New England is a region in the north-eastern area of New South Wales north of the Hunter Valley and inland from the north coast of New South Wales and the Northern Rivers. The New England region includes all of the high plateau area known as the Northern Tablelands. These tablelands have numerous national parks that are listed World Heritage Areas and form part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.
The region also has historical buildings, fine museums, renowned art collections, superb fishing, fossicking, bushwalking, festivals, markets, pubs, clubs, fine restaurants and the breathtaking gold of autumn which is so much a part of the New England.
|Western New England (Moree, Mungindi, Narrabri)|
A rather mixed scenery, on the edge of the great Outback New South Wales, with rolling plains to the south, and greenery to the east with the classic rural Australian culture.
|Eastern New England (Armidale, Glen Innes, Guyra, Ebor)|
Home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Listed Gondwana Rainforests with different types of forests, named after the supercontinent, some of these forests are more than 200 million years old.
|Southern New England (Tamworth, Uralla, Gunnedah)|
Home to large farmland communities and towns, and also the Australian country music capital of Tamworth. The area is often characterised of having rolling plains, large farms, and a classic rural Australian culture, although not as much as the western areas of New England.
- 1 Armidale - New England's university city and Australia's highest city
- 2 Bingara - an old gold-mining town, with a touch of art-deco
- 3 Ebor - take a picnic by the Ebor Falls
- 4 Glen Innes - New England's "Highland Capital", and a base for exploring many national parks
- 5 Inverell - the "Sapphire City", with Copeton Dam nearby
- 6 Mungindi - a real frontier town. Being the only town in Australia to be in two states, you could be at your hotel in one side, and go back an hour to get some food during the summer months.
- 7 Moree - sometimes referred to as the "capital" of the North West Slopes and Plains, hot water springs, cotton country
- 8 Tamworth - Australia's country music capital
- 9 Uralla - a sophisticated New England town known for the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt
- 1 Bald Rock National Park
- 2 Boonoo Boonoo National Park
- 3 Cunnawarra National Park
- 4 Gibraltar Range National Park
- 5 Guy Fawkes River National Park
- 6 New England National Park
- 7 Mount Kaputar National Park
- 8 Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
There is a wide variation in the climate of the region, especially if one includes the western slopes section, that is occasionally included. Guyra, Uralla and Walcha are noted for having very frosty nights that may cause diesel to solidify in vehicles causing the engine to stop or run abnormally. Usually the vehicle will run normally without intervention, when the morning warms, at about 9AM.
- 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.
- Bingara Tourist Information Centre, 74 Maitland Street, Bingara (Roxy Cinema complex), ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 9AM-4:30PM, Sa Su 9AM-1PM. apply
- Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre, 152 Church Street, Glen Innes (next to Woolworths), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-3PM, Su public holidays 9AM-1PM.
- Gunnedah Visitor Information Centre, 83 Chandos Street, Gunnedah (next to Gunnedah Town Hall, near Coles), ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 10AM-3PM.
- Inverell Tourist Information Centre (Coach terminal), 11/31 Campbell Street, Inverell, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 9AM-2PM.
- Moree Visitor Information Centre, 67 Alice Street, Moree, ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 9AM-1PM.
- Narrabri Region Visitor Information Centre, 103 Tibbereena Street (Newell Highway), Narrabri (next to cricket ground), ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 9AM-2PM Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.
- Quirindi - Liverpool Plains Visitor Information Centre, New England Highway, Willow Tree (next to King George V Memorial Park), ☏ . M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 9AM-2PM.
- Tamworth Visitors Information Centre, 2 The Ringers Road, Hillvue (at The Big Golden Guitar), ☏ , email@example.com. M-Su 9AM-4PM, closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.
- Tenterfield Visitors Information Centre, 157 Rouse Street, Tenterfield (corner of Rouse Street (New England Highway) and Miles Street, opposite the Subaru dealership), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-4:30PM, Sa 9AM-4PM, Su 10AM-2PM.
- Uralla Visitor Information Centre, 104 Bridge Street, Uralla (New England Highway), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. 9.30AM to 4.30PM daily Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.
- Walcha Visitor Information Centre, 51W Fitzroy Street, Walcha (Oxley Highway), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-4.30PM; weekends 9.30AM- 4PM.
- Warialda Visitor Information Centre, 2/4 Geddes Street, Warialda (corner Geddes Street (Gwydir Highway) and Holden Street), ☏ . M-F 9AM-12:30PM, 1:30-4:30PM, Sa Su 9AM-1PM.
Walcha, the south-east gateway to the New England, is 425 km north of Sydney via the scenic Thunderbolts Way (the shortest route from Sydney) and 184 km west of Port Macquarie. Uralla is 40 km further on along Thunderbolts Way, at the junction of the New England Highway.
Tamworth, Uralla, Armidale, Glen Innes and Tenterfield are the main centres located on the New England Highway, an inland route that links the Hunter Valley and Sydney to Brisbane. Armidale is also accessible from the coast via the scenic Waterfall Way via Raleigh, near Coffs Harbour.
Coach: Sydney to Brisbane and return via the New England Highway (includes Tamworth, Armidale, Uralla, Glen Innes and Tenterfield) daily on Greyhound; Greyhound on 132030. Greyhound
NSW Trainlink trains connect Sydney to Tamworth, Walcha Road (for Walcha), Uralla and then terminate in Armidale. Brisbane-Sydney return (includes Armidale, Tenterfield): Daily on NSW Trainlink coach service. NSW Trainlink trains are air-conditioned and equipped with comfortable seats. Food, including hot lunches and dinners, is available from a buffet car onboard. It is essential to book NSW Trainlink tickets in advance.
In the eastern side of the New England region, the A15 New England Highway runs from Muswellbrook, to the Queensland border providing a good highway between the east. From the south west to north, there's the A39 Newell Highway, from Dubbo to Goondiwindi in the Queensland border.
The Oxley (B56), Gwydir (B76), Kamilaroi (B51), and Fossickers (B95) highways are minor secondary National routes that provide routes covering most of the New England region.
Tourist Drive 4, 17 and 23 are just tourist routes, but are still the quickest way to get from point A to B in certain cases.
Each and every single one of the twenty seven national parks in the New England region is unique and different in its own way. Some of these are UNESCO world heritage listed as one of the last few remaining Gondwana rainforests in the world, which mostly can only be found in the New England, Northern NSW and Southern Queensland. View rare species of flora, native wildlife and go birdwatching around the many established walking trails, 4WD tracks and camping areas. The environment of the New England region is also very diverse, with the western side being in the outback, while the eastern end being lush in greenery.
Since the area is quite big, you'd probably be wondering where to start off with. If it's your first time, then you'd want to start off at either Armidale or Tamworth. Both are completely different cities, and serve for different kinds of tourism. If you like nature and national parks, Armidale is only a fifteen minute drive from Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, arguably one of the best national parks in the region, although it does vary by opinion.
- Cunnawarra National Park is a world heritage site, as part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. It may not have much, but the Beech lookout is definitely a worth if you don't mind diverting off Waterfall Way. It's about 70km from both Armidale and Dorrigo. The park is home not only to the imposing eucalyptus trees (which are the tallest in NSW) but also to various endangered wildlife species. Here you can see glossy black cockatoos, rufous scrub-birds, powerful owls and spotted-tailed quolls.
- Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is also another world heritage site, as part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, with large waterfalls, endangered wildlife species, and only a minute drive from Waterfall Way.
- Have a listen to the country music in Tamworth in mid-January every year. The festival goes on for about ten days, and is Australia's largest music festival
There are plenty of things to do in the New England region, for all interests.
Eateries are plentiful in the cities and towns of the New England. Some of these are specialising in meals made from local produce. See under the individual destinations for more detail.
Drinking spots are readily available in the cities and towns of the New England.
There are quite a few places in the New England region where mobile (cell) phones do not have coverage (including Next G country models).
Free computer and internet usage is available at the Armidale Library, Faulkner St, during opening hours. phone: +61 2 6770-3636 for bookings.
For free computer and internet usage (during opening hours): Walcha Library, Derby St., Phone: +61 2 67742550
For internet services: Walcha Telecottage, 32w Fitzroy Street, Walcha NSW 2354; Phone:+61 2 6777-1111; Fax:+61 2 6777 1112; Email:email@example.com
There are about twenty seven major national parks, including the large, spectacular and easily accessible Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, plus over thirty nature reserves in the New England region.
Take a trip along Waterfall Way which passes through some of New South Wales' most scenic countryside and has been voted as one of the best tourist drives in New South Wales. Located along the route are five national parks, three of which are listed as World Heritage Areas by UNESCO and form part of the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia.