Upper Hunter Country

Upper Hunter Country
Monday, 24 October 2016 00:00

Read up! Scone Literary Long Weekend

The Scone Literary Long Weekend will be held on the first weekend in November, starting Friday 4th and running through to Sunday 6th at the Scone Arts and Crafts Hall.

Coined by local broadcaster and writer Phillip Adams, "Maintain the Page" is the motto for this rural writers and readers get together, emphasising the value and importance of books or reading in general.

Despite the emergence of new technologies, such as ebooks and ebook readers, the printed word remains treasured, whether it is a children's picture book, a coffee table non-fictions book, a novel or a collection of poetry.

Author Graeme Simsion featured at the Literary Long Weekend last year discussing his latest work Rosie Project. The movie of the book is coming out soon. A host of other writers, talkers, wits and raconteurs kept the discussion flowing.

A superb collection of authors will again be on hand at this year to discuss their latest works including Gold Walkley Award winner Ross Coulthart, social researcher and the author Hugh Mackay, ABC Radio National program host Phillip Adams, Australian novelist and screenwriter Courtney Collins, International Rubery Award winner Jo Riccioni, author of the highly acclaimed novel The World Beneath Cate Kennedy and loads more! Visit for the complete lineup.

The weekend is a celebration of the printed word, brought about by the support of sponsors and the hard work of local volunteers. There will be a children's workshop on the Friday with Katrina McKelvey and Kirrili Lonegran, stories recounted by local and visiting advocates and authors, orations and insights, panel discussions, long lunches, lazy Sunday book club and evening soirees.

Local book shop Hunt a Book stocks all the books from the authors win the window the week of the festival.

Only in its infancy, the Scone Literary Long weekend has already established itself as a sophisticated date on the Aussie literary calendar well worth a chapter in any book lover's diary.

Come on up to Scone and immerse yourself in "the word" - whether it be acoustic, printed or digitally enhanced.

Follow the Scone Literary Long Weekend on Facebook and Twitter &


Published in Events & Festivals
Monday, 19 September 2016 00:00

Come on up this October Long Weekend!

Only a short 90 minute drive from Newcastle CBD, the Upper Hunter Valley offers visitors a true country experience this October Long Weekend.

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.

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

Experience some of the most diverse environments in Australia from western grasslands to Alpine forests, subtropical zones and a wide variety of national parks and wilderness where you can truly ‘get lost’.

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.

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.

Up in the Barrington Tops you can really escape with no mobile reception – guaranteeing you can switch off from the office for the weekend!

If wilderness isn’t your thing then you can go on a horse stud tour, enjoy a long lunch or a cheese platter for two at one of our wineries or visit some of our many art galleries the region has to offer.

While you're here why not check out one or more of the many events taking place over the long weekend such as;

  • Murrurundi Photography Art Prize 2016
  • Oktoberfest Scone at Airlie House Motor Inn
  • Merriwa Campdraft
  • Denman Farmers and Artisans Market
  • The Anglo American Glenbawn Fishing Classic
  • The Coolmore Denman Cup at Muswellbrook Race Club

Check out our events page for more details.

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

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

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

Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces is on this June Long Weekend!

Festival of the Fleeces is celebrating 25 years this weekend at Merriwa with 3 days of family fun and entertainment. The Festival is Merriwa's largest event attracting over 5000 visitors from all over the state who come to experience the country event. For the 25th year, the traditional Running of the Sheep will lead the Saturday parade which is a sight not to miss, with 200 hundred sheep in red socks run down the main street in Merriwa.

All day Saturday there will be plenty to do and see with exhibitions of knitting, wool spinning, shearing, vintage vehicle display, working sheep dogs and blacksmithing, team penning challenge, live music and around 150 market stalls including home made produce, arts and craft, face painting and food and coffee! There is also loads for the kids to do with the Kids Corner on the corner of Bettington & Vennacher Street. Activities for the kids include the ROAR Petting Zoo, GJ's Laser Tag, mini Jeep rides, jumping castle, reptile show, Sparkles the Clown and lots more. Saturday will end with Kaboom Fireworks around 6pm and afterwards it is the Battle of the Sexes Cut Out Competition.

Sunday starts off with the Sheep Yard Dog Trials and the Upper Hunter Team penning. At 9am enjoy the 2 hour entertaining Bush Poets Breakfast with the world's best Bush Poet Carol Heuchan. League Tag from 11am onwards will involve the Merriwa team taking on rivals Denman.

All of the money raised from the Festival is donated to the Westpac Rescue helicopter Service and Merriwa Volunteer Rescue Association who provide essential services in the region.

The full festival program is available at the Scone and Merriwa Visitor Information Centres.

For more information contact the Merriwa Visitor Information Centre on 6521 7046.


Published in Events & Festivals