Harden & Murrumburrah

Full of old world charm and historic landmarks, the twin towns of Harden and Murrumburrah are brimming with gold rush heritage, and surrounded by the vineyards and cellar doors of the Hilltops wine region. This area is also famous for the colourful Harden Kite Festival. 



Gold trails & war horses 

Gold was first discovered in the area in the 1850s and quickly drew Chinese and European miners eager to strike it rich. Bushrangers, such as the legendary Ben Hall, soon followed with troopers in tow. The region also has a proud agricultural history, with grain production and a flour mill dating back to the mid-19th century. The striking mural on the silos of the Murrumburrah Flour Mill celebrate the industry. 

Murrumburrah was also the birthplace of the First Australian Light Horse regiment in 1897 and many in the unit went on the fight in the Boer War. Visit the Light Horse Memorial to learn more about this legendary regiment and admire the bronze statues, including that of the famed Bill the Bastard, known as Australia’s greatest warhorse. For more local history, visit the Harden Murrumburrah Museum housed in the former School of Arts building from 1912. 

Sculpture and memorial dedicated to the 1st Australian Light Horse, Harden in Murrumburrah, Young area, Country NSW

Light Horse Memorial, Harden

Harden Kite Festival & events

Visit in October for the Harden Kite Festival, a colourful kite-flying extravaganza suitable for all ages, with live music, market stalls and rides. Another ideal time to visit is in spring, when the surrounding countryside explodes with vibrant yellow flowers, known as the Canola Trail. Follow our four-day itinerary to take in the best of the dazzling spectacle.

Flying Kites across the skyline at Harden Kite Festival, Harden

Harden Kite Festival, Harden - Credit: Harden Kite Festival

Food & wine

The twin towns are a great base to explore the wineries of the Hilltops region, producing boutique cool climate wines. Freeman Vineyards is the closest and its rustic cellar door is a little slice of Italy in the Hilltops. The orchards of the Young region, Australia’s cherry capital, are also nearby. You’ll find family-owned orchards where you can pick delicious fruits between from November to January.   

Local wine from Freeman Vineyards, Kingsvale in the Hilltops region

Local wine from Freeman Vineyards, Kingsvale

Find local delights at Barnes Store Emporium and Cafe and Harden’s House of Honey. The tiny village of Jugiong, around 30 minutes south, is a gourmet haven. Settle in for a long lunch at The Sir George, a beautifully restored pub from 1852 – you can even spend the night in heritage stables or chic modern barns. Fill your picnic basket at the Long Track Pantry and Jugiong Wine Cellar

Getting there & where to stay

Harden and Murrumburrah are a 3.5-hour drive from Sydney, just over 90 minutes from Canberra and half an hour from Young. Harden is also a stop on the Melbourne to Sydney train route. Places to stay include motels, retreats, apartments and the Light Horse Hotel, a classic country pub. 

Plan your trip