Muswellbrook was declared a township in 1833. It was discovered by Chief Constable John Howe in 1819 and in 1824 major parcels of land were surveyed by Henry Dangar along the banks of the Hunter River for allocation to early settlers.
The rich soils surveyed by Dangar resulted in Muswellbrook being established as a farming centre. The first railway was completed in 1869 and the town experienced significant expansion within this period. Of major importance was the first coal mine in the area in the 1890s.
The area was once occupied by the Wanaruah Aboriginal people and possibly the Kamilaroi. Certainly the two tribes had trade and ceremonial links. The Kamilaroi tribe was subdivided into clans and classes which determined marital possibilities. Once, one of the largest linguistic communities in Australia, their last known formal communal ceremony was held in 1905.
When Muswellbrook was declared a municipality in 1870 the population was 1445. Coalmining began in the 1890s although truly large-scale coal mining didn't get under way until more recently.
After the First World War, the larger properties were broken up into smaller farms with dairying supplanting wool and wheat. Many of the larger rural properties were broken into smaller farms and replaced dairying and wool and wheat as the main rural industry. This trend continued till late 1979.
New residents in Muswellbrook? Check out these websites for more information:
Muswellbrook Spring Festival
The Spring Festival is held from August to November each year and encompasses street parades, market stalls, camp draft and rodeos, country bush dances, theatre, fireworks displays and the very popular Muswellbrook Cup and Ladies Day at Muswellbrook Race Park held in conjunction with Melbourne Cup day.
Lake Glenbawn State Park
Lake Glenbawn State Park offers a wonderful diversity of bushland, wildlife and adventure perfect for a family holiday or day trip. Lake Glenbawn has a reputation for being some of the best fresh water fishing in NSW and the Dam is used by many for fishing and water sports. There are picnic areas, barbecues and playgrounds for day trips. There is a cricket oval and tennis courts that can be hired as well as a 3-hole golf course.
It can be accessed by either Aberdeen along Rouchel Road and follow the signs or through Scone onto Gundy Road and follow the signs. It is about 18kms from each.
Apart from a large variety of trees and plants, you may come across kangaroos and wallabies. The native bush setting is home to over 100 species of birds meaning nature lovers, bushwalkers and adventurers alike will enjoy Lake Glenbawn.
There are camping grounds and cabins and bungalows are also available. There are toilet facilities in a few places throughout the park and a kiosk located across from the picnic area near the boat ramp road.
A must see attraction, Burning Mountain is one of only three underground naturally burning coal seams in the world. It is located just 20kms away from Scone and two hours from both Newcastle and Tamworth.
There is a marked 4.6km round walk through the bushland. The track is marked out and is easy to follow and there are small signs giving you brief information about the area.
At the top is the open burning coal seam. Along the way, you will come across many native eucalypts, stringy barks, grey gums and some ironbarks. You may come across some of the fauna such as kangaroos, possums, goannas, wallaroos and echidnas as well as insects and skinks.
Towarri National Park
Towarri National Park contains an incredible variety of plants, wildlife and birds with amazing views of the Wingen Maid even visible from the road.
Swimming at the Washpools: There is a viewing platform near the picnic area. Bushwalking – explore the river oak-lined Middle Brook. Bushwalking elsewhere in the Park is for experienced bushwalkers only, but keen trekkers will be rewarded with spectacular views from the ridge tops. No formed walking trail system currently exists.
It is located slightly north west of Scone about 20kms. At the roundabout in town, head toward the railway line and at the next roundabout take the right as signposted and follow the road for around 20kms. The last 7kms is dirt and keep an eye out for trucks that use this road.
There are camping grounds available as well as a picnic area. Both areas have toilet facilities and the picnic area has BBQ areas. The Wingen Maid can also be seen from parts of the roads.
Barrington Tops National Park
The rainforests of Barrington Tops National Park are of international significance; forming part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia's World Heritage Area. Carved out of ancient volcanic flows, the park rises from near sea level to over 1500m and protects one of the largest temperate rainforests in mainland Australia, along with a host of diverse habitats and wide range of birds and animals.
The park is a bushwalker's paradise, with an excellent walking track network that includes short and easy walks to more difficult overnight hikes, with plenty of sites to set up a bush camp for the evening.
For those visiting for the day, there are lots of picnic and barbecue areas to enjoy, cycling trails to be explored and views from the park's lookouts that need to be seen to be believed. Fishing is a popular activity in the park between October and May.
Sandy Hollow Tourist Park
The Sandy Hollow Tourist Park is a 3.5 star park located near Denman in the Upper Hunter Valley. The park is set on 20 acres of natural bushland and features a wide range of accommodation options for holiday makers. It is a great place to explore the local area of National Parks and wineries or just relax by the pool.