Upper Hunter

The beautifully diverse Upper Hunter is in the Hunter Valley wine region and is one of the most famous horse-breeding areas in the world. From the cellar doors and champion mares to heritage towns and fun festivals, you’ll discover wonderful experiences only a few hours north of Sydney.

A memorable way to explore the charming towns, rolling vineyards and acclaimed horse studs is on scenic drives in the region. The food and wine attractions are deliciously enticing, from wine tasting at cellar doors to handmade cheeses, olives oils, gourmet condiments and fresh produce markets.

Kangaroos in the vineyard at Two Rivers Wines, Denman

The natural beauty of the Upper Hunter is incredible. UNESCO World Heritage wilderness borders the west and east and the striking Liverpool Range is in the north. In the Burning Mountain Nature Reserve is a 5,500-year-old natural underground fire woven into local Aboriginal Dreaming stories.

One of the best freshwater fishing spots in NSW is Lake Glenbawn. On the foreshore is a holiday park with cabins, bungalows and camping sites. You’ll find plenty more places to stay throughout the region, from luxury retreats to cottages, motels, farm stays, caravan parks and campgrounds.

Washpools campground is in the Towarri National Park, home to wallabies, gliders, powerful owls and glossy-black cockatoos, and pockets of rainforest, snow gums and casuarinas. The rugged national park is great for bushwalking and you can cool off in the pretty Washpools waterhole.

People enjoying the surrounding bushland at Washpool waterhole, Towarri National Park, NSW, Australia

Begin your discovery in the main town of Muswellbrook, home of the Max Watters Collection of paintings by influential Australian artists. The extraordinary collection is in the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre. The cellar doors around Denman and Sandy Hollow are a short drive away.

Denman hosts the annual Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair, a street festival in May. Check out the other festivals in the exciting events calendar, including the 10-day Scone Horse Festival in Scone, known as the horse capital of Australia. The Scone Cup Carnival is a thrilling two-day race meet.

North of Scone, near the Liverpool Range, is Murrurundi and the King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge. West of Scone is Merriwa, which celebrates its heritage with the Merriwa Festival of Fleeces. South of Scone is Aberdeen, where Scottish heritage is on display at the Highland Games.


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  1. Scone Horse Festival

    Friday 03 May 2019 to Sunday 12 May 2019 , Scone

    The historic town of Scone is well known as the ‘Horse Capital of Australia’ and for more than 37 years, a festival has been held in the town paying homage to all breeds of horses, including Thoroughbreds, Australian Stock horses and…

    03 May - 12 May
  2. Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair

    Event dates to be confirmed: May 2019 , Denman

    Wine lovers take the opportunity to stock your cellar with some of the Hunter's best wines. Leading Upper Hunter wineries will be showcasing their wines and will be available for sale on the day. Food lovers will be able to tempt their…

  3. Darley Scone Cup Carnival

    Friday 10 May 2019 to Saturday 11 May 2019 , Scone

    The biggest country racing carnival in Australia boasts nearly AUD2 million in prize money over the two days with stand-alone metropolitan status. Featuring the Emirates Park Dark Jewel Classic (Group Three), Darley Scone Cup (L), four…

    10 May - 11 May
  4. Rosto Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces

    Friday 07 June 2019 to Sunday 09 June 2019 , Scone

    The Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces has been a major Upper Hunter event since its creation in 1990. Established to promote the best of agriculture that Merriwa has to offer with a focus on the history of the Merino Sheep and how this…

    07 Jun - 09 Jun
  5. Hunter Soap Box Derby

    Saturday 29 June 2019 ,

    The Hunter Soap Box Derby idea was born out of a conversation that was had with locals, corporate members of the Upper Hunter and the Hunter Life Education (HLE) Executive Officer. They were discussing how they could help build and foster…

    29 Jun
  6. Aberdeen Highland Games

    Saturday 06 July 2019 , Scone

    The annual Aberdeen Highland Games take place on first weekend in July each year and are run in conjunction with the Scottish Australia Heritage Council's Heritage Week. During the day a number of events take place together with stalls…

    06 Jul