The Hunter Valley

The Hunter Lakes Corporation has a bold vision for the Hunter Valley of NSW. Inspired by the enormous success of The Ruhr and Lusatian lakes districts, the Hunter Lakes Corporation seeks to develop a similar network of interconnected artificial lakes stretching from Muswellbrook to Broke (south west of Singleton).

This ambitious scheme will address the unfinished industrial legacy of mining by restoring the local environment, generating local jobs and boosting the local economy, and will leave a long-standing legacy of water security.

The plan

Upper Hunter Valley Lakes District map


The Hunter Lakes Scheme offers benefits for the local community and beyond in the following three areas:

Just like in Lusatia and The Ruhr, the Hunter Valley Lakes scheme offers significant benefits for the Australian and Hunter Valley communities.

The environmental and human cost of drought is all too familiar to every Australian. A key outcome of The Hunter Lakes Scheme is the provision of additional water storage and irrigation for inland areas. The security of reliable water offers Australian farmers the opportunity to plan ahead in ways that, until now, have been impossible. 

Of course, such a huge undertaking requires people power, and The Hunter Lakes Scheme will require a small army of workers who are ready and willing to reshape the landscape, and, by extension, the fortunes of their region.

New tourist destinations and activities will also emerge; from watersports and cycling to romantic getaways, the Hunter Lakes will offer something for everyone, and will supplement the already thriving wine industry that draws international and local tourists to the area.

These days, it’s difficult for newcomers to imagine what Lusatia looked like in years gone by, though the mining relics that have been creatively integrated into the renewal pay a respectful nod to the thousands of former miners and their families who made this place what it is today.

Stakeholder involvement

The scheme will involve all three levels of Government as well as a wide range of stakeholders. It will not be the responsibility of the mining sector. Importantly, the operations of the mining companies will not be impeded. As is currently the case in Germany, the mining operations will remain compatible with the creation of the environmental landscape required for the formation of the lakes.

A master plan will guide the process, balancing ongoing mining and future mine closure timelines with the lakes construction timelines. Local residents, businesses, community groups and organisations of the Hunter Valley region will be truly engaged with their emerging new landscape.