Prepare to be won over by Armidale's natural beauty and heritage buildings. Welcome to the capital of New England, a sophisticated hub that has lost none of its country charm.
High on the Northern Tablelands, tucked in amongst four stunning national parks, is the cosmopolitan city of Armidale. When you think of what makes a regional town appealing, it doesn’t take long to realise that Armidale ticks all the right boxes.
Spectacular natural scenery? Check. A fascinating heritage precinct? Check. A buzzing, welcoming community? Check. And, of course, enough dining options to keep you refuelled for each new adventure? Check!
There is nothing you could want that you couldn’t find in Armidale, so start your New England adventure today.
Things to do in Armidale
With over 500km of national parks surrounding Armidale, there’s no excuse not to make time to explore the region’s incredible natural beauty. From the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, Cathedral Rock, Guy Fawkes River National Park or even the World Heritage-listed New England National Park – there’s a park to suit everyone.
Or why not hit the road and go chasing waterfalls along the aptly named Waterfall Way? As one of the main arteries into New England, it weaves through a number of Armidale’s national parks, allowing visitors to explore the local falls at their leisure. Our tips? Wollomombi Falls, which is the second highest waterfall in the country; or Ebor Falls, a two-tiered waterfall that cascades over an irregular basalt rock face in spectacular fashion.
Back in town and it’s hard to resist the majestic beauty of the many heritage buildings dotted through the streets. While the historic buildings have been seamlessly integrated into modern life, you still can’t miss the grand cathedrals or stately homes, and it’s worth wandering the streets having a look at the impressive architecture – if you’re lucky you might even be invited in!
Attractions in Armidale
The area surrounding Armidale is jam-packed with national parks to explore, but if you have to choose one to visit, make it Cathedral Rock National Park. The park, one of the smaller national parks in the region, is east of Armidale and home to rocky granite outcrops and dense bushland. Getting to Cathedral Rock itself - a series of giant boulders - is a challenging climb that resorts to a chain fixed to the rock at the summit, so is not for the faint hearted. The view from the top is spectacular well worth the trek though, so pack a thermos and something for morning tea – you’ll have earned it!
New England Regional Art Museum
Built in 1983 to house the Howard Hinton Collection, the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) has evolved into one of the most important regional art galleries in the country. A must-see for any art-lover, NERAM has NSW’s largest permanent art collection outside of Sydney. A highly valuable selection of iconic Australia art from the early 1880s is just one of the collections that call NERAM home, but with six gallery spaces on offer to the public, you’re guaranteed to find something new to gaze upon with every visit. A frequently rotating exhibitions program, artist studio and conference facility are also highlights of the gallery.
Getting to Armidale
Armidale is situated right in the heart of the New England High Country, a midpoint between Sydney and Brisbane.
From Sydney, Armidale is a 6 hour journey along the New England Highway. If you are travelling from Brisbane it’s a slightly short trip, taking roughly 4 hours and 20 minutes along the National Highway and the New England Highway.
Qantas Link and REX operate daily flights to Armidale from Sydney. All other major cities can connect via Sydney. The Armidale Airport is located 8km out of the town centre.
When to visit Armidale
A true all season’s playground, when it comes to visiting Armidale, there really isn’t a bad time to do so. With four very distinct seasons come very distinct experiences, although we find it hard to go past Armidale in autumn.
The corridors of trees in their vibrant, rich tones light up the city, and the crisp, but sunny days are ideal for exploring the town and the surrounding national parks. If you’re visiting in winter however, don’t forget that Armidale, like any high altitude New England town, can be subjected to bitterly cold days - and snow is not unusual!
When it comes to shopping in Armidale, this urban centre has you covered! Two premier shopping hubs - Armidale Centre and Armidale Plaza – house major brands and speciality stores, and while the town itself is dotted with enough boutiques to keep you shopping for hours.
Armidale is also home to Woolworths, Coles and IGA supermarkets, to ensure your grocery requirements are met.
RV Dump Points
There are multiple dump points you can access while in Armidale, including:
- Armidale Arboretum, on Galloway St.
- Armidale Showgrounds.
- Highlander Van Village, 76 Glen Innes Road (may incur a $15 fee)
- Pembroke Tourist & Leisure Park, 39 Waterfall Way.
Discover more accommodation options in and around Armidale.