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Muswellbrook, a corruption of 'Muscle Brook', is a town and Local Government Area (see Muswellbrook Shire) in New South Wales, Australia. The original spelling and etymology of the town's name is a matter of some debate. "Mussel Creek" (now called "Muscle Creek") was first named by a party of surveyors who found mussels in the small stream while camping along its banks in the early 19th century. The present spelling of Muswellbrook is said to derive from the Muswell Hill area of London (England).
The town is located in the Upper Hunter Valley region, about 243km north of Sydney. The first European to discover the area was Chief Constable John Howe in 1819. It was declared a township in 1833. At the 2006 census, Muswellbrook had a population of 10,707. The current population of the district, including Denman, is about 15,200. Geologically, Muswellbrook is situated in the northern parts of the Sydney basin, bordering the New England region.
The area is predominantly known for coal mining and horse breeding. Located to the south of the Muswellbrook township are two coal fuelled power stations, Liddell and Bayswater. They were commissioned in 1973 and mid 1980s respectively and employ approximately 500 people from the area.
Muswellbrook lies at the junction of the Main Northern railway line and the Merriwa line, part of a cross country rail line to Gulgong. As such, it formed an important junction, as well as serving the numerous coal mining sidings found within a short distance from the main station building.
The New England Highway currently passes through the town. A route was selected for a bypass in 2006 but the Australian Government suspended the project in August 2008. Denman Road provides a connection to the Golden Highway.