I really enjoyed Armidale in northern NSW.
In a way, I kind of knew I would considering it’s a University town located in the picturesque New England region of NSW, it’s just my kind of town if I’m not on the coast.
There are plenty of things to do in Armidale and the surrounding region with lots of history, heritage buildings, tree-lined streets, nearby waterfalls and gorges and a reputation for good food and wine.
It’s a place that’s easy to like.
I wanted to stay in Armidale longer and two days felt a little rushed.
But we decided to move on after Kalyra broke her arm at the playground (which slowed us all down) and it was coming up to the long weekendweekend and we just wanted to relax and go camping by the coast.
But our two days exploring the region kept us fulfilled, and what’s so appealing about Armidale is that it’s not just an urban centre, but within reach are several national parks, wineries and tourist drives that loop you back into town.
Below are our highlights of our 2 day visit in Armidale, NSW.
Things to Do in Armidale, NSW
Armidale Heritage Bus Tour
For a great introduction to Armidale, jump on the free guided Heritage Bus Tour which runs for 2.5 hours.
You’ll learn about the history of Armidale and the people from an informative guide. This tour operates on donations and departs from the visitors information centre at 10.am 7 days a week.
Some of the sights you’ll see include Booloominbah, a Victorian mansion situated at the University of New England:
One of the top recommendations from our Facebook community when we asked them for Armidale tips was to visit Pertersons Winery, just 5 minutes out of town.
The picturesque driveway leads you to the cellar door for tasting, which is a refurbished stable and overlooks the beautiful garden area with impressive trees to sit amongst, and importantly for our kids to run around.
We bought ourselves a bottle of vintage Shiraz.
Tourist Drive 19
Tourist Drive 19 is a lovely 86km half-day loop starting and ending in Armidale.
We drove anti-clockwise and our first stop was the town of Uralla, best known for the exploits of NSW’s last bushranger Captain Thunderbolt. Visit the New England Brewery or grab yourself a coffee at Trina’s Cafe.
From Uralla we followed the winding road through scenic countryside before arriving at the settlement of Gostwyck, with the highlight being the Gostwyck Chapel and the avenue of 200 elm trees.
Continuing on we drove through typical New England farming country on our way towards Dangars Gorge.
This spectacular gorge has been formed over millions of years. There are three walks on offer, but for a sneak peak from the Lookout is only 100m from the car park.
Last stop on our drive was the before mentioned Petersons Winery.
Places to Eat in Armidale
Feeling hungry? Below are two of our personal recommendations plus tips from our Facebook community.
Prue & Olive Cafe – delicious food and quality coffee. And I love how they have a “name of the day” on their blackboard. If it’s your name, you get a free coffee! Loved my risotto…
Goldfish Bowl – they make their own wood fired sourdough bread, pizzas and pies, the coffee is roasted in-houses, and it’s great for kids with the outdoor seating area.
Suggestions from our Facebook fans:
- [email protected] on Dangar street – yummy food and great hospitality.
- Rene On The Mews – great French chef and sublime coffee
- The Coughing Gherkin – tapas, pizza, Mexican
- Red Grapevine
- Bistro on Cinders – for coffee & cake or a weekend breakfast
- The Brasserie and Courtyard Cafe at Booloominbah – lunch or a coffee whilst taking in the historical ambiance.
We didn’t get to a pub unfortunately, but the very friendly ladies at the visitors information centre recommend:
Drive the Waterfall Way
It’s a picturesque drive, and it’s called Waterfall Way for a reason.
If you’re not heading to the coast after Armidale, two spots within reach and worth a round-trip along Waterfall Way include Wollomombi Gorge and Ebor Falls.
Wollomombi Gorge and Falls
A 35 minute drive east from Armidale brings you to the Wollomombi Falls and Wollomombi Gorge.
Wollomombi Falls are the highest waterfalls in NSW and they plunge 220m over the cliffs into the valley. You just have to hope there’s been decent rain, unfortunately for us they were dry when we visited, but the Gorge is spectacular and worth a stop on its own.
There’s a range of walks on offer to go deeper into this area.
Driving one hour east from Armidale gets you to the impressive Ebor Falls.
The Guy Fawkes River plunges 100m over the upper and lower falls and there’s a kid friendly walking track linking both falls which each have viewing decks offering top views of the falls and surrounding bush.
It makes for a great stop off heading towards Coffs Harbour, with picnic tables and wooded BBQ’s.
So if you’re heading in-land from Coffs or north through the NSW country region, stop in at Armidale and put our tips to good use. Yet again, it’s another town we’ll be going back for more!
Have you visited Armidale? Are planning a visit?
In the comments below, share any of your tips on things to do in Armidale.
We visited Armidale as part of our partnership with Destination NSW