Known as the horse capital of Australia, the historic town of Scone is home to dozens of studs and world-class thoroughbred breeders. Explore the area on horseback, and enjoy the spectacular World Heritage wilderness that surrounds the area.
One of the biggest horse-breeding regions in the world, where the champion mare Winx - one of the greatest race horses of all time - was raised, the region celebrates its equine heritage with the Scone Horse Festival in May, a two-day event that attracts many fine racehorses.
Enjoy a unique touring experience exploring the area on horseback with Scone Country Tours, and visit some of the Hunter’s outstanding horse studs with an accredited Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association guide.
Towarri National Park, just north of Scone, is home to abundant wildlife, including striking black cockatoos. Near Towarri is Burning Mountain Reserve, where a 5,500-year-old natural underground fire is part of the local Aboriginal Dreaming. The heritage-listed Barrington Tops is east of Scone. You can also pitch a tent at Washpools campground in Towarri National Park.
Take one of the area’s scenic drives and explore the magnificent national parks. Cast a line in Lake Glenbawn, one of the best freshwater fishing spots in NSW, and water sports on the lake include water skiing, sailing and canoeing.
Relax over a delicious meal at The Cottage, where local fare served with modern Australian twists in a lovingly restored with many tales to tell. The Scone Visitor Information and Horse Centre has brochures on more wonderful things to do and see in the area.
Getting there and where to stay
A few hours’ drive north from Sydney through Australia’s oldest wine region, and about two hours drive from Newcastle, you can also take a scenic train trip to Scone via Newcastle and Maitland.
You’ll find accommodation options to suit various budgets, from elegant colonial mansions and holiday cottages to motels, bed and breakfasts, apartments, lakeside holiday parks and farm stays.