Cessnock is a sub-region
of the Hunter Valley, approximately 120 kilometres
north of Sydney, 40 kilometres west of Newcastle
and 30 kilometres from the coast.
The population of the City (44,362 - 1996 Census)
represents 8.2% of the total population of the
The majority of
the population of the City is located in a thin
urban belt between Cessnock and Kurri Kurri with
the remainder located in outlying rural areas.
Cessnock is the dominant town in the City servicing
the surrounding rural areas.
people were the major indigenous inhabitants at
the time of European contact. The City of Cessnock
still abounds in indigenous place names and names
with indigenous association such as Kurri Kurri,
Laguna and Congewai.
settling the land in the 1820's. Wollombi became
the established centre of the area from the 1830's
after the completion of the Great North Road that
linked the Hawkesbury Valley with the Hunter Valley.
township of Cessnock developed from 1850, as a
service centre at the junction of the Great North
Road, with branches to Singleton and Maitland.
the 1860's, land settlement was extensive between
Nulkaba and Pokolbin with wheat, tobacco and grape
growing, the main crops.
surveying of the Greta Coal Scheme at the turn
of the Century became the impetus for considerable
social and economic change. The establishment
of the South Maitland Coalfield allowed for extensive
land settlement between 1903-23. Townships sprang
up adjacent to pit tops and the rail heads on
the Greta seam. The township of Kurri Kurri became
established at the northern end of the coal seam.
mining was the principal industrial base of the
Cessnock area for the first half of this Century.
But changes in mining, including automation and
the introduction of sophisticated computerised
equipment, have lead to the closure of the vast
majority of mines in the area. This, together
with the natural ageing of the population, has
resulted in a decline in population in some villages
over the last twenty years. Consequently many
areas have undergone a change in character, with
rural residential housing development and weekend
retreats becoming popular.
decline of mining has been paralleled by growth
in the wine industry.
Hunter Valley wine-growing area in Cessnock City
is Australia's oldest wine region and one of the
most famous with around 4,500 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.
primary industries in Cessnock City include beef
and secondary industry has also been a feature
of the City's recent economic development, with
the production of aluminium, the processing of
explosive equipment and mining support services
now a significant source of employment in the
Cessnock Local Government Area is characterised
by a variety of geographic features, which include
large areas of dry sclerophyll forest, grazing
land and areas for viticulture.
Cessnock City Council
PO Box 152
Cessnock NSW 2325
Tel: 61 2 4993 4100
Fax: 61 2 4993 4200
Web Site: http://www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au