Why not extend your trip and enjoy some of the unique sites and places that New England has to offer? Here we give you some ideas for some must-see and do experiences all within a short distance of Armidale or Inverell.
Armidale is known for its beautiful stately homes, see all the best sites with a guided Heritage tour of Armidale. The tour is a two-and-a-half-hour taster of Armidale. You will be taken on an historical journey through Armidale with a lively and personal commentary from one of the tour guides.
There are four opportunities to alight from the bus – at the New England Regional Art Museum, Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the Armidale Railway Museum, and the University of New England’s historic Booloominbah Homestead.
Of course, the stunning varied natural landscape which includes World Heritage environments, national parks, waterfalls and vast granite caves also draws visitors to the area especially in Autumn. If you have limited time, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is the easiest to access from town.
Its Blue Hole, only 15 minutes out of Armidale, is a famous picnicking and swimming spot and has a lovely strolling track along the edge of its gorge.
The Australian Standing Stones in Glen Innes pays tribute to the Celtic heritage of the early European settlers to the district. The site serves as a cultural gathering place for people from the Celtic communities; the Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish, Manx and Bretons.
The colonial-style towns in the area have many heritage buildings and museums, and there are rich gem fields at Inverell, Warialda and Bingara. You’ll find the area replete with sapphires, (the area supply around 80% of the world’s sapphires) so try fossicking for these precious stones, or go shopping for sapphires and other treasures.
The bustling regional centre of Inverell is a good place to explore the history of the region, starting with some fine buildings in town such as the Inverell Art Gallery (inverellartgallery.com.au) which was a former school of the arts.
Motoring aficionados won’t want to miss the National Transport Museum, which covers the history of the motor car.
Most of the exhibits are on loan from private owners, many from the Inverell area and with a distinctive local history. Among the 140 vehicles on display are an intact 1906 Dayton, the oldest car in the museum and believed to be the only one left worldwide.
You can also admire everything from a 1912 Renault to a 1929 Packard and various Holdens and Fords. nationaltransportmuseum.info
Then head over to Inverell Pioneer Village, where colonial buildings from the surrounding district have been relocated. It’s well laid out and showcases an 1887 schoolhouse, 1840s homestead and 1874 pub, complete with piano in the front parlour. inverellpioneervillage.org.au