Upper Hunter Country

Upper Hunter Country

ALL of the short film submissions are all in and judges now have the tough task of wading through an unprecedented number of entries and selecting the winners.

The fifth annual Blue Heeler Film Festival is just around the corner and there are five awards, and a host of great prizes, up for grabs at the event. The opening night audience at Highbrook Park, Muswellbrook, on Friday, September 8, will vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Voting will close at the end of the screening session. And, the winner is announced on the Saturday night, September 9.

The junior, senior and open categories and the coveted Bluey Award will be selected by the judging panel and also be announced at the Red Carpet Awards Night at Two Rivers Winery on Saturday night. Prizes include an HP Laptop for the winner of the Bluey Award, a NikonD3400 (Open) Drone with camera (senior), Samsung Tablet (junior) and a GoPro for the People’s Choice Award.

Entry is free at the pop-up cinema in the park and films will be screened in two sections with a 20-minute interval in between. The first half of the program, starting at 5.30pm, will show family-friendly movies with a G rating (general). After the interval, films rated PG (parental guidance recommended) and M (recommended for mature audiences) will complete the screenings.

Voting for the winner of the People’s Choice Award is easy – simply visit the Blue Heeler Film Festival Facebook page on the night and “like” or leave a comment on the post of your favourite movie.

Entry is also free to the Red Carpet Awards Night at Two Rivers Winery, again starting 5.30pm. All winning entries will be screened and awards and prizes presented to the successful entrants.

Hot food, coffee, soft drinks and, of course, popcorn will be for sale at both events and Two Rivers Winery will have wine for sale on Awards Night for those 18 years and over. All children under-15 years must be accompanied by an adult at both events.

The Blue Heeler Film Festival is an initiative of Muswellbrook Shire Council and kindly supported by Bengalla, Regional Australia Bank, Two Rivers Winery, Screen Hunter and Upper Hunter Country Tourism.

Published in Events & Festivals

Public Holiday Opening Hours for Upper Hunter Restaurants

The Cottage Scone

Good Friday: Closed

Easter Saturday: Open for lunch & dinner

Easter Sunday: Open for lunch & dinner

Easter Monday: Closed

ANZAC Day: Closed

Hunter Belle Cheese (Muswellbrook)

Good Friday: Closed

Easter Saturday: Open

Easter Sunday: Open

Easter Monday: Open

ANZAC Day: Closed

Remington (Muswellbrook)

Good Friday: Closed

Easter Saturday: Closed

Easter Sunday: Closed

Easter Monday: Closed

ANZAC Day: Closed

Vines Restaurant at Hollydene

Good Friday: Open for lunch & dinner

Easter Saturday: Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner

Easter Sunday: Open for breakfast & lunch

Easter Monday: Open for breakfast & lunch

Published in News
Monday, 20 February 2017 14:31

Stand up comedy with Uncle Nath

Uncle Nath is letting out the pain with his new show Dads Have Feeling Too - and you can witness the pain when he brings his show to the Upper Hunter.

The show is an explosive ride - but even as Uncle Nath endures constant defeat at every turn, you'll never once hear him swear. Uncle Nath prides himself on delivering sharp adult stand up without the profanities, which means the show can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Dads Have Feelings Too is a warm tale of a well-intentioned dad hanging by a thread.

“He’s the every man…And he’s a bloody ripper.” – Newcastle Mirage

Sure Uncle Nath was not successful at school, business or life, but he is still a nice person. Uncle Nath is an endearing suburban dad who enjoys football, BBQs and sobbing into his pillow at night.

This befuddling dad stumbling through confusing times is fun to watch. Enjoy the pain as Uncle Nath endures constant defeat at every turn!

Friday 3 March 2017 Scone Old Court Theatre, Kingdon Street, Scone

Friday 10 March 2017 Muswellbrook RSL Club, 113 Bridge Street, Muswellbrook

CONTACT DETAILS Nath: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in News

Art is flourishing in the Upper Hunter!

Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre with the attached Artiste Cafe is a large public gallery open Tuesday to Sunday. Haydon Hall in Murrurundi is open Thursday to Sunday and is renowned for its delicious food. Michael Reid Murrurundi is a gallery and coffee shop exhibiting stunning works from local, national and international artist and is open Friday to Sunday. Brook Gallery in Brook St, Muswellbrook, exhibits local artists from the Upper Hunter and is open Friday to Sunday. Local artist Amanda Paradise has a gallery on Liverpool St in Scone which exhibits her art, jewellery and interior decor and is open Thursday to Sunday. Open all week, David Mahony Art Gallery and Sculpture Park in Sandy Hollow is a great place to stretch your legs and enjoy a light meal. If you are in Scone, keep your eye out for exhibitions at the beautifully restored church which is home to the Scone Arts and Craft Centre.

Step back in time

Museums, old wold charm and 19th century heritage sites tell the story of early life in the Upper Hunter. Spend the night in a 19th Century homestead such as Belltrees, Kerrabee and Segenhoe Inn. Pay respect to the 12th Light Horse Regiment in Murrurundi. View old relics of yesteryear in the historical museums of Merriwa, Muswellbrook and Scone. Pick up a Historical Walks map from the local Visitor Information Centre. Following these ton walks will reveal many of the historical buildings dating from 1850s onwards that were built as the towns grew and prospered.

Guided tours

While Upper Hunter lends itself to self drive tours, why not sit back and let the experts show you around. Upper Hunter Tours offer exclusive access to some of the world's famous thoroughbred horse studs, as well as local wineries and scenic tours of the surrounding areas. If it's a birds eye view you're seeking, Pays Air Charter offer group charters and joy flights by both helicopter and small planes out of Scone Airport. Bu sure to visit the Warbirds Museum while you are there. Airspeed Aviation also offer scenic tours of the area including the Upper Hunter Explorer, Mountain Rambler, Lunch on the Beach and The Works!

Quick Picks

  • Enjoy a round of golf on one of the many golf course in the region.
  • Hire a bike and explore Scone on two wheels.
  • Water activities abound on the waters of Lake Glenbawn.
  • Browse the boutiques shopping areas dotted throughout the region.
  • Visit the Scone Warbirds Museum (by appointment, 02 6540 1850).
  • Try GJ's by the Lake adventure activities at Lake Liddell.
  • Check out the Tasmanian Devil breeding program at Devil Ark in the Barrington Tops
  • Try our award winning local wines around Denman.
Published in Attractions

2017 Country Championships

Launched in 2015, the inaugural Country Championships proved a resounding success for the racing industry and generated unprecedented interest and coverage.

An initiative of Racing NSW and supported by the Government of NSW, The Country Championships was created to support and promote NSW racing in country areas, ensuring that horses from across the state are part of The Championships in Sydney in the autumn.

About The Series

  • The Country Championships consists of a series of seven qualifying races, each held at a club representing one racing region in NSW.
  • Each race will be worth $150,000 in prize money, and will be contested by eligible horses that must be under the care of a country trainer in that region.
  • An eighth ‘Wild Card’ race, worth $50,000, will be held to provide one more opportunity for horses to qualify for the final that have already contested an earlier heat.
  • The first and second horse in each regional race will qualify for the $400,000 Country Championships final to be held at Royal Randwick in Sydney on Day 1 of The Championships, Saturday 1 April 2017.

Sunday, 5 March 2017 SCONE 1400m Hunter & North West 

Sunday 26 March 2017 MUSWELLBROOK 1280m Wildcard - All regions

Saturday, 1 April 2017 ROYAL RANDWICK 1400m FINAL

Published in Events & Festivals
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
Monday, 28 November 2016 14:37

Muswellbrook Local Art Awards 2016

The Muswellbrook Local Art Awards are an annual competition which offers local artists from Muswellbrook, Singleton, and Upper Hunter Shires the opportunity to show off the cream of their work from the past twelve months.

A total prize value of $6,000 is split over six disciplines. Each year a different guest adjudicator is invited to judge the entries received.

The Muswellbrook Local Art Awards has six prize categories:

• Viola Bromley Painting Prize - incorporating the Hunter Valley Printing Encouragement Prize

• Garry Philp Works on Paper - incorporating the Elks Enterprises Encouragement Prize

• Local 3D Prize - incorporating the Max Watters Encouragement Prize

• Local Photography Prize – incorporating the Hunter Valley Hydraulink Encouragement Prize

• Local Aboriginal Art Prize – incorporating the Berry & French Pharmacy Encouragement Prize

• Esther Bellis Youth Prize – incorporating the Framing Good Encouragement Prize

The Muswellbrook Local Art Awards 2016 attracted 169 entries. Artists and their friends and families from Muswellbrook, Singleton and the Upper Hunter, were present at 6.00pm Saturday 5 November 2016 to hear the decisions of adjudicator Pam Brown, Exhibitions and Collections Officer at Tamworth Regional Gallery. The winners for each of the six categories were as follows.

Viola Bromley Painting Prize

First Prize #43 Roberta Wiseman, Gundamulda (Rocky Outcrop)

Second Prize #27 Mitchell O’Mahoney, Double Dennis

Hunter Valley Printing Encouragement Prize #12 Charlotte Drake-Brockman, Toy Statement

Garry Philp Works on Paper Prize

First Prize #64 Naomi Norris, Jazzy

Second Prize #47 Teresa Byrne, Rooster

Elks Enterprises Encouragement Prize #68 Denee Pashen, Grandma’s Favourite

Local 3D Prize

First Prize #87 Lyneece Garland, Leather Carved Handbag

Second Prize #91 William Maguire, Contrary

Man Max Watters Encouragement Prize #97 Jonanne Van Hees, Crystal Angel

Local Photography Prize

First Prize #120 Naomi Norris, The 3 R’s

Second Prize #111 Jessica Dugan, Childs Play

Hunter Valley Hydraulink Encouragement Prize #118 John Hodges, Barkscape #2

Local Aboriginal Art Prize

First Prize #135 Ella Death, Jarjum

Second Prize #139 Michael Stair, Wayambas-Turtle

Berry & French Pharmacy Encouragement Prize #140 Jack Whitby, Legacy Esther Bellis

Youth Prize

First Prize #158 Luke Morris, Engulfed

Second Prize #144 Nicole Blackwell, Fish Framing

Good Encouragement Prize #159 William Partridge, Monkey Around

Published in News

Beautiful music and the perfect place…

The Caro String Quartet from Sydney weaved their magic at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre recently, capturing the attention of an audience from all around Upper Hunter Country. The Quartet are all members of the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra, including both the First and Second Violinists with that internationally acclaimed orchestra.

Atsuko Radcliffe, principal of the newly established Small Forest Winery at Denman arranged for the Quartet to present this rare performance in Muswellbrook. Whilst the music was of the highest classical calibre, both artists and audience enjoyed a relationship in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere with presentations of Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No.1 and Borodin’s Sring Quartet No.1.

It is interesting that this wonderful event was held at the Regional Arts Centre which was formerly the Muswellbrook School of Arts, constructed just 100 years ago last year for the express purpose of providing the community with a quality venue  to host such auspicious artistic occasions.  

The great news is that the group has promised to return to Muswellbrook in 2015.

For more information visit: and

Published in Attractions

The Devil Ark Advocates and three cute Tasmanian joeys will be appearing at the Global Village Motorfest from 9am – 2pm on Sunday 9th November 2014.

At the Global Village Motorfest and Fair, enjoy the cars, motorbikes, trucks, stationary motors and military vehicles. Trade and produce stalls, food and refreshments will also be available on site.

Devil Ark Advocates will also have a stall, selling Devil Ark merchandise and spreading the word about the great Tasmanian devil project in the NSW Barrington Tops.  

The conservation status for the Tasmanian devil is endangered, due to a transmissible cancer called Devil Facial Tumour Disease.  The disease has affected the wild population dramatically, with up to 90% of devils eradicated in some areas of Tasmania.

DFTD shows no signs of slowing down and with no vaccine or cure in sight, insurance breeding is recognised as the devil’s best chance of long term survival.  Devil Ark is the largest and most successful breeding facility in Australia, and home to almost 200 healthy, disease-free devils.  Devil Ark devils will repopulate Tasmania once Devil Facial Tumour Disease has run its destructive course.

For further information:
Kayla McLeod
Marketing Assistant, Devil Ark
P: (02) 4340 8611

or visit:

Published in Events & Festivals

What a great August weekend for this years events - tremendous weather with 85 horses in competition. The weekend kicked off Thursday night (2 days before the event started), with 21 horses already on the ground. By Friday night 65 camped over. Others arrived on Saturday morning for the  8:30am start with very large classes of Clydesdales, Draught, Percherons, other breeds and Shires on show and in competition. 

Delivery, Heritage and Show vehicles attracted a lot of competitors as well as the ploughing/harrowing classes. The day rolled on smoothly into Sunday.

The workday challenge always prove to be a crowd winner as spectators love to watch these Heavy Horses work. The riding classes attracted a lot of competitors of all ages and interest. Our new event for 2014 the Heavy Horse Barrel Race proved not only a winner for the competitors (who gave it their all) but with the spectators as well.

This year saw an increase in the number of Stall holders, who were supported by all in attendance. There was a wide variety of goods to purchase as well as food and drinks.

Over 2000 spectators attended the weekend and complimented on both days events - all good!

A reminder this happens all again in 2015 and we look forward to seeing you there.

For more information visit

John Sercombe


Published in Events & Festivals