Upper Hunter

4 TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF THE UPPER HUNTER ABERDEEN Located on the New England Highway, midway between Muswellbrook and Scone, Aberdeen was among the first settlements in the Upper Hunter. Established more than 180 years ago, Aberdeen is steeped in its Scottish heritage, taking its name from the Earl of Aberdeen, a friend of early settler and former British MP Thomas Macqueen. The annual ‘Aberdeen Highland Games’ are held each year on the first weekend in July and sees a colourful gathering of Scottish clans, pipe bands, highland dancers, heavylifting event competitors, as well as state and interstate tug-of-war teams come together to celebrate the Upper Hunter’s Scottish and Celtic history. Just a few kilometres east of Aberdeen, Lake Glenbawn is very popular for camping, boating, skiing and other water activities and boasts an abundance of fish, including Bass, Golden Perch, Murry Cod and Trout. MUSWELLBROOK Muswellbrook is located 90 minutes from Newcastle in the heart of the Upper Hunter, making it an ideal base from which to explore the region. Steeped in history, you’ll discover historic buildings, grand country homes and Jacaranda-lined streets. Muswellbrook is a powerhouse of new energy projects, mining and agriculture. The town has also developed a reputation for producing award-winning wine, olives, and delicious cheeses that can be enjoyed at local restaurants and at the farm gate. Every two years in September, Muswellbrook hosts the ‘The Great Cattle Dog Muster’. A celebration of the Australian Cattle Dog’s origins in the Upper Hunter, the event draws visitors from throughout the region, across Australia, and overseas. Muswellbrook also boasts the Upper Hunter’s Regional Arts Centre, home to the Max Waters Collection and the prestigious Muswellbrook Art Prize. DENMAN Nestled amid vineyards, horse studs, and olive groves, Denman is the Upper Hunter’s epicentre for local wine and produce. Delight your senses and sample some of Australia’s most award-winning wines – all grown and produced in the heart of the Upper Hunter. The Denman district also boasts an impressive array of cafes and restaurants to satisfy all tastes, ranging from pub grub, pavement cafes, a la carte dining, cellar doors with restaurants, through to delicious antipasto platters. CASSILIS West of Merriwa on the Golden Highway is the heritage-listed town of Cassilis. Settled in in the 1830’s, Cassilis then covered a large area and was the base for the local police district and part of the Dalkeith Station. The township has plenty of country charm and is rich in agriculture. In September the region is covered by fields of Canola. MERRIWA Situated midway between Dubbo and Newcastle on the Golden Highway, Merriwa is favourite stopover for travellers heading to Mudgee, Dunedoo or Dubbo in the west, or to Willow Tree in the north. Settled in 1839, Merriwa is a flourishing agriculture centre that celebrates its rich agricultural history with the Merriwa Springtime Show in September and the Festival of the Fleeces on the June long weekend (don’t miss the ‘Running of the Sheep’ – resplendent in their red socks!). Built in the town centre in 1847, the Old Colonial Cottage houses the Merriwa Historical Society and Museum.