variety of sporting and cultural activities. The thriving economic base is centred on a very wealthy equine and agriculture industry allowing the townships a buoyant and well services retail area. This scenic region is also home to cattle and sheep grazing lands, cereal cropping, wineries and prestigious thoroughbred horse studs.

We extend an open invitation to you to come and visit our diverse and beautiful Shire.

At a Glance

Population: 14,000

Area: 8,100 square kilometres

Major Employers: Equine Industry, Primo Smallgoods, Walfertan Processors and Mining.

Broad-acre farming: – Dairy, Beef and Sheep.

Distance: to Scone from Sydney 302km or Scone from Brisbane 714km

Related Websites: and

Upper Hunter Shire – providing a ‘Quality Rural Lifestyle.’ Fresh Air, Fresh Water, Fertile Soil, Friendly People A wealth of opportunity for everyone!!!

Published in News