Blog

Upper Hunter Country

Upper Hunter Country

This year marks the 35th year since Elizabeth Park’s iconic Mare and Foal statue was unveiled and the occasion was fittingly celebrated at the August Scone Country Markets with the theme the ‘Horses’ Birthday’.

The statue was unveiled on 3 March, 1982 by the Hon Eric Bedford and cost about $75,000, commissioned by local horse breeders to ‘promote Scone as the leading horse breeding centre in Australia’ as a ‘wonderful tourist attraction to give pleasure to the many people who see it’.

Gabriël Sterk, the Dutch born artist who created the sculpture in his foundry in Adelaide, was contacted by Upper Hunter Shire Council’s Tourism and Events Coordinator, Jan Sinclair.

Gabriël now lives and works in France’s Aix-en-Provence and in his reply email wrote “During 1980, the horse breeders of the Upper Hunter Valley approached the Macquarie Galleries in Sydney with the hope to find an equestrian artwork to promote the Upper Hunter Valley region. Mr David Archibald learned about my work and my equestrian work appealed to him. He asked me if I could do a life size mare and foal for Scone.

“I accepted the commission by phone. It took me a year to finish the statue in plaster, but the contract hadn’t been signed. When the horse breeders learned the statue was interesting other people, they took a little private plane to Adelaide and when they saw the statue finished in plaster they did not take long to decide to sign the purchase contract. Scone nearly missed out!” Gabriël said.

Gabriël’s reply email arrived on the eve of the Horses’ Birthday markets.

“I was so thrilled to hear back from Gabriël and his story on the commission of our wonderful sculpture,” Jan Sinclair said. “Tourists love the sculpture and often ask for more information about its origins and creator so it’s great to know first-hand how it all came about. Gabriël’s timing was perfect and tied in really well with our market day theme on Saturday.”

With spring already on the horizon and the current lovely warm weather, the September markets will have a ‘Spring into Spring’ theme. Markets are held the second Saturday of each month, Saturday 9 September will be the next market.

For more information or to apply for a stall contact the Scone VIC on 6540 1300 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and to find out more about Gabriël Sterk see http://en.gabrielsterk.org/

Wayne Bedggood

MAYOR

Published in News
Monday, 31 July 2017 15:31

Scone - Horse Capital of Australia

The origins of the Upper Hunter Valley’s thoroughbred breeding industry date back to the early 1800’s when the first settler and horse breeder George Bowman chose to live and breed horses in the Hunter Valley.

Scone has long been known as the home of thoroughbred racing and breeding in Australia with legends like Makybe Diva being trained right here on local soil.

The area is well known across the world for producing some of the finest in the industry. 

Newmarket in England, Kentucky in the USA, and Scone in the Upper Hunter together form the nucleus of a fascinating industry.

Every farm is a working business. Some are family-owned and operated for many generations. Others private businesses or part of world-leading and world-renown operations. All have a unique story to tell, from their history and heritage to its architecture

The world's most dominant thoroughbred operations - the Irish-owned Coolmore and Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's Darley - have large scale permanent bases in the Upper Hunter, and other international investor's include Sheikh Hamdan, his Excellency Nasser Lootah who owns Emirates Park at Murrurundi, the Sangster family and others.

The calibre of thoroughbred horses in the Hunter was highlighted with the wine of Scone bred Shocking in the 2009 Melbourne Cup.

Bred and born at Ilala Stud, by George and Felicity Fraser, Shocking further cemented Scone in the history of one of the world's most prestigious horse racing events.

Australian-owned farms more than hold their own against international competition with Arrowfield, just outside Scone on the Gundy Rd, the leading Australian-owned farm - and among the world's top thoroughbred operations with three generations of Champion Australian Sires, Danehill, Redoute's Choice and Snitzel. 

Other notable studs include Vinery, Yarraman Park and Segenhoe.

But don’t take our word for it. Come on up! And see it for yourself. It will be an experience you will never forget.

All visitors are invited to experience for themselves the hidden beauty and magic of our stud farms their history and heritage and the champion horses they produce.

Visitors are welcome at our studs but you must book ahead. To arrange a visit or tour please contact Upper Hunter Country Tours and Events on 0475 080 370 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can arrange a memorable experience.

Published in Attractions

We are having some lovely weather at the moment in the Upper Hunter, so why not hire a bike at the Scone Visitor Information Centre?

We have lowered our hire fee, with prices starting at $5.00 for one hour.

The Scone VIC is offering a bike hire service to visitors and locals keen to discover the town on two wheels and are encouraging people to ‘Pedal up!’

Council was successful in seeking funding through the NSW Government’s Better Waste and Recycling Program to purchase ten bicycles and ancillary equipment.

The bikes will be available for hire from the Scone VIC seven days a week, homed in a shipping container that is now a colourful artwork, created by local aerosol artists True Colourz.

Adults and children’s bikes are available seven days a week at the following rates:

$5 for 1 hour | $7.50 for 2hrs | $10 for 3hrs | $20 for full day (Centre's Opening Hours) | Family full day $50 (2 adults 2 children) | Baby seat at $10 flat rate | Helmets are included in hire free of charge (conditions apply), plus each hirer receives a free water bottle to keep.

The friendly staff at the Scone VIC can also provide you with a brochure of recommended bike rides around Scone. For more information contact the Scone VIC on 6540 1300 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Attractions

Cycle to the Scone Cup… or TAFE

A new bicycle path has been created from Satur out to the Scone Race Club in time for the Scone Cup this Friday (12 May 2017).

The 2.2m wide asphalt path stretches almost 800 metres from Gray Street to Flemington Drive.

The project which will cost an estimated $100,000 is one of the major recommendations from the Upper Hunter Shire Council Bicycle Plan which can be viewed at http://upperhunter.nsw.gov.au/f.ashx/a-zdocuments/Upper-Hunter-Bicycle-Plan-2015.pdf

Bikes and helmets can be hired from the Scone Visitor Information and Horse Centre for $30 a day, or $15 an hour and $5 for each hour after that. The bike hire scheme was funded through the NSW Government’s Better Waste and Recycling Program.

The Scone VIC is open every day of the Scone Horse Festival from 9am to 5pm week days and 10am to 4pm weekends on the corner of Kelly and Susan streets.

Scone Cup Day is a half day public holiday in most of the Upper Hunter and all Council offices in Aberdeen, Merriwa, Murrurundi and Scone including libraries and youth centres will be closed from noon on Friday 12 May 2017. Upper Hunter Shire waste depots will be open normal operating hours.

Wayne Bedggood

MAYOR

For further information: Mayor Wayne Bedggood 0419 226 551

Published in News

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 www.cmca.net.au and for more about tourism attractions in the Upper Hunter visit www.upperhuntercountry.com

Wayne Bedggood MAYOR

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

UPPERHUNTER.NSW.GOV.AU

Published in News

Rodeo royalty on show at Scone Charity Rodeo

Australian champions and reality TV stars to saddle up for the 85th annual rodeo in Scone

May 02 2017: The Ausure Scone Charity Rodeo is on this Saturday May 6 at White Park in Scone with the main event kicking off at 5pm. The event will see some of the biggest names in rodeo taking to the arena to compete in events like bull-riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc and barrel racing events.

Stacey Wilburn, one half of the ‘Twin Cowgirls’ from Channel 9’s Travel Guides, will be competing in the breakaway roping and team roping. Stacey, alongside her identical twin sister Mel, have travelled around the country and competed in rodeos and roping events. The two girls recently rose to fame when they took their first overseas trip as hosts of the new Channel 9 show Travel Guides.

Scone’s own Heath Nichols who is the current Australian champion will be competing in the rope and tie event. Heath, who won his first rope and tie title in 2011, has claimed two all-round champion Cowboy titles as well as many other accolades over the last six years.

Shane Kenny, one of the most successful cowboys in Australia with 15 all-round cowboy titles under his belt, is encouraging everyone to get to Scone Charity Rodeo this year, “Scone rodeo is a very exciting event with some of the country’s best cowboys and best bucking stock,” he said. “So, make sure you get your backside down to Scone this weekend as it’s going to be a great evening.”

In 2017 the event is celebrating its 85th year since the first rodeo was held, originally called the Scone Bushman’s Carnival. “2017 is a special year for us and we will be celebrating accordingly,” said Scone Rodeo President, Jade Smith. “This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever before with the addition of a 40sq metre ‘big screen’ that will showcase all the all the thrills and spills of the rodeo.” The screen will stream all the action from the main event and will show instant replays so the crowd will be able to see every moment in all its glory.

While promising an action packed line-up of fun, the 2017 Ausure Scone Charity Rodeo will also be raising money to support BlazeAid. BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia to help rebuild fencing and structures that have been affected by natural disaster. BlazeAid is currently assisting in Cassilis and Dunedoo areas that were devastated by the destructive Sir Ivan fire that burnt through over 50,000 hectares of land and approximately 5,700 kilometres of fencing in early 2017.

The Ausure Scone Charity Rodeo will kick off on Friday 5th May from 4pm with the Junior Jackpot Rodeo taking place. On the Saturday the event starts at 12pm with all the action from the main event commencing at 5pm. There will be plenty of food stalls as well as live entertainment after the rodeo. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $8 for children/seniors, $35 for family passes (2 adults, 2 children).

For media enquiries, contact:

Lauren Taylor

Taylor Made Marketing

0477 566 022

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

www.taylormademarketing.com.au

Published in Events & Festivals

Scone Charity Rodeo celebrates 85 years in 2017

The Ausure Scone Charity Rodeo is back on Saturday May 6 with White Park in Scone once again playing host for the best rodeo in the country. In 2017 the event is celebrating its 85th year since the first rodeo was held, originally called the Scone Bushman’s Carnival. The Rodeo committee is hoping to gather stories and pictures from the last 85 years of the event to celebrate this momentous occasion and encourages past participants to get in touch with their memories of the Rodeo or Bushman’s Carnival.

“2017 is a special year for us and we will be celebrating accordingly,” said Scone Rodeo President Jade Smith. “We’re hoping to attract back to the event as many of the past participants as we possibly can. This year’s event is promising to be bigger and better than ever.”

Aiding in making this event ‘bigger and better’ is the addition of a 40sq metre ‘big screen’ that will showcase all the all the thrills and spills of the Rodeo. The screen will stream all the action from the main event and will show instant replays so the crowd will be able to see every moment in all its glory.

While promising an action packed line-up of fun, the 2017 Ausure Scone Charity Rodeo will also be raising money to support BlazeAid. BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia to help rebuild fencing and structures that have been affected by natural disaster. BlazeAid are currently assisting in Cassilis and Dunedoo areas that were devastated by the destructive Sir Ivan fire that burnt through over 50,000 hectares of land and approximately 5,700 kilometres of fencing in early 2017.

“It’s just amazing how the communities in our area have banded together to help those people affected by the fires earlier in the year,” said Jade Smith. “A local farmer organised a hay run for the properties damaged by the fire and BlazeAid are doing great work to get these people back on their feet. We’re so happy that the Rodeo can also play its part by raising money to support the hardwork of the BlazeAid volunteers.”

The Ausure Scone Charity Rodeo will kick off on Friday 5th May from 4pm with the Junior Jackpot Rodeo taking place. On the Saturday the event starts at 12pm with all the action from the main event commencing at 5pm. There will be plenty of food stalls as well as live entertainment after the rodeo. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $8 for children/seniors, $35 for family passes (2 adults, 2 children).

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.

 http://unclenath.com/

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
Page 1 of 3