Armidale & New England Tableland Attractions - Armidale, NSW

Armidale & New England Tableland Attractions

The stately provincial city that emeged from the pastoral empires established on the prime grasslands of New England Plateau is today the most culturally and architecturally rich of Australia’s inland cities. Armidale, also Australia’s highest city, has a grace and history befitting a capital. By 1844 the Post Office and Courthouse were constructed. The Town was gazetted in 1849. The first gothic style cathedral constructed in brick was built here between 1871 and 1878, although, the tower to St Peters Anglican Cathedral was not erected until 1938.

The region extends from Walcha in the south to Ben Lomond in the north. Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve and Oxley Wild Rivers National Park mark the eastern and western boundaries respectively.

Towns

Armidale, Uralla, Walcha and Guyra are the principal towns. Lesser known towns include Bundarra, Black Mountain, Rocky River, Wollomombi and Yarrowyck.

Uralla – a remarkable number of buildings dating from well back in the 19th century can be seen on the Uralla Heritage Walking Tour starting at McCrossins Mill, a massive structure of granite and brick which has been converted into an historical museum.

Walcha – explorer John Oxley and his party camped here by the Aspley River in 1818. They were followed by a sheep run and the establishment of a station named Wolka, meaning Aboriginal word for sun. By 1840 the station boasted a general store, post office and blacksmith’s forge. This formed the nucleus of what almost became a private town until the government gazetted the buildings as public land.

Features

Attractions
Thunderbolt’s Cave – reputably one of the hide outs of bush ranger Frederick Ward the cave is reached by a loop from the New England Highway near Guyra and makes an arresting picnic spot.

Booloominbah – once a homestead now the administrative centre of New England University Booloominbah was once the finest country house in Australia. Booloominbah contains a wealth of architectural elements.

The Deeargee Woolshed – this sheep shearing shed was designed by Henry Dangar in 1851 in the shape of an octangular chamber with a tiered roof to allow maximum ventilation and light. The building remains in use on the Deeargee property about 11 kilometres south east of Uralla.

Oxley Wild Rivers National Park – tributaries of the Macleay River plunge dramatically from the spectacular broken rim of the rugged New England Escarpment into narrow gorges scattered haphazardly south and east of Armidale. The area presents outstanding scenic and recreational opportunities including Wollomombi Falls at 220 metres, one of the highest in Australia, Chandler Falls, Gara Gorge and Dangers Gorge. There is a superb lookout at Budds Mare; the starting point of a long walk to Riverside on the Apsley River.

Location

Armidale, NSW, 2350