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SCONE – POPULATION VILLAGES MA

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					Upper Hunter Shire - Rural Lifestyle

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pper Hunter Shire, is situated in the Upper Hunter valley of NSW on the New England Highway, and Great Northern Railway Line; 180 kilometres from Newcastle and 300 kilometres from Sydney.

The Upper Hunter Shire Council covers an area of 8,069 square kilometres with a population of 14,459. The residents of the shire live in the major towns include Scone, Aberdeen, Merriwa, Cassilis and Murrurundi, with the remaining population dispersed throughout the shire area. The residents enjoy a climate of warm dry summers and brisk winters. Scone township is surrounded by picturesque countryside from the mountainous eastern areas to undulating grazing land and rich river flats in the centre of the valley. The district is agriculturally rich and diverse, with approximately half the population living on and deriving an income from the land. Historically, the economy of the Shire has been built on the dairy, beef, sheep and equine industries, but now the beef and equine industries are dominant. With fertile soils and rolling countryside attracting horse breeders since early European settlement, the presence of over 45 horse studs in the Shire is confirmation of Scone‟s claim to be the “Horse Capital of Australia”. For a Shire of its size Upper Hunter offers excellent education and medical facilities, as well as having an active cultural focus with a diverse array of arts and social events and festivals. A wide selection of sporting activities and clubs are supported by excellent grounds and associated facilities.

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With a real country town presence, Scone has typical rural streetscapes with centre rows of eucalyptus trees and many original heritage buildings remaining in well preserved condition. Picturesque views of hillsides can be enjoyed from all aspects of the town, while Kelly Street gathers together some fine old buildings – Campbells Corner, the art deco cinema hall, the Post Office, banks and other buildings.

IFESTYLE

Shopping Scone shopping and business centre is well served by major supermarkets,
hardware stores, service stations, chemist, nurseries, electrical and numerous specialty shops offering interesting and diverse shopping choices. A wide choice of accommodation includes motels, hotels and caravan parks within the towns of Scone and Aberdeen. The surrounding district offers hospitality through camping, farmstays, B&B‟s and country pubs.

Accommodation

Scone and Aberdeen both provide a very attractive residential option for many people engaged in mining activities, which are located on the southern boundary and the Shires to the south of Scone. Both Scone and Aberdeen offer residential estates suitable for subdivision and residential or commercial development. Transportation The Shire is serviced by rail to Sydney and Newcastle, with two services daily as well as a daily coach service to Sydney. Northbound rail services operate daily providing access to the New England and North West. Daily coach services provide transport to Armidale and through to the NSW North Coast. The regular services linking Scone to Sydney, Newcastle and Armidale make the district very amenable for people of all ages to live, study, work and play in a healthy rural environment. Rotary, Lions, Apex, View, Probus and Quota are all actively supported. The CWA, Red Cross, Cancer Support Group and Church Groups all generously contribute to the community.

Community Organisations

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DUCATION Scone Shire offers a surprising number of educational options for an area of its size:

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Scone High School – a comprehensive rural school with an enrolment of 605 Scone Grammar – an Anglican school with an enrolment of 340 from kindergarten to Year 12. St Joseph‟s Aberdeen – a Catholic High School with an enrolment of 630. Merriwa Central School – from infants through to High School State Primary Schools in both Scone and Aberdeen, as well as St Mary‟s Catholic Primary School in Scone. Small schools at Ellerston, Moonan, Rouchel and Belltrees are maintaining the tradition of rural schooling and eliminating the need for small children to spend long hours on school buses. Scone Preschool and the Day Care Centre provide care and education for younger children. The Council supervises a Family Day Care program which provides further child minding facilities. The Scone TAFE College, in an attractive rural setting, offers a range of courses specialising in equine and agricultural studies. The Shire is within easy reach of universities at Newcastle and Armidale, with Bathurst and Sydney only 4 hours away. ECREATION For the nature lover there are a number of beautiful picnicking, camping and bushwalking sites in the region.

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Lake Glenbawn, 15 kilometres east of Scone and twice the size of Sydney Harbour offers scenic beauty, boating, swimming, water skiing, rowing, bushwalking, tennis, fishing and golf. Lake Glenbawn State Park has a range of accommodation including cottages, cabins, caravan park and camping, all located in beautiful leafy surroundings on the foreshores. The road from Scone to Lake Glenbawn is ideal for cycling, passing through lush thoroughbred studs and gently climbing into the catchment area. There are three national parks in the Shire. Barrington Tops National Park, at the top of the range on the road leading from Scone eastwards to the coast, has breathtaking scenery and many options for campers, nature lovers, bushwalkers and hikers. Closer to Scone is the Burning Mountain Nature Reserve with its fascinating and unique coal seam, which is estimated to have been burning underground for 5,500 years. The newly opened Towarri National Park is 20 kilometres north west of Scone and has swimming and picnic areas in beautiful surroundings.
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PORTS Excellent facilities have undoubtedly contributed to the impressive achievements of generations of Scone families. Scone Sporting Complex with extensive cricket and soccer fields, netball courts and an athletic track; Scone Park hosting a rugby league ground as well as a basketball stadium, 7 tennis courts and a skateboard ramp; Murray Bain Oval hosting another football oval; Rugby Union with a rugby oval and clubhouse; Lake Glenbawn home of fishing, rowing and water ski clubs; a 50 metre swimming pool; Squash courts, Golf course and Club House; Bowling greens at both the RSL ad Bowling Clubs; Rodeo ground; Croquet court at both the Bowling Club and Uniting Church along with two clay tennis courts In Aberdeen there are also well maintained sporting facilities including Jefferson Park football and cricket fields; a nine hole golf course; two bowling clubs; tennis courts and a rodeo ground. Other leisure and equine sporting activities abound within the Scone Shire including polo carnivals; pony clubs for the young riding enthusiasts; strong polocrosse competitions; campdrafting; stockmen challenges and rodeo events; endurance riding; dressage; show jumping and „eventing‟ competitions; regular race meetings attracting metropolitan horses and jockeys.

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EALTH AND MEDICAL The town has an accredited teaching medical practice with 6 doctors as well as several residents in training.

A new medical surgery was constructed in 2004 to service the local community. The Shire is serviced by the Scott Memorial Hospital which provides approximately 40 beds, an operating theatre, radiology unit and the services of a part-time surgeon. Additional services including physiotherapy, counselling and speech therapy are available through the hospital as well as privately. The district also has two private practising massage therapists and one chiropractor. Strathearn Village, a modern retirement and nursing home complex, provides accommodation for 80 high care residents, 21 low care and 68 independent living units. There is an excellent home care program and neighbour aid organization to assist the elderly.

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