Perched in the heart of New England High Country, this city is best known for its picturesque natural beauty, heritage architecture and the national parks that surround it.
Sitting at 980 metres above sea level, Armidale is Australia’s highest city - and one that boasts a locally-grown food scene, buzzing university culture and some of the best cool climate vineyards in the country. It’s also the perfect entry point for a driving tour of the scenic gorges and waterfalls of Waterfall Way.
Whether you’re in town for the warm summer sun, winter days by an open fire or the vibrant autumn colours - you’re sure to be captivated by the relaxing charm of this historic New South Wales city.
With natural beauty, history and culture aplenty, why not plan your holiday agenda now. Here are some great ideas to get you started.
- Come for the Armidale Autumn Festival and discover regional food, wine and entertainment - and be sure not to miss the grand parade.
- Explore gorges, World Heritage-listed national parks and waterfalls along Waterfall Way. Stop and enjoy walking trails, viewing platforms and serene picnic hideaways.
- Take a step back in time with a tour of the heritage-listed Saumarez Homestead - a 30 room Edwardian mansion now managed by the National Trust.
- Fly high on a helicopter joy flight over spectacular New England gorge country with Fleet Helicopters, or up the adrenalin with a ride on one of their warbird aircraft.
- Spend a day in Guyra, the highest town in New England and the best place in the region to spot winter snow. Rent a bike and explore mountain trails or come in January for the annual Lamb and Potato Festival.
Discover the culture and history of Armidale - or go further afield and get lost among gorges and walking trails in the national parks. Whatever your holiday style, the New England High Country has so much to offer.
Historic streets lined with lush foliage, museums and galleries make this city a relaxing place to spend your holiday or a weekend away.
Explore the city’s heritage on the Armidale Heritage Bus Tour - a two hour experience departing the Visitor Information Centre every morning at 10am. Go on a journey through the city’s history, gardens, churches and museums and stop at highlights along the way - such as the Folk Museum, The Aboriginal Cultural Centre or the New England Regional Art Museum which is home to three collections collectively valued at over $40 million.
Sample the cool climate wines at Peterson’s Winery cellar door, and if you’re visiting over the weekend they also offer a great lunch menu featuring seasonal flavours.
Hire a car and head east on the famous Waterfall Way. Explore the World Heritage-listed national parks and discover spectacular waterfalls at every turn.
Just thirty minutes from Armidale in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park you’ll see the magnificent Wollomombi Falls where the water cascades an impressive 220 metres.
Continue on the winding road and reach Ebor falls in the Guy Fawkes River National Park, offering three impressive lookout platforms and the perfect place for a picnic lunch.
Or, venture off Waterfall Way and follow Castledoyle Road to Gara Gorge. Follow the easy Threlfall walking track and discover one of the most stunning lookouts in New England with panoramic views across the region.
Uralla and Gostwyck
Take Tourist Drive 19 to neighbouring Uralla and visit the award-winning McCrossins Mill Museum - a restored flour mill which now houses unique exhibitions of history and art.
While you’re there, don’t miss a visit to the neighbouring Gostwyck. The photogenic Gostwyck’s Chapel is covered with ivy that turns a magnificent red against the yellow of surrounding foliage in the autumn months - it’s also the perfect place for a picnic lunch.
On your way home, stop by New England Brewing Company to sample the local brew - or drop in to Merilba Estate cellar door for cool climate wines and local cider. Enjoy the weekend lunch menu and get cozy by the huge open fireplace in winter.
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Armidale enjoys a mild subtropical highland climate, with four distinct seasons. Winters are cool with temperatures averaging between 1-14°C and Summers are warm with cooler nights, occasional afternoon thunderstorms and temperatures ranging from lows of 11°C to highs of 26°C on average. Autumn days are characterised by colourful falling leaves and morning fog, and Spring is mostly warm with occasional morning frosts.
From the airport
Armidale Airport is ten minutes' drive from the city centre. Hire cars and taxis are available from the terminal.
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