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Top of the range

Cast a line into the beautiful streams around Guyra and let your mind wander. Whether or not you actually catch anything, fishing in the peaceful bushland waterways here is a great way to unwind. In fact, not only for trout fishing, but for all sorts of outdoor pursuits, Guyra is an ideal destination.

This delightful country town is located high (1330 metres above sea level) on the Northern Tablelands of the Great Dividing Range, midway between Sydney and Brisbane, 30 minutes from Armidale and two hours from the Coffs coast. There are places to stay, from pretty campsites, caravan parks and riverside cabins to comfy motels, bed and breakfasts and farm stays.

Bushwalking, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, birdwatching, camping and horse riding in some of the most scenic national parks and forests in the nation are on your doorstep. You can, for instance, clamber up the giant boulders in the Cathedral Rock National Park for breathtaking 360-degree views, or, a little further east along Waterfall Way, watch the Ebor Falls cascade dramatically down the cliffs in the Guy Fawkes River National Park. Kayaking and adventuring in the Styx River and World Heritage listed New England National Parks are also an easy drive away.

Parks are not the only venues for water sports around here. Copeton Dam, west of Guyra is a favourite spot for water skiers, while Malpas Dam, to the south, is a popular gathering spot for sailors and rowers.

Mother of Ducks Lagoon on the edge of town is a birdwatchers’ (and picnickers’) paradise. This tranquil body of water is home to black swans and a wide variety of aquatic birds. A round of golf on the neighbouring and idyllically situated Guyra Golf Course is well worth the walk! A short drive north is Little Llangothlin Lagoon, a wetlands area popular for spotting Japanese snipe and other birds on their migratory path.

History and heritage are an attraction too. With a population of around 2000 and most of the business confined to the original main street strip, the town has retained its heritage charm. Pastoralists arrived in the area in the 1830s and the town was established in 1880. The railway stopped running years ago but the cute station building is now the Guyra Antique Machinery Railway Museum, and the old Shire Council Chambers is home to the Historical Museum.

Meander along the main street, where you’ll find cafés and shops, including one widely known in knitting circles for fabulous wool hand knits and yarn. Farms around Guyra have long been known for their potato crops and for producing some of Australia’s finest beef, lamb and wool. The Lamb and Potato Festival held in January each year celebrates the excellence of some of this local produce.

A more recent addition to the agricultural scene is Blush premium truss tomatoes, grown here in the largest (20 hectares) and most advanced glasshouse facilities in Australia, if not the southern hemisphere. Boasting very high levels of sunlight, moderate temperatures and fresh mountain spring water, Guyra’s location allows Blush to produce more than 10 million kilograms of premium truss tomatoes per year, delivering year round consistency in terms of quality, taste and availability to stores across Australia.

Because they’re vine-ripened, Blush premium truss tomatoes are rich in traditional homegrown flavour, deliciously fragrant and highly nutritious. Added to pasta, tossed through a salad or simply enjoyed as they are, Blush tomatoes are a true taste sensation. There’s plenty for all ages to do in Guyra, the New England town at the top of the range.

Armidale • Glen Innes • Guyra • Inverell • Tenterfield • Uralla • Walcha