In my time as a post-graduate psychology intern, I did a lot of travel throughout New South Wales, Australia. My favourite location of all was Armidale.
Armidale is located in the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane. It can be reached 567km north of Sydney along the New England Highway and approximately 170km’s inland from the coast. For thousands of years this land was home to the Anaiwan people, before the release of vast pastoral leases when Armidale was officially declared a town in 1846.
As you could imagine with such a long history, Armidale is commonly referred to as Cathedral City. Initially home to the seat of Anglican and Roman Catholic Bishops, you can find a number of beautifully designed church’s within the centre of town.
Armidale is surrounded by a number of heavily forested steep gorges, making it a prime destination for bush walking, camping, and family picnics. The University of New England is also located in Armidale, and during semester the city’s population is around 25,000 (I would say this significantly decreases when the university is not in semester).
This is a must during a visit to Armidale. It showcases amazing wines, and offers seven elegant rooms incase you go a bit overboard with wine tasting (understandable, their wines really are good!). There is even a restaurant on site so you can continue your wine tasting over lunch. Located just 10 minutes out of the centre of Armidale, it is a must for any connoisseur.
A natural beauty located 30 minutes outside of Armidale city centre. During the warmer months, this is the place locals go for a quick dip to cool off.
The Blue Hole is a relaxing picnic area out in the bush. Once you see the Blue Hole, you’ll understand why the local’s try to keep this a secret!
The Armidale Farmers Market happens the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. This market sells local fresh, seasonal produce, home-made gourmet food, wine, and plants. Grab a coup of gourmet coffee and wander around the stalls, relax in the sun, and find a bargain!
The Farmers Market is located at Curtis Park, right near the visitor centre on Dumaresq Street.
The Saumarez Homestead is a two storey, 30 room Edwardian mansion. For a small admission price, wander through its rooms and the farm buildings to be transported back to 19th century pastoral life. Have a coffee at the cafe to return to your own time.
5. Goldfish Bowl
First-rate coffee and delectable baked goods pulled from the wood-fired oven make this a worthy pit stop while in Armidale. Load up on pastries, sourdough bread or gourmet pizza for carb-loaded heaven. Seriously, their sourdough CANNOT be missed!
The Red Grapevine is one of Armidale’s best restaurant’s and bars. A two-story establishment, offering wine and tapas downstairs with a speakeasy vibe, and a restaurant upstairs its Italian menu will keep you coming back! The Red Grapevine also showcases live music! Not to be missed. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm (except Public Holidays)
7. Walk of the Town
One of my favourite things to do on a weekend was to just wander through down. Down through the Mall past the court-house, doing a spot of shopping here and there, past the Cathedrals under the liquid ambers, and picking up a coffee from Little CoCo’s (another amazing coffee shop).
8. Apsley Falls
The Apsley Falls are two waterfalls on the Apsley River. The falls are located about 20 kilometres east of Walcha, and 1 kilometre off the Oxley Highway in a deep gorge, that is part of the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. The dreaming story of how the Rainbow Serpent created the gorge tells how the snake travelled underground from the base of the falls to reappear 20 km upstream at the Mill Hole on the Apsley River in Walcha. During the wet season, the falls are absolutely beautiful. A great hike for those with a bit of fitness up their sleeves.
9. Gostwyck Chapel
Gostwyck Chapel was built 1921, constructed entirely of bricks made and fired on Gostwyck Station. The magnificent tree-lined avenue of 200 Elms was planted by a worker who was brought out from England specifically for the task.
The site is a favourite for photographers, especially during the autumn months when the leaves of the Elm trees turn gold. Awesome spot for some cute Instagram pictures.
The name “Uralla” means “meeting place” in the traditional language of the Anaiwan people. Uralla is located on New England Highway Country just 20 minutes south of Armidale.
Uralla boasts a heritage walk showcasing over 50 buildings of historical significance. Several of these date from the 1860s when gentleman bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt ruled the local highways and byways. A short stroll around town offers the opportunity to browse the antiquarian bookshop, antique stores, art galleries and specialty stores – or just sit and enjoy a meal at one of the many cafes, or friendly pubs.