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!
Do not miss out on a place at some of the most popular Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces events during the long weekend festival - 10 to 12 June 2016.
The Merriwa Tyre & Service Centre ‘Fashions of the Fleeces’ First Night includes a fashion parade - supported by Australian Wool Innovation and modelled by locals, a performance by top bush poet Robyn Sykes and music from party band ‘Everyday People’. This great evening at the Merriwa RSL from 6pm, Friday 10 June is sure to sell out so book now at www.festivalofthefleeces.com.au/programme/
Come and join the fun of the Bush Poets Breakfast from 9am to11am Sunday 12 June 2016, at the CWA Hall in Bettington Street, Merriwa. Entry at the door is $5. Book your place in Saturday’s Festival Parade or the window display competition for local businesses by downloading the entry form at www.festivalofthefleeces.com.au/general-information/.
Don’t forget to use the 2016 Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces theme “Cast off”. Festival of the Fleeces Chairperson, Councillor Deirdre Peebles said “Cast off” was a great theme for participants to play with. “The wool industry in NSW is the core of our festival, but “Cast off” is about more than knitting. It also conjures up visions of fishing, casting nets off, caterpillars shedding their cocoons and becoming butterflies, or recycling and turning old things into new,” Cr Peebles said.
For more updates visit www.festivalofthefleeces.com.au like the Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter @merriwafleeces
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.
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
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: www.upperhunter.nsw.gov.au and www.horsecapital.com.au
Upper Hunter Shire – providing a ‘Quality Rural Lifestyle.’ Fresh Air, Fresh Water, Fertile Soil, Friendly People A wealth of opportunity for everyone!!!