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Kurri Kurri
City of Cessnock, New South Wales
Lang Street in Kurri Kurri.jpg
Lang Street in Kurri Kurri
Kurri Kurri is located in New South Wales
Kurri Kurri
Kurri Kurri
Location in New South Wales
Population 6,044 (2016 census)
 • Density 1,106.7/km2 (2,866/sq mi)
Established 1902
Postcode(s) 2327
Elevation 40 m (131 ft)
Area 5.1 km2 (2.0 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
LGA(s) City of Cessnock
Region Hunter
County Northumberland
Parish Heddon
State electorate(s) Cessnock
Federal Division(s) Paterson
Localities around Kurri Kurri:
Weston, Loxford Loxford Heddon Greta
Weston Kurri Kurri Heddon Greta
Pelaw Main Pelaw Main, Stanford Merthyr Stanford Merthyr

Kurri Kurri is a small town in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, in the Cessnock LGA. At the 2016 census, its population was 6,044. Kurri Kurri is the largest town in a group of towns and hamlets, including Stanford Merthyr, Pelaw Main, Weston, Abermain and Heddon Greta, called Kurri Kurri – Weston by the ABS. Its estimated population was 17,241 at 2016 census.


Kurri Kurri was founded in 1902 to service the local Stanford Merthyr and Pelaw Main collieries and mining communities. The town was named by District Surveyor T. Smith who chose the name because he believed it meant 'hurry along' in a local dialect.

The Kurri Kurri Hotel (1904) is one of several built during the era of mining prosperity in the early 20th century. It is an impressive three-story building featuring prominent verandas with cast-iron lacework. The Empire Tavern was also built during this period. Kurri Kurri has numerous small miners' cottages from the same period.


Mining at the South Maitland Coalfields began at East Greta in 1891, after an 1886 exploration by Sir Edgeworth David, a government geological surveyor, uncovered the potential of the Greta coal seam. More mines were opened in the early 1900s, supplanting those older pits at Newcastle where the Australian Agricultural Company enjoyed almost a monopoly. During this period there were a number of accidents including the death of six miners at the Stanford Merthyr Colliery in 1905, which is commemorated by a monument in the Kurri Kurri cemetery.

Richmond Main Colliery, also in the Kurri Kurri vicinity, was once the State's largest producer, at 3,400 tons per day, and which reputedly had the deepest shaft permitting access to two separate coal seams, the Scholey shaft, named after its founder, John Scholey. Following the serious slump in the coal industry Stanford Merthyr Colliery closed in 1957, Pelaw Main in 1962, and Richmond Main in 1967.

The power station at Richmond Main Colliery, which provided the electricity for Kurri Kurri and surrounding districts, remained in operation for some years after the mine's closure, until the entire district was attached to the National Grid.

Civic competitions

In 1988 the town established a Tidy Town Committee under the stewardship of the Keep Australia Beautiful competition. The town achieved immediate success and in the space of 6 years took the best town in NSW in 1993 and was a finalist in the best town in Australia.

This was followed by the establishment of the Small Towns committee known as Towns with Heart.

Local art

It is now becoming internationally renowned for its murals with more than 55 murals painted around the town and its environs depicting the history of the region and also recent events. Each year the town also hosts a Nostalgia Festival featuring rock 'n' roll dancing, hot rod and bike shows.


Retired Newcastle Knights Rugby league player Andrew Johns spent his childhood in Kurri Kurri, before moving to Cessnock. He would later play in the Kurri Kurri Under-16's side, as Cessnock was unable to field a team. Kurri Kurri is also noted as having produced more Rugby League internationals than any other bush town in Australia.

Kurri Kurri is also home to the 320 m (350 yd) long Loxford Park Speedway, a motorcycle speedway. The speedway has hosted a round of the Australian Solo Speedway Championship every year since 2011 as well as hosting the Australian Sidecar Speedway Championship twice (2012, 2014), the Australian Under-21 Solo Championship on three occasions (2012, 2013, 2015), the Australian Under-16 Solo Championship in 2012, and the NSW Solo Championship each year since 2011. The speedway has also hosted rounds of the Sidecar Grand Slam series and also holds the Jason Crump invitational for solos annually on Boxing Day in honour of Australia's only triple Speedway World Champion. Loxford Park also includes a 135 m (148 yd) junior (under-16) track on its infield.


SLNSW 126749 Opening new high school at Kurri Kurri
Newly constructed Kurri Kurri High School in 1956

Primary schools

  • Kurri Kurri Public School
  • Kurri Kurri Infants School
  • The Holy Spirit Primary School
  • Stanford Merthyr Infants School
  • Pelaw Main Public School
  • Weston Public School
  • Abermain Public School

Secondary schools

  • Kurri Kurri High School

Tertiary campuses

  • Hunter Institute of TAFE Kurri Kurri Campus

Notable people

  • Ken Booth – school teacher, sportsman, and politician
  • Luke Ford – writer
  • Bill Hamilton – rugby league footballer
  • Paul Harragon – rugby league footballer
  • Jemma House - soccer player
  • Mark Hughes – rugby league footballer
  • Bert James – Federal politician
  • Richard Johnson – soccer player
  • Ernest Llewellyn – violinist, violist
  • Eddie Lumsden – rugby league footballer
  • Greg McLaren – poet
  • George Neilly – NSW State politician
  • Sandy Pearson – Australian Army Major General
  • Melody Pool - Country-folk musician
  • Chad Reed – International motocross and supercross racer
  • John Sattler – rugby league footballer
  • Richard Saunders – sceptic
  • Adam Shields – Motorcycle speedway rider
  • Jamie Stauffer – Australian Superbike motorcycle racer
  • Casey Stoner – Two Time MotoGP World Champion
  • Reegan Tanner – rugby league footballer
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