Australia: Scone NSW

Sunday. Early April. A chill is in the air. Autumn leaves are appearing, skies are blue, clouds are few. Night temp – a bearable 13C. Day temp – a healthier vitamin D friendly 26C.

Weatherwise, it’s a beautiful time to be travelling and taking in the sights of Scottish named Scone which anoints itself as Australia’s Horse Capital.

Thoroughbred racehorse breeding is what’s done well here. So well in fact, that the region is recognised as the second largest horse breeding centre in the world, outside Kentucky. The retired Winx and Makybe Diva are in one of the many horse studs that dot a landscape where climate and soil marry perfectly.

Thoroughbred country
Scone Race Track with its manicured lawns is gearing up for a big race day on April 20.

Historical buildings in walking distance of each other are another terrific feature of Scone. A few hours of wandering and wondering yielded these pics.

St Lukes Anglican Church dates from early 1800s. Infant mortality rates were high.
Airlie House
Not marked with the Murdoch moniker – liking Scone a whole lot more now
This mid 1930’s theatre is expected to be pretty grand when renovations are completed
Built in 1882
Sums up horsey Scone. An excellent cafe is here
Fabulous architecture and from all accounts a fabulous laundry for travellers
When in Scone, only scones and coffee from The Buttered Scone will do
Communications nerve centre built in 1879
Mark Twain of Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn fame stayed here in 1895
I dub it my favourite Scone building – Soldiers Memorial School of Arts
Campbell’s Corner – mayor has signed off on restoration works

We camped at Glenbawn Lake, about 20 kms from Scone. A dam across the Hunter River has created the lake which is the water supply for the Hunter Valley vineyards.

A man and his camp fire on a starry starry night
Keeping watchful eyes on us. The big one on the left is leader of the pack

Outside Scone are some terrific drives. We drove to Gundy’s popular Linga Longa Inn.

Further along at Moonan Flat is the Victoria Hotel with its very welcoming owner and an equalling welcoming fireplace. It gets cold here; winter snow is always a sure thing.

A little further up the road, a dirt road that is, and through some stunning countryside is Ellerston, Kerry Packer’s vast property. Security is tight as you can imagine, but one of the polo fields is visible. Here’s an insight into Ellerston.

Packer country

Attractive Scone is now a favourite, and with a mayor who’s keen to do the right thing by townsfolk and visitors, plans for this town sound progressive. Put it on your bucket list.

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