Upper Hunter Country

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.

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
Friday, 13 January 2017 11:17

Pays Flying Museum and Joy Flights

Pays are an Upper Hunter family owned business with over 50 years in aviation. Based at Scone Airport, Pays can provide all your aviation needs.

The Pays flying Warbirds museum is a must see for aviation enthusiast and while you are there, look over Pays fleet of fire fighting aircraft and helicopters that service the NSW Rural Fire Service. Pays are very passionate about their warbirds as shown by the beautiful collection. The restoration and maintenance of the timeless machines can only be undertaken by a very dedicated team of engineers and supporting staff. Take a look at Pay's collection of Warbirds here. Pay’s Warbirds are kept at the Scone NSW base of Pay’s Air Service. The museum is open to visits on a donation basis with prior arrangement, and large group tours can also be accommodated.

Experience the thrill of actually flying in a warbird and enjoy an exhilarating flight over the beautiful Upper Hunter including Lake Glenbawn and the horse studs of Segenhoe Valley.

Scenic Flights

Take off from Scone airport and take in the sights of the picturesque upper Hunter. With the 30 minute option you can take in the sights of the Wingen maid, Liverpool Range and Lake Glenbawn or alternatively head south to see the coal industry from the air then return overflying the local communities and horse studs in the Segenhoe Valley - Valued at $250+GST. Alternatively why not take in all the sights with a 1hr scenic for the great value of $400+GST. All flights can take up to 3 passengers for the price above.

Adventure Flights

Bird Dog - The Cessna Bird Dog stepped in to take the place of the Cessna 170. Jumping from 145 Hp to 213Hp, by 1962 there had been 3431 Birddogs manufactured. The US army purchased many Bird Dogs for the Vietnam War for use as observers and forward air control, which required them to carry target marking rockets. This is ideal for someone who would like a taste of flying in a war bird. Since its primary use was observing, the large windows give the passenger great views of the local area. For a 1 hr flight $390 incl GST

The Tiger Moth (DH-82) was manufactured by De Havilland and first flew in 1931. It was primarily a trainer aircraft which had two seats. The first model had a 120hp Gipsy III inverted inline engine, this was soon upgraded to the Gipsy Major engine with 130hp. Enjoy the breeze in the open cockpit of the tiger as you take in the sights of the Upper Hunter. For a ½ hr flight $300 incl GST or for a 1 hr flight $550 incl GST.

Aerobatics are available to complete the Tiger Moth experience. The North American Harvard was designed in the late 1930's following demand for an aircraft purpose built to train military pilots all over the world. There was an increasing demand for military combat pilots and by the 1940's the total training hours required had been cut to only 200 hours total, of that time 75 hours were in the T-6. The T-6G (1946) model was better than the previous designs because there was an increased fuel capacity, a more user friendly cockpit layout and, a tail wheel that was steerable by the pilot. The T-6 was being used as a basic pilot trainer right up into the 70's and there are many that are airworthy today but only used in civil aviation. This is ideal for someone who would like to enjoy the speed and the sound of a roaring radial engine in a genuine World War 2 military trainer. If you are feeling adventurous there is an option of doing aerobatics. For a ½ hr flight $600 incl GST.

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, 21 November 2016 15:37

Eat up! The Cottage Scone

A beautifully restored cottage built in the 1860s and nested in the main street of Scone is home to the Upper Hunter's newest restaurant - The Cottage.

New Zealand-born chef Colin Selwood serves up his award winning signature dry aged, hormone free, grass fed beef.

The meat is hung for a minimum of six weeks before being served in the restaurant and can be viewed from the courtyard through the window of the purpose-built, humidity-controlled dry-ageing room.

The menu reflects Colin's classic French training with influences of Asian and Mediterranean flavours.

There are daily specials and a lighter lunch menu if you are after a more informal style of dining

When possible The Cottage sources from local producers and supports other businesses in the region and is currently working with local livestock farmers to deliver the quantity and quality the restaurant demands.

Having grown up amongst farmland on the south island of New Zealand, Colin is a country boy at heart despite living in the centre of Sydney for many years.

In 2010 Colin and his family moved to Willow Tree and established Graze at the Willow Tree Inn before moving to Melbourne in 2013.

He needed little persuasion to return to the district and start something of his own.

It's the wide-open spaces and old-fashioned country values that Colin likes most about the area.

2016 Savour Australia™ Awards for Excellence – WINNER, NSW (REGIONAL) Best Steak Restaurant

Bookings for The Cottage can be made by calling (02) 6545 1215, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the website

Published in Attractions
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

The Scone & Upper Hunter horse Festival, which will run from the 5th to the 15th of May 2016, showcases the versatility of the horse and is sure to provide everyone with an opportunity to experience something completely different.

This year's festival is themed 'Horses go to Rio' in celebration of the 2016 Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro.

With Scone known as the 'Horse Capital of Australia', the festival pays homage to all breeds of horses including thoroughbred, stock horses and draught horses as well as the men and women who breed and work with them.

One of the most striking demonstrations of the kindred of horse and man is the horse parade which is conducted on the opening Saturday of the festival. Headed by veteran horsemen, the parade is a showcase for the Upper Hunter horse world: a great family spectacle that packs the main street of Scone.

Other events throughout the festival include the festival ball, charity rodeo, sheep-dog trials, yarn's night, polo, farrier's competition, tent pegging, horse sports for schools, stud tours, yearling sale and much more.

The festival concludes with the iconic Scone Cup races, a two-day race carnival at the prestigious Scone Race Club. A multi-million dollar event that attracts over 16,000 people. The Scone Cup Carnival has grown into one of the biggest country provincial race meets on the NSW calendar.

To celebrate the end of the 10-day long festival a picnic and fireworks display is held at nearby Lake Glenbawn. This event includes games, rides and stalls that the whole family will enjoy.


Published in Events & Festivals
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