Armidale is located in the picturesque New England area and is the starting point for tourists to travel the Waterfall Way to the coast (Coffs Harbour).
Armidale is a very Historical City. The Tourist Information Centre free 3 hour bus tours of the city by arrangement.The Waterfall Way is a picturesque road leading from Armidale via Ebor/ Dorrigo to the coast,Coffs Harbour. Approx 2 hours by vehicle. Along the Waterfall Way there are numerous scenic waterfalls and a boardwalk at Dorrigo. The drive is considered one of the TOP TEN TOURIST DRIVES IN AUSTRALIA.
The area also has numerous rivers/creeks for trout fishing.Scenic flights of the gorges/waterfalls country can be taken by Heli Tour scenic flights.
Armidale can be used as the stop over point half way between Sydney and Brisbane.
Armidale is also approx. 20kms west of Hillgrove, which is an Historical Site and is also a gold mining area.
One of Armidale’s best kept secrets is that there are four national parks, each with extraordinary natural attractions, all within an hour’s drive from the city centre.
At around 1000 metres above sea level, Armidale offers visitors a truly evocative and unique experience with four distinct seasons. The city of Armidale and the towns of Guyra, Uralla and Walcha share a rich history and stunning natural environment.
They are the first falls in a succession of dramatic drops in an area that has some of the most remarkable scenery in Eastern Australia. The first drop of the falls is about 65 metres (213 ft) in depth, and the second, which is about 800 metres (2,625 ft) further on, plummets 58 metres (190 ft) metres to the bottom of the gorge.
The main falls and gorge can be easily viewed from several lookouts which are readily accessed via stairs from the car park. The sheer sided walls of the upper Apsley Gorge are largely caused by the slate in this area which splits vertically.
Food and Wine
From casual family restaurants, cafés, clubs and pubs to fine dining rooms and cellar door establishments, there’s a diverse choice of dining options, as well as cuisines in the New England.
In season, you can buy freshly-picked berries, apples, pears and stone fruits from farm stands and local markets, or head out of town to pick your own. On weekends year round, you can head out of town to one of the cellar door operations that serve food with a view of the vineyards.
Art and Culture
At the University of New England (UNE), there are museums and collections embracing art, classical archaeology, local history, zoology, botany, geology, Asian musical instruments, manuscripts and rare books.
Armidale’s newest performing arts venue, the Hoskins Centre, is a creative arts complex with a state-of-the-art theatre, rehearsal rooms, art studios and exhibition space. Drama and musical productions are another flourishing dimension of the city’s rich performing arts scene.
History and Heritage
Armidale was ofﬁcially declared a town in 1846. A few years later, the arrival of the railway and discovery of gold at Rocky River and Hillgrove heralded a population and building boom. Valuable minerals and metals, including tin, were discovered at other sites around the region.
The University campus and many charming heritage buildings across the region are home to museums and collections that reveal myriad colourful stories about the history of the New England.
Sport and Adventure
SportUNE, the University of New England’s state-of-the-art facilities including a gym, climbing wall, pool, playing ﬁelds and tennis and squash courts, is open to visitors and the wider community seven days a week.
Out in the gorges and national parks, hiking, rock climbing and abseiling expeditions range from easy to difficult, and kayaking down the rivers can be a wild ride, particularly after heavy rains. If calmer waters are more your thing, then you’ll find Dumaresq Dam is a peaceful spot to paddle.
Canyoning, mountain biking, birdwatching, trout fishing and other outdoor adventures take on an exciting new dimension up high.
Tourist Drive 3, for example, focuses on the historic stomping grounds of miners, bushrangers and farmers. It begins in Armidale, taking in some of the city’s finest heritage buildings, including the cathedrals, Folk Museum, Town Hall and old Teachers College.
Tourist Drive 19 from Uralla, the elm tree-lined approach to the photogenic vine-covered Gostwyck Chapel remarkably resembles the English countryside the region was named after. From there, the route passes over a narrow wooden bridge, transporting you straight back into the Australian bush.
Tourist Drive 21 from Uralla, over the hills to the lovely Banalasta lavender and eucalyptus farm, old Bendemeer coach stop and the tiny hamlet of Woolbrook, where you can fish for trout in the crystal clear waters of the McDonald River.
Natural Attractions of the Armidale Region
The following is a selection of natural landscapes, lookouts, scenic walks and experiences that are a short drive from Armidale for you to enjoy when you are here for a holiday. There are a lot of great parks and picnic spots you can enjoy with family and friends.
Wollomombi Gorge and Falls
If you love the thunderous sound of water plunging over a ravine, then a visit to Wollomombi Gorge and Falls picnic area in New England is your idea of heaven.
Threlfall Picnic Area
If you like the idea of a leisurely lunch beside a clear mountain river, then Threlfall picnic area is on the northern edge of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
Hike up Cathedral Rock to sit on a natural throne perched on 200m of stacked boulders. The nearby Round Mountain is the highest point of the New England Tablelands at 1584m.
Barokee to Native Dog Creek
This walk links Cathedral Rock National Park’s campgrounds and takes in Woolpack Rocks and Cathedral Rock. It follows the Snowy Range and is a moderate grade apart from the rock features.
Wollomombi Walking Track
waterfalls and wilderness on this easy walk around the rim of the Wollomombi Gorge high in the falls country of the Northern Tablelands, near Armidale.