The Abbotsleigh Motor Inn is conveniently located in the Armidale city centre with its fine selection of restaurants, supermarkets, a twin cinema, cathedrals, historic buildings and a number of relaxing parkland areas.
Armidale has long been known as an educational and cultural centre. It is home to the University of New England and several private boarding schools.
The New England region is renowned for its world class fine wool and beef production, and Armidale is home to at least 14 different Cattle Breed Societies. The region is also developing a reputation as a producer of high quality wines.
For those seeking solitude and relaxation, the region offers many areas of scenic wilderness. The numerous National Parks of the region cover a wide variety terrain from quiet mountain heathland to spectacular gorges and impressive waterfalls. Most are within easy reach of Armidale for a day's outing.
Plan to stay a few days in Armidale and soak up some of the rich history from the early days of European settlement. The city and surrounds are graced with elegant cathedrals, churches and pastoral homesteads such as Saumarez and Booloominbah, historic monuments, heritage buildings and fascinating museums and galleries. The New England Regional Art museum houses the Hinton and Coventry collections which are the envy of national institutions. The Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place features indigenous art, craft and artefacts.
There is always something happening in Armidale, from concerts, plays, and workshops, to live music in hotels. There are many sporting events, markets, artistic and cultural festivals, and spring and autumn open garden viewings.
15 mins East of Armidale lies Hillgrove. Hillgrove boasts one of the first hydroelectric schemes in Australia, which ran this once thriving mining town. Now you can walk through the ghost town and visit the Rural Life and Industry Museum (ring before arrival to ensure door is open – Donations welcome). 10 mins further east is Wollomombi Falls, the second highest falls in Australia. 50m stroll from the carpark will give you a magnificent view of both the Wollomombi and the Chandler Falls.
Keep heading along Waterfall way for another 15 mins and you will find the breathtaking views of Point Lookout. At 1564 metres above sea level Point lookout is situated on a near vertical escarpment offering a magnificent panorama to the north, east and south. Dutton’s Trout Hatchery will give a guided tour and visual and audio show, which explains the life of a trout. You can then feed the trout, view the aquarium and “tickle the tamest trout on the tablelands”. For the energetic, take time to explore the haunting granite boulders of the Cathedral Rocks National Park and just out of Ebor and a short distance from the road you will find Ebor Falls.
Why not take the scenic route back to Armidale via Guyra, this will take around 1 hour, giving you the opportunity to experience some of Guyra’s unique shopping. The Black Sheep Wool and Wares shop is a must!
20 mins South on the New England Highway will get you to Uralla. Aboriginal word for “Special Meeting Place”. Wander through the McCrossin’s Mill Museum and let the memorabilia tell the tale of the notorious bushranger, “Captain Thunderbolt”. Visit the only working Brass and Iron Lace Foundry in Australia and be treated to a demonstration by the blacksmith. Take the Tourist Drive #19 back to Armidale for a more scenic route and be treated to a few extra surprises. This will take about 45 mins. An avenue of stately elms towers over the road as you meander to the historical Gostwych Chapel. Built in the 1830’s with the influential feel of the early pioneer’s. Drop in at Dangars Falls and 4km before you get back to Armidale don’t miss the Cellar door at Petersons Cool Climate Winery. Open 10am – 4pm Sun – Fri & 10am – 5pm Saturday.
Start the day with the Armidale Heritage Tour, leaves at 10.00am Daily - allow 2 1/2hrs. (Tour by Donation. Book at reception) An informative Guided tour of Armidale including Chapels, New England Regional Art Museum, Railway Museum and University of New England. A Great Tour!!! After lunch take a short drive west to Historical Saumarez Homestead where you can take a leisurely stroll around the English Gardens and guided tours of the Homestead are available at 2pm weekdays and 2, 3 & 4pm Weekends.If time permits visit one of many unique Museums including Armidale Folk Museum, 24th Light Horse Memorial Museum, Zoology Museum, Museum of Education, Museum of Antiquities and our Aboriginal Cultural Center & Keeping Place or those who want to do something more active, take a 10 min drive north west to Dumaresq Dam.
Just over an hour drive north of Armidale you can discover Glen Innes. Wander through the History House Museum, Visit the eerie yet spectacular Australian Standing Stones, pan for your own treasure of Sapphire, Topaz, Emerald and Quartz crystal or try your luck at luring a Murray Cod or Rainbow trout.
Head South on the New England Highway for an hour and 10 mins to reach Tamworth. Enjoy the scenery of the Botanical Gardens, “Walk a Country Mile” then explore the Golden Guitar and Country Music Foundation Museum – a must for all country music enthusiast. On your return trip back to Armidale stop at “Banalasta”. Experience a high altitude vineyard, taste the wine and view a eucalyptus and lavender oil plantation.
Armidale is the City of All Seasons
SpringArmidale's cool climate gardens will burst into a riot of colour after the long hush of winter.
SummerEscape the humidity and relax in our cooler high country air.
AutumnSpectacular array of Autumn colours dominate the European feel of the area.
WinterExperience something different. Feel invigorated and alive. Find a cosy spot next to an open fire in our Restaurant or visit one of our many hotels or Restaurants. And there is always the possibility of snow.
Other outdoor activities include:
Abseiling - Experience abseiling in the area’s remote, spectacular gorge country.
Fly fishing - Why not try fly fishing on the New England Waterways.
Heritage Walk and Drive - Both the drive and the walk offer an interesting insight into the town and surrounds of Armidale.
Scenic tourist drives - Signposted drives that take in the region’s village, pastoral scenes and national parks.
Golf - A testing, picturesque 18 hole course with full club facilities.
Helicopter Flights - "Free your wild side". Possibly the best gorge experience available.