Armidale is a small city (population 21,300) in the New England region of the Australian state of New South Wales and is Australia's highest city in terms of altitude. The picturesque city is noted for its colonial-era architecture, centres of education and culture and the nearby wilderness and gorge country.
Armidale is a place of four seasons. The winters are very cold, with snow sometimes falling in the winter months and overnight temperatures below freezing. The old English-style gardens in the area blossom in Spring, as the firs, willows and oaks in town and in the University of New England grounds sprout new leaves. In Autumn, the town celebrates the changing colours of the trees with an Autumn Festival, which includes a street parade down the main boulevards. But it is summer that is arguably the best time to visit Armidale. Due to its altitude, the town is rarely humid, and even days where the temperature reaches 35°C are tolerable.
- Armidale Visitor Information Centre, 82 Marsh Street, Armidale (next to Hungry Jacks Restaurant), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-3PM, Su 9AM-1PM.
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Armidale is 485 km from Sydney via the scenic Thunderbolts Way through Gloucester and Walcha.
Armidale is also located at the start of the Waterfall Way to Raleigh, near Coffs Harbour on the coast. This scenic route passes through the gorge country as the tablelands drop to the coastal region. Located along the way are three national parks, which are listed as World Heritage Areas by UNESCO and form part of the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia. Dorrigo National Park encompasses the waterfalls that give the route its name. Driving time to the coast is 2½ hours.
- 1 Armidale Airport (ARM IATA). Has regular scheduled air services to Sydney Qantaslink 1 hour, from $100. At from Brisbane with Fly Corporate
There are discounts when tickets are booked early. When booked 14 days before departure almost 50% discount can be obtained. ISIC card holders are given 50% discount on all NSW Trainlink trains.
The historic centre of Armidale is small enough to be easily covered on foot. However, some attractions (the University and the New England Regional Art Museum) are on the outskirts of town, making access difficult for the less-mobile traveller.
A bus service (Edwards) does run frequently between the town centre and the University, but the best way to explore the town and surrounding countryside is by car. Car hire is available on arrival at the airport. Taxi services are also widely available.
Getting between the town and the university is an easy cycle, with bicycle lanes on the roads, and quiet traffic.
- 1 New England Regional Art Museum, 106 - 114 Kentucky St, ☏ . Home to the Howard Hinton collection.
- Visit the area's historic churches around Central Park, including the magnificent Saints Mary & Joseph Catholic Cathedral, impressive St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, and somewhat smaller St Paul’s Presbyterian Church.
- 2 Saumarez Homestead. Fully furnished 30-room 1906 house with pleasant gardens. House can only be entered with guided tours run on weekends and public holidays
- City views from Drummond Apex Lookout
- Central Park, 125 Dangar St. A park with well kept gardens and pine trees.
- Stroll in Armidale's many parks and gardens.
- Swim at the heated outdoor pool on Dumaresq Street from October to March.
- Work out at the excellent sporting facilities at the University of New England .
- Join the free daily heritage bus tour at 10AM from the Visitors Centre
- Catch a movie at the Belgrave twin cinemas .
- Feed the deer and kangaroos at the enclosure at the University.
- 1 Armidale Pine Forest (Piney), Rockvale Road, ☏ . Peaceful forest with many walking and mountain biking tracks.
- Armidale Self-Guided Heritage Walk. A joint project between Council and the Armidale District Historical Society, the tour provides fascinating insight into some of the city’s key historic sites dating all the way back to the 1860s. Details on the Armidale Regional Council website.
The New England Institute of TAFE , Beardy St., Armidale. Phone:(02) 6773 7700. A major campus specialising in agriculture, childcare, information technology and tertiary preparation for university entry. Also offers courses in music, biological science, multimedia, massage therapy, ecotourism, film industry (screen), tourism and hospitality, automotive, carpentry and joinery, and engineering.
The University of New England (UNE) is Australia's oldest regional university. The university has four faculties: Arts; Economics, Business and Law; Education, Health and Professional Studies; and The Sciences. UNE is also well known for its external teaching programmes. The university is a few kilometres from the centre of town, and its open for anyone to drive or walk through. However, its a country university, with lots of space and no monumental style buildings to speak of.
- 1 The Armidale Ex-Services, 137 Dumaresq Street, ☏ . Monday to Thursday 10AM - 11PM; Friday & Saturday 10AM - 12 midnight; Sunday 10AM - 10PM. This club has a reasonably-priced range of meals and drinks.
Armidale perhaps enjoys a livelier nightlife than many towns of its size, due to the large university student population from UNE. It has a selection of nearly 10 pubs to choose from. Each one has a nickname with the locals and students, and knowing the name on the door of the pub won't help you in conversation. Moving between two or three pubs in a night is not uncommon, and running into the same people at another pub later on happens.
- New England Hotel (in the centre of town, right on the main mall). Blow the froth off a couple of coldies
- 1 The Welder's Dog, 120 Marsh St,, ☏ . Craft beers with experimental flavours.
The price of accommodation in Armidale can just about double during the university graduation periods. If you are not attending a graduation, then try to avoid these periods, for availability and cost reasons. It is also not a bad idea to stay in either Tamworth or Coffs Harbour during these periods for either lower prices or availability.
- Acacia Motor Inn, 192 Miller Street, ☏ .
- Armidale YHA Hostel, 39 Waterfall Way, Armidale, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Beds from $25.
- 1 Armidale Tourist Park, 39 Grafton Rd, ☏ . Pet friendly.
- Free computer and internet usage is available at the Armidale Library, Faulkner St, during opening hours. phone: (02) 6770 3636.
- There are places in the surrounding district where mobile (cell) phones (including Next G country models) will not operate.
- Take a spectacular Fleet Helicopters  flight over the wild rivers of the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and the New England National Park with their rugged surrounds.
- Take a drive east along the top NSW tourist drive: Waterfall Way to the old gold mining towns of Hillgrove and Metz.
- See Wollomombi Falls (the highest in NSW) in the World Heritage-listed Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and the also World Heritage-listed New England National Park, both along Waterfall Way.
- West Kunderang Recreational Retreat, Biston Park, Jeogla, NSW, ☏ . A private working cattle property on the banks of the Macleay River that is completely surrounded by the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Offers bushwalking, canoeing, fishing, horse riding and four wheel driving within the property.
- Barraba is 146 km west of Armidale via Thunderbolt's Way and Bundarra Road, in the heart of the Fossickers Way.
- Bundarra is 80 km northwest of Armidale via Bundarra Road and Thunderbolts Way.
- Tingha is 101 km northwest of Armidale via New England Highway, Guyra, Guyra Road.
- Bingara is 152 km northwest of Armidale via Bundarra Road, Thunderbolts Way, Bundarra, Barraba Road, Bingara Road, Copeton Dam Road