Cessnock, New South Wales

Last updated

New South Wales
Cessnock, NSW.jpg
Cessnock, New South Wales
Aerial photo of countryside around Cessnock
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 32°50′3″S151°21′19.8″E / 32.83417°S 151.355500°E / -32.83417; 151.355500 Coordinates: 32°50′3″S151°21′19.8″E / 32.83417°S 151.355500°E / -32.83417; 151.355500
Population21,725 (2016 census) [1]
Postcode(s) 2325
Elevation80 m (262 ft)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
LGA(s) City of Cessnock
Region Hunter
County Northumberland
Parish Cessnock
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Hunter
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
24.6 °C
76 °F
11.1 °C
52 °F
747.5 mm
29.4 in

Cessnock is a city in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, about 52 km (32 mi) by road west of Newcastle. It is the administrative centre of the City of Cessnock LGA and was named after an 1826 grant of land called Cessnock Estate, which was owned by John Campbell. [2] [3] The local area was once known as "The Coalfields", and it is the gateway city to the vineyards of the Hunter Valley, which includes Pokolbin, Mount View, Lovedale, Broke, Rothbury, and Branxton.

Hunter Region Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Hunter Region, also commonly known as the Hunter Valley, is a region of New South Wales, Australia, extending from approximately 120 km (75 mi) to 310 km (193 mi) north of Sydney. It contains the Hunter River and its tributaries with highland areas to the north and south. Situated at the northern end of the Sydney Basin bioregion, the Hunter Valley is one of the largest river valleys on the NSW coast, and is most commonly known for its wineries and coal industry.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.



The transition to wine service centre from a once prosperous mining town has been a long and at times difficult process.

Cessnock lies between Australia’s earliest European settlements – Sydney, the Hawkesbury River and Newcastle. Lying on the land route between these important settlements it provided early European contact with indigenous people who have inhabited the Cessnock area for more than 3,000 years. The Wonnarua people were the major inhabitants at the time of European contact, which subsequently proved to be disastrous for the Wonnarua tribe. Many were killed or died as a result of European diseases. Others were forced onto neighbouring tribal territory and killed. The city of Cessnock abounds in indigenous place names and names with indigenous association which is indicative of this settlement and include Congewai, Kurri Kurri, Laguna, Nulkaba and Wollombi.

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,131,326, and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Hawkesbury River river in New South Wales, Australia

The Hawkesbury River, is a semi–mature tide dominated drowned valley estuary located to the west and north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The Hawkesbury River and its associated main tributary, the Nepean River, virtually encircle the metropolitan region of Sydney.

Newcastle, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas. It is the hub of the Greater Newcastle area which includes most parts of the local government areas of City of Newcastle, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Cessnock, City of Maitland and Port Stephens Council.

Pastoralists commenced settling the land in the 1820s. Cessnock was named by Scottish settler John Campbell, after his grandfather's baronial Cessnock Castle in Galston, East Ayrshire, to reflect the aristocratic heritage and ambitions for this estate. [2] [3] The township of Cessnock developed from 1850, as a service centre at the junction of the Great North Road from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, with branches to Maitland and Singleton.

Galston, East Ayrshire human settlement in United Kingdom

Galston is a municipality in East Ayrshire, Scotland which has a population of 5,001 (2001). It is situated in wooded countryside 4 miles up-river from Kilmarnock and is one a group of the small towns located in the Irvine Valley between the towns of Hurlford and Newmilns. To the north of the town is the ruin of Loudoun Castle, the site of Loudoun Castle theme park from 1995 to 2010. In 1874 the population was 4,727.

Maitland, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Maitland is a city in the Lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia and the seat of Maitland City Council, situated on the Hunter River approximately 166 kilometres (103 mi) by road north of Sydney and 35 km (22 mi) north-west of Newcastle. It is on the New England Highway about 17 km (11 mi) from its start at Hexham.

Singleton, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Singleton is a town on the banks of the Hunter River in New South Wales, Australia. Singleton is 197 kilometres (122 mi) north-north-west of Sydney, and 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Newcastle. At June 2015, Singleton had an urban population of 16,921.

The establishment of the South Maitland coalfields generated extensive land settlement between 1903 and 1923. The current pattern of urban development, transport routes and industrial landscape was laid at this time. The surveying of the Greta coal seam by Professor Edgeworth David around 1888 became the impetus for considerable social and economic change in the area with the development of the coal mining industry. [ citation needed ]

The South Maitland coalfields was the most extensive coalfield in New South Wales until the great coal mining slump of the 1960s. It was discovered by Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson's party when they were engaged in an exploratory visit to the Hunter River Valley during July 1801.

Edgeworth David Australian geologist

Sir Tannatt William Edgeworth David, professionally known as Edgeworth David, was a Welsh Australian geologist and Antarctic explorer. A household name in his lifetime, David's most significant achievements were discovering the major Hunter Valley coalfield in New South Wales and leading the first expedition to reach the South Magnetic Pole. He also served with distinction in World War I.


According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 21,725 people in the Cessnock urban centre.


The decline of mining on the South Maitland Coalfields has been paralleled by growth in the wine industry and better access to other employment centres.

The Hunter Valley wine-growing area near Cessnock is Australia's oldest wine region and one of the most famous, with around 1,800 hectares (4,448 acres) under vine. The vineyards of Pokolbin, Mount View and Allandale, with their rich volcanic soils tended by entrepreneurial vignerons, are also the focus of a thriving and growing tourism industry. The extension and eventual completion of the F3 Freeway, created a property and tourism boom during the 1990s.

Cessnock has begun to develop other tourist ventures beyond the wine industry such as championship golf courses, hot air ballooning, [4] sky-diving, and guest house accommodation.

The city council has actively pursued a policy of urban renewal in the city centre since 2001. The local council was one of the first to introduce a recycling program for waste disposal in the state. [ citation needed ]

Most employment comes from the local port city of Newcastle, the nearby major centres of Maitland and Singleton and in service industries in the local council area, which comprises many small towns, such as Kurri Kurri, Weston, Neath, Abernethy, Kearsley and Pokolbin.


The town is located in the rich alluvial and volcanic soils of the Hunter Valley. Rich coal seams underlie much of the area. [ citation needed ] The Brokenback Range (part of the Great Dividing Range) rises to the west of the city. The Hunter River flows down the Hunter Valley approximately 20 km (12 mi) to the north. Cessnock lies within the Hunter Valley Important Bird Area. [5]


Cessnock has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with hot summers and cool winters, similar to Penrith, a suburb in Greater Western Sydney to the south. Summers may be dry due to their inland location, but humid days are not uncommon. Winters are usually dry with cold nights, which may be frosty.

Climate data for Cessnock Airport
Record high °C (°F)45.0
Average high °C (°F)30.1
Average low °C (°F)16.9
Record low °C (°F)6.1
Average precipitation mm (inches)81.2
Average precipitation days10.110.810.
Source: [6]



Cessnock is serviced by a number of regional newspapers, radio stations and television stations.


St John's Church, Dudley Street. StJohnsChurch.jpg
St John's Church, Dudley Street.


Radio stations include:

AM stations

FM stations

Government broadcasters


Cessnock is part of the Newcastle-Hunter Region television market, which is served by 5 television networks, three commercial and two national services (which include new sub-channels that started in 2009 for the commercial networks and in recent years from the national services). . These networks are listed as follows:

NBN Television produces an evening news bulletin combining local, state, national and international news screening nightly at 6.00PM, while subscription television service Foxtel is also available via satellite.


Rodeo at Cessnock showground Cessnock rodeo.JPG
Rodeo at Cessnock showground

The city has many sporting facilities. The city competes in several regional sporting competitions, particularly the Newcastle-based leagues of various sports. Some very successful sporting players can trace their roots to the local district, including Australian Rugby League representative players and brothers Andrew and Matthew Johns. World-renowned golfer and TV commentator Jack Newton is also from Cessnock. His annual Sub-Juniors Golf Tournament has unearthed some talented young golfers and is held on the local championship courses of Pokolbin. Cessnock was the base camp for the Japanese national football team during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.


For a century Cessnock was served by the South Maitland Railway network, originally constructed for the coal industry, but which, at one time, had considerable passenger services, including a direct train to Sydney known as the Cessnock Flyer.

The Sydney-Newcastle Freeway's Cessnock exit at Freemans Waterhole provides one of the main road connections from Sydney to Cessnock via "The Gap", a pass through the Watagan Mountains range just north of Mount Heaton.

Until the Hunter Expressway opened in 2014, linking the New England Highway at Branxton and the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway at West Wallsend, through traffic passed through Cessnock.

The local airport is placed just to the north of the city, at the entrance to the Vineyard District. It has a small public passenger terminal and also serves as the base for aviation training organisations such as Avondale College's school of Aviation and Hunter Valley Aviation. The airport is not served by RPT flights. Access by air to the region is by Newcastle Airport at Williamtown, 53 km (33 mi) away.

The local bus service is run by Rover Coaches which provide services to Maitland, Newcastle and Morisset and school bus services.

Notable people

National Estate

Cessnock Court House, Maitland Road, designed by Government Architect George McRae CessnockCourtHouse0001.jpg
Cessnock Court House, Maitland Road, designed by Government Architect George McRae

Greater Cessnock contains a number of buildings and sites that are on the Register of the National Estate. [10]

See also


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    1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Cessnock (Urban Centres and Localities)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 21 October 2018. Blue pencil.svg CC-BY icon.svg Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
    2. 1 2 "Cessnock". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales . Retrieved 16 May 2008.
    3. 1 2 "Cessnock is the eastern gateway to New South Wales". Hunter Vineyard Tours. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2008.
    4. "The Sydney Morning Herald - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
    5. BirdLife International. (2011). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hunter Valley. Downloaded from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 July 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) on 11 July 2011.
    6. "Cessnock Post Office". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology . Retrieved 4 December 2013.
    7. "Home page". Cessnock Advertiser.
    8. "Fairfax Regional Media". Fairfax Media. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
    9. "2CHR Central Hunter Community Radio". 2chr.org. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
    10. The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981