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Sport is an integral part of life in the New England. From rugby matches, mountain biking and all sorts of competitive and adventurous pursuits to leisurely games of golf and tennis, there’s something for everyone.
SportUNE, the University of New England’s state-of-the-art facilities including a gym, climbing wall, pool, playing ﬁelds and tennis and squash courts, is open to visitors and the wider community seven days a week. It was here, in 2011, that many of the over 1000 university and TAFE students from Queensland, Northern Territory and northern New South Wales competed in events for the Northern University Games.
The local hockey competition attracts a crowd of young (and older) players who, even during extreme winter conditions, such as sleet and driving rain, play on thanks to the campus’ top-notch synthetic ﬁelds. Seasonal cricket, football, netball, rugby and tennis are also popular with all ages, with competition games typically held on Saturdays and casual games on the go at other times.
You don’t have to be Tiger Woods to tee off at the picturesque golf courses in Tenterfield, Inverell, Glen Innes, Armidale, Walcha, Uralla and Guyra and on a glorious day there’s really no better place for a visiting golf enthusiast to be. At most courses, you are welcome to play social or competition rounds in clear, clean High Country air, surrounded by native bushland.
Out in the gorges and national parks, hiking, rock climbing and abseiling expeditions range from easy to difficult, and kayaking down the rivers can be a wild ride, particularly after heavy rains. If calmer waters are more your thing, you’ll find the region’s dams are peaceful spot to paddle, and on Malpas Dam, locals race sailboats on Sundays during summer.
As you’d hope in an area that has long celebrated horsemanship, there are plenty of opportunities to go horse trekking, with the Beardy Waters Trail Ride rated one of the Top 10 Unique Adventure Holidays.