Bursting with Energy
Muswellbrook Shire consists of 2 larger towns, Muswellbrook and Denman, as well as a number of outlining rural communities including Sandy Hollow, Wybong, Baerami, Martindale, McCullys Gap, Widden and Muscle Creek.
The climate of Muswellbrook and the Upper Hunter is characterised by hot summer days often relieved by evening ‘southerly busters’ and cool, dry winters. Summer temperatures often reach over 40°c for several days in January and February. Winter temperatures can result in frequent frosts in the coldest months.
Muswellbrook LGA is in a summer dominated rainfall pattern however heavy isolated falls have been known during winter. The average rainfall is around 700mm.
A well established dairy and beef cattle industry made up of predominantly small to medium sized holdings which, in the last year or so, are beginning to change due to market forces such as the deregulation of the diary industry. In more recent times, viticulture and the equine industry have played just as important role in the development of the area.
Coal has had a long history in the Hunter and in the Muswellbrook Shire coal mining has been part of its make up since the late 1800’s. Initially underground mining was the norm in the shire but as technology has increased, more and more open cut mines have been established.
Such as Muswellbrook Coal, BHP Bilitons – Drayton, Bayswater and Mt Arthur mines, Mangoola Coal, Drayton Coal , Bengalla Mining Company. There are a total of 27 mines in and around the Muswellbrook Shire.
Coal mining has ensured that many residents of the shire have, or are working on the mines. Mining within the Shire of Muswellbrook employs 16.4%* of the total workforce. The coal mines are now looking to outside companies to do many tasks on site that used to be done by mine employees; many people are now working for these companies that support the mines in the entire Upper Hunter and beyond.
AGL Macquarie produces approximately 12% of the electricity needed by consumers in eastern Australia. AGL Macquarie’s assets include the 2,640 MW Bayswater power station, the 2,000 MW Liddell power station, the 50 MW Hunter Valley gas turbines and the Liddell solar thermal project. AGL Macquarie is the former NSW Government power producer, Macquarie Generation, which AGL acquired in September 2014. Over recent years Bayswater power station has produced approximately 15,000 GWh of electricity a year, enough power for two million average Australian homes and families. Liddell power station produces around 8,000 GWh of electricity or enough power for approximately one million average Australian family homes. Production from AGL Macquarie is equivalent to 30% of the electricity needs of New South Wales. AGL Macquarie is the largest domestic buyer of NSW coal and employs over 650 people, most of who live in the Upper Hunter. For more information on AGL Macquaire please click the link:
Muswellbrook is situated on the New England Highway, which is is the major inland route linking Sydney and Brisbane. Denman and Sandy Hollow are situated on the Golden Highway, which links Dubbo with the busy port of Newcastle. Nearly all general freight is moved along the New England Highway form Muswellbrook to the Power Stations and on the Coal Loader in the port of Newcastle. Regular rail passenger services connect Muswellbrook with Newcastle, Sydney and Brisbane.
On the first saturday in May, the main street of Denman is transformed into the ‘Biggest Street Party in Australia’ for the UPPER HUNTER WINE AND FOOD AFFAIR. This event showcases the leading wine and food producers of the district as well as providing entertainment for the whole family.
On the first Saturday of each month except May, the DENMAN FARMERS MARKET which will firmly establish the Denman district as a major wine and food destination.
Visitors traveling the ‘Greater Blue Mountains Drive’ will find Denman the perfect place to break their journey, with quality restaurants, accommodation, cafe’s and tourist attraction’s available.
Denman is a small rural town with a population of 1,954. Denman hosts spectacular views of rich pastures spreading out from the banks of the meandering Hunter and Goulburn Rivers. The town is situated on the bank of the Hunter River. The Goulburn river system meets the Hunter River 2km southeast of the town. The Hunter River has a constant flow of water thanks to Glenbawn Dam at the head of the river system.
The township fulfils a role as a service centre to outlying agricultural areas. There are many agricultural ventures nearby, including: dairy farms , vineyards , horse studs and beef cattle studs.
Denman has experienced growth in its population and also Real Estate prices recently due to the development of Mangoola Coal. http://www.visitdenman.com.au/
Today Merriwa is at the centre of a vast mixed farming area focusing principally on cattle, sheep, wheat and horse studs, although olive trees are becoming increasingly common in the area.
The Festival of the Fleeces is held on the long weekend in June. This celebration of rural heritage includes shearing and shed hand competitions, games, a street parade, yard dog trials, a billy cart derby, spinning display and a woolshed dance. The rodeo is held in February, the Polocrosse carnival in July and the Agricultural Show in September. For more information please contact Merriwa Information Centre on Ph: 02 6521 7046 http://www.merriwa-c.schools.nsw.edu.au/
Aberdeen is situated on the Upper Hunter Wine Trail, which runs from Scone in the north down to Muswellbrook and Denman in the south, along which you’ll find some of Australia’s most well-known vineyards, such as Rosemount Estate and Arrowfield.
Driving north-east of the town the Rouchel Road scenic drive will take you past beautiful scenery, the Hunter Valley Museum of Rural Life and the remains of a mill believed to be the oldest surviving structure of its kind in Australia.
Further on, you will find the tourist hotspot of the region, the large expanse of Lake Glenbawn. The lake, whose shores are well-equipped with barbeque and picnic facilities, draws watersport enthusiasts from far and wide. Anglers for one are attracted by the bass, golden perch and catfish lurking in the depths. The Aberdeen Highland Games is celebrated on the first weekend of July each year. The day has a number of events, such as the street parade, opening and closing ceremonies, activities for all, BBQ’s, stalls and much more.
The Highland Games started a few years ago and has progressed and is now attracting people from all over the state. Stall holders come from all over the state as well to be host for their family name and tradition. http://www.aberdeenhighlandgames.com/