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.
Ben Lomond Village is situated 6 km off the New England Highway between Guyra and Glen Innes. The picturesque village lies at the foot of the Ben Lomond Mountain which peaks at 1520m above sea level. Ben Lomond village has an elevation of 1370m making it the highest village in Northern NSW, and as such receives occasional snow falls in winter despite being only a few hours drive to the NSW QLD border.
The Name Ben Lomond draws its origins from Ben Lomond in Scotland. The Ben Lomond Station was first known by the name of Llangothlin and was settled by Thomas Perry in 1839. Llangothlin was originally over 240,000 acres in size taking in land from Glencoe to Guyra; the run was passed on to Mr Rawson in 1844. In 1854 Charles Codrington who had travelled northward from the Hunter Valley over the Moonbi Ranges claimed the Llangothlin Run which had recently been abandoned by Rawson. In 1861 the Begot Brothers took over and renamed the Run Ben Lomond.
Ben Lomond is home to a number of tourist attractions; including farm-stays, trout fishing and the longest hand cut railway cutting in Australia. The Ben Lomond railway station is located in the Dumaresq to Glen Innes section of the Main North Line which opened on the 19 August 1884. Ben Lomond station closed in December 1985 whilst the Dumaresq to Glen Innes section remained operational until 1993. With an elevation of 1363m Ben Lomond Station was the highest operational railway station in NSW.
Today Ben Lomond is a vibrant village, with a number of community groups involved in initiatives to maintain and promote the village and the district.
Ebor is situated between Armidale and Grafton in Northern NSW approximately 85km from Guyra and 53kms from Armidale.
The village is beside Ebor Falls, on the Guy Fawkes River, one of the headwaters of the Clarence River. In the heart of the Waterfall Way, one of the most scenic drives in Australia, Ebor is the halfway point between the New England Tablelands and the Mid North Coast. The village is a service hub for travellers and tourists. Ebor is 1,350 metres above sea level. Nearby Road Mountain (1,585 metres), is the highest point on the Great Dividing Range outside the Southern Alpine Region. This altitude gives the area the beauty of four distinct seasons throughout the year. Some of the best grazing country in NSW is in the Ebor area. Ebor has a colourful past and an interesting place in the history of white settlement and industry in New England. The wild & beautiful mountains of the Ebor area were a refuge for the Bush Ranger Thunderbolt. From the beginning of settlement in the 1840's, Ebor was a stopping off point for people and produce travelling to and from the New England Tablelands and Grafton, which was a major deep water port for shipping up and down the East Coast of Australia.
Guyra Fawkes National Park is next to Ebor village. Close by are the New England and Cathedral Rock National Parks. These spectacular and unique parks attract thousands of visitors every year. Wonderful displays of wildflowers, native forests, wetlands and waterways are to be seen and enjoyed throughout the district. Ebor has an ancient and fascinating geophysical history and is situated on a massive extinct volcano. The LP Dutton Trout Hatchery at Ebor is a popular attraction that supplies fish stock for local streams and other areas around the state. Activities available in the area include Bushwalking, Camping, Trout Fishing, Fossicking for Minerals, Rock Climbing and trail Riding. The National Trail and the Walcha to Coffs Harbour Walking Track run through the Area. Ebor boasts a very active community representation that continues to improve the area for the comfort and interest of travellers. The Ebor Village community website, currently underdevelopment, will provide up to date information on happening events, places to visit and sights to see in and around the picturesque village of Ebor.
Visitor Guide (PDF 14MB)
10 things to do for over 40's (PDF 408.1KB)
10 things to do for young families (PDF 333.8KB)
10 things to do for under 25's (PDF 332.8KB)
Visit the New England High Country website for more information