There are a few example programs to test out ActiveMQ in the org.activemq.tool package in the unit test area.
You can run them from inside your IDE as they are stand alone Java applications. e.g. ConsumerTool consumes on a topic/queue and PublisherTool publishes on a topic/queue.
You can run them from inside Maven via
for the producer
You can specify a subject to publish/consume on too
You can mix and match url and subject parameters. If neither are specified then defaults are used.