Sunday, 16 June 2019 Sydney

Visit, Live & Invest in Upper Hunter::

Upper Hunter Shire is located in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, about 250 kilometres north of Sydney. Upper Hunter Shire is bounded by Liverpool Plains Shire and the Tamworth Regional Council area in the north, Gloucester and Dungog Shires in the east, the Singleton Council area and Muswellbrook Shire in the south and the Mid-Western Regional Council area and Warrumbungle Shire in the west.


The Upper Hunter Shire is a predominantly rural area and encompasses a total land area of about 8,000 square kilometres, of which a large proportion is National Park and nature reserves. Most of the rural area is used for grazing, dairy farming, horse studs and general farming. The main township is Scone, with smaller townships at Aberdeen, Merriwa and Murrurundi.  The Shire is a major cattle, crop, goat, pig, poultry and sheep producer, has an increasing number of vineyards, an abattoir which supplies the Australian and overseas markets, and the best and friendliest rural community within easy travelling distance from Sydney and Newcastle.


The Shire has a vibrant rural community that has been able to develop its own unique character, with Aberdeen, the home of the Australian Blue Heeler and host to the annual "Aberdeen Highland Games"; Merriwa in the west being well known for its popular "Festival of the Fleeces"; Murrurundi with one of the largest sheep dog trials in the state and more recently the annual "King of the Ranges Stockman's Challenge", and Scone renowned for its thoroughbred horse industry, and the long running "Scone & Upper Hunter Horse Festival".


announces itself as The Gateway to the Horse Capital and Birthplace of the Blue Heeler dog. It is tucked into the bank of the Hunter River and home to football fields, cricket, tennis courts, bowling and a nine hole golf course. On the first Saturday in July, the mist does swirl around the flats with the activities of the Highland Games. You will certainly hear the pipes. Two days of games, dances, bands, strong man events, stalls and a Saturday night Ceilidh.  



is located on the Golden Highway. Long ago the Koori people called this bountiful district "Merriwa" (plentiful with grass seeds and flour). Today, Merriwa's clean, fresh air, plentiful water and fertile soil produce some of the tastiest, best quality food in Australia. Wheat, barley, canola and sorghum, beef and lamb (some organic), pork, herbs and spices, olives, luscious stone fruit and strawberries, grapes and wines ... the list goes on. Merriwa and district's lifeblood is the family farm. Shearing time and the December wheat harvest are the busiest times of the year. Wool from the Merriwa flocks is highly prized as are local fat lambs, stud cattle and sheep. Local industries taking advantage of Merriwa's ideal transport position on the Golden Highway include a herb farm and processing plant, a stockfeed factory, orchardist and a wool quilt manufacturer.



is a town with rich history and plenty of character. As you arrive you are enveloped by the breathtaking scenery of steep hills all around. It has an artistic community who are dressing up the town in the way it used to be many years ago as can be seen at the north and south entrances to the town. Murrurundi now hosts the annual "King of the Ranges Stockman's Challenge" which is the quintessential skills challenge between rider and horse with competitive events such as bareback obstacle course, horse shoeing, stock handling, whipcracking, packhorse and cross country. The area has a history of sheep and cattle grazing and more recently is renowned for horse breeding. Murrurundi also hosts the Norvill Art Prize, which attracts art lovers from all over Australia and in 2007 launched Turning the Pages which is an award winning project where Art, Science and the local community come together to celebrate the significance of the Pages River within the Upper Hunter Region of NSW.



is reputed to be Australia's equivalent to the Kentucky Bluegrass region of the United States. It has many famous horse studs and claims the title of Horse Capital of Australia. It boasts a fine racecourse, a TAFE college which specialises in equine studies, and an Equine Research Centre which is dedicated to the study of specialised horse diseases.



Tourism and Business



You can access a number of online tourism resources by visiting Upper Hunter Shire Council's Tourism website.  You'll find tourist attractions, accommodation and general tourist information in our area.

Upper Hunter Shire Council's Tourism Website



Upper Hunter Shire, located in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW is world renowned for its breeding of thoroughbred horses, while also being the location for the Stock Horse Society of Australia. Upper Hunter Shire Council and Scone Chamber of Commerce have jointly developed a website to further promote Scone's reputation as the "Horse Capital", and to provide an access point for all tourism and business information.

The most recent Business Directory for the town of Merriwa, located on the Golden Highway, can be found here.



Home Hosting

Interested in providing a clean bed and light breakfast for visitors to the area?  Join our home host listing by filling out and returning the form below.


Merriwa Business Directory (PDF - 924.29KB)
Home Hosting Registration Form (PDF - 70.75KB)

Aberdeen Highland Games
Murrurundi King of the Ranges
Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival
Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces