Nature in Merriwa
Explore Goulburn River National Park, 70,000 hectares of mostly sandstone country along the Goulburn River. Don't miss an Aboriginal rock art site known as "Hands on the Rock" in the park. Good picnic spots include Spring Gully and Big River (4WD recommended).
Merriwa is a small town located in the Upper Hunter, set on the Golden Highway halfway between Dubbo and Newcastle. The Golden Highway is part of the 10,000km ‘inland adventure trail’, a scenic series of inland highways dotted with vibrant New South Wales villages and townships.
After its settlement in 1839, Merriwa flourished as an agricultural centre. The Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces celebrates this rich agricultural history, and is held on the June long weekend each year. The festival has been running since 1990 and includes market stalls, competitions and displays. A parade led by over 200 sheep wearing red leg warmers is one of the highlights of the festival.
Merriwa has many fine examples of colonial architecture, from homesteads, courthouses and police stations, to hotels and churches. A walk through Merriwa reveals many architectural gems, such as the Trinity Anglican Church, built in 1855; the Cottage Museum, built in 1856 and now headquarters for the Merriwa Historical Society; and the Merriwa School of Arts, built in 1869. There is also a steam train from 1888 and the historic Merriwa Bottle Museum, housing a collection of over 5,000 bottles, many dating back to the 19th century.
The town is also an ideal base for experiencing the outdoor and cultural attractions of the Upper Hunter, such as the Upper Hunter Wine Trail, with its boutique wineries and farmers’ markets. There’s easy access to the Goulburn River National Park and camping grounds, which are just 22km south-west of Merriwa, and the charming villages of Sandy Hollow and Cassilis, each within half an hour’s drive.