Kurri Kurri claims the distinction of being the first town in NSW that owes its origins to government planning rather than historic happenstance. And the town’s street signs testify to its beginnings - many of the streets take their names from politicians who, presumably, had a hand in the planning that resulted in the gazetting of the Hunter Valley coal town in 1902.
Half an hour north-west of Newcastle, Kurri Kurri is a town which has often been called on to publicly mourn its dead and headstones and a memorial in the local cemetery are liberally sprinkled with the names of miners who have given their lives in the quest for coal.
Kurri Kurri is within a few minutes drive of historic Maitland and the vineyards of the Lower Hunter. The most imposing building in town is the three-storey Kurri Kurri Hotel, whose balconies and arches are richly decorated with iron lace. The Sir Edgeworth David Memorial Museum in the grounds of the Kurri Kurri High School has a rich store of historic material and artefacts.