New England High Country
Stretching from Walcha in the south to Tenterfield in the North, New England High Country boasts spectacular waterfalls, gorges, world-heritage national parks, cool-climate vineyards and a fascinating and diverse cultural heritage. With four distinct seasons your outdoor adventures take on an exciting new dimension up high. And you’ll be delighted all over again when you come inside to discover our galleries, museums, fine food and wine.
Armidale - The capital of New England
What’s so appealing about Armidale is that it’s a cosmopolitan and sophisticated urban centre located in a picturesque rural setting on the doorstep of some of the most scenic national parks in Australia. This means that it ticks a lot of boxes as a perfect change of scene for jaded city slickers and anyone seeking a serene but interesting place to unwind.
Well known for its cathedrals and heritage buildings Armidale’s best kept secret is the four national parks, each with extraordinary natural attractions, within an hour’s drive from the city centre. There’s a monumental tumble of giant granite boulders to climb in the Cathedral Rock National Park. Along the aptly named Waterfall Way, Ebor Falls and Wollomombi Falls are examples of majestic waterfalls to enjoy. Much of the extensive wilderness in the New England and Oxley Wild Rivers National Parks is World Heritage listed.
The past has a place in modern-day Armidale. Gracious cathedrals and stately buildings dating from the 1860s reflect the lofty aspirations of the early settlers and remain a hive of activity today. But the best way to learn about the history of the city is to hop on board the Armidale Heritage Tour bus for an entertaining 2½ hour narrated sightseeing jaunt that takes in the most important sites.
A site not on the Armidale Heritage Tour bus route, but only a ten minute drive out of town, is the National Trust run Saumarez Homestead, a great place to experience 19th-century pastoral life. It’s best to allow at least a few hours to explore this gem that remains virtually unchanged from the old days.
At 1330 metres above sea level Guyra attracts many visitors during the depths of winter to enjoy the frequent snow falls. It is this altitude and its associated climate which helped Guyra to become a major potato growing area and more recently well known as home to the largest glasshouse in the southern hemisphere with horticulture and truss tomatoes the crop of the 21st century.
History and heritage are of interest too. Pastoralists arrived in the area in the 1830’s and the town was established in 1880. The railway stopped running years ago but the cute station building is now the Guyra Antique Machinery Railway Museum and the old Shire council Chambers is home to the Historical Museum.
Visitor Guide (PDF 14MB)
10 things to do for over 40's (PDF 391.5KB)
10 things to do for young families (PDF 321.7KB)
10 things to do for under 25's (PDF 314.9KB)
Visit the New England High Country website for more information
Published on 13 Jan 2017