Murrurundi Historic Charm
Murrurundi is an art lovers’ paradise. Resident artists, galleries and frequent workshops add to the allure of Murrurundi, a haven for artists escaping the frenzy of city life. Be sure to allow time to wander the galleries including Haydon Hall, BoHo Gallery, Chicken in the Window and Michael Reid Gallery.
Explore the unique rock formation of the Eye of the Needle, an unusual walkway leading to a lookout with captivating views over the township of Murrurundi. View the old suspension bridge, built before WWI and once used to transport the Chief Magistrate by buggy to the court house in the times of flood. Follow the town walk to view many of the heritage listed buildings such as Dooley’s Store and the White Hart Hotel. Copies of the Heritage Walk map can be picked up from the Visitor Information Centre.
Murrurundi is a show case of country pursuits with dog trials, rodeos and camp draft competitions. “The King of the Ranges” is now held in February each year and brings thousands of people to town.
The name Murrurundi was derived from the Wanaruah place name ‘Murrumoorandi’. Originally thought to mean ‘nestled in the valley’, it seems more likely that is refers to five unusual rock formations near Temple Court (only four remain now) and may mean ‘five fingers’ or ‘meeting place at the five fingers’.
Welcome to Murrurundi, situated at the head of the Hunter Valley, embraced by the Liverpool Range and the Pages River.
Visit the local art galleries and watch our artists in residence as they work on another masterpiece. If you have the inclination, ask about art classes and discover your hidden talents as many other locals have. Visit one of our major annual or biannual art exhibitions that may be on display in the local RSL Hall, or drop in to the many fantastic art galleries on Mayne Street.
Magnificent mountains surround the town and you will find some great walks and lookout opportunities at places like Eye of the Needle and the top of the range on the New England Highway. If golf is your game you will not get a more picturesque golf course than Royal Murrurundi Golf Course, just follow the road to Paradise Park.
The Upper Hunter is famous world over for its thoroughbred breeding industry and you can see a fine example of this at Emirates Park just south of Murrurundi on the New England Highway.
If you are travelling towards Scone, stop in at Burning Mountain near Wingen and take the fantastic signposted walk following the trail of the underground burning coal seam to the viewing platform located at the face of the seam. Stop in at the Durham Hotel in Wingen and discover the Wingen Maid formation so named by the local Aborigines.
The Murrurundi district was noted for its fine wool production. In the 1840s teamsters and stockmen frequented the Woolpack Inn and the White Hart Hotel. The railway arrived in 1872 and Murrurundi became a Municipality in 1890.
You can still walk the streets of Murrurundi and see some of the historic buildings including the police station and courthouse. Grand old hotels speak of a bygone era when the town was a shunting station for trains travelling through the tunnel at Ardglen and the population was over 3,000.
Shale oil was mined to the north of Murrurundi during WWII. A cable car system hauled the shale from over the ranges to Murrurundi for processing.