Kurri Kurri
Experience | Art | Country town | urban walking | Hunter Region | New South Wales

Kurri Kurri

Town of murals

by Susie Baber  |  29 April 2022

In its heyday Kurri Kurri was a rich and prosperous town, surrounded by hugely productive Hunter Valley mines. When the mines closed it had to readjust to post-coal mining life. Only 147 km north of Sydney and 14 km east of Cessnock, if you are driving to the Hunter Valley to do some wine tasting, then it is worth the short detour off the main road into this town for a quick look.

In 1998 a project called Towns with Heart was initiated to bring new life to villages affected by the demise of the mining industry. As part of the project murals were commissioned to decorate Kurri Kurrri and the surrounding mining area. There are over 60 outdoor public artworks on display in the district, the vast majority in Kurri Kurri, showcasing the history and heritage of the region, from the Rothbury riots to the famous Headon Greta drive-in.

Most of the murals can be found on or near Lang Street in the centre of town. Spend an hour or so wandering the main street discovering street art around every corner. Each mural has a plaque with the name of the mural and artist, and a description of the subject. It is said that every mural also features Kurri Kurri’s emblem, the kookaburra. Sometimes the kookaburra is easy to find, in other art works he is a bit trickier to track down and in a few I failed to find the little feathered friend at all – maybe you will do better…

You can pick up a mural map from the local information centre in town, or download it here

These images are but just a few of the amazing artworks in the streets of Kurri Kurri, I will leave the rest for you to enjoy on your own walking tour of the town. (Feature image for this story is Drive-in by Jeremy Kang)

Antiques by Cindy Staley 
 Ian “Beat” Hill by Daniel Joyce 
Campfire by
Greg Slevin & Liz Wallis 
 Anzac by Chris Fussell 
On the Buses by Kim,
Alexander & Charlotte Barker 
Sewing by Peter Sesselmann 
Galloways John Dorahy 
Garage by Grant Franklin
& local youth 
Kookaburras by Harley Kirkwood 
 Police Station by Ben Mellon 
Local Legends by John Dorahy 
Maypole by Greg Slevin 
Picnic in the Park by
Brian Standley 
Rothbury Riot by Chris Fussell 
Australian Christmas by
Greg Slevin 

Added bonus

Australians are mildly obsessed by ‘big’ things. The big banana, the big trout and the big lobster to name a few. Not to be left out, here in Kurri Kurri the community have taken the towns mascot to a huge scale and created the Big Kookaburra. The large metal sculpture sits on his gum tree in Rotary park in the centre of town, where you will also find picnic benches and toilets (decorated with murals of course) if you need a pit stop.

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