Experience the highs as you journey through the picturesque New England High Country in northern New South Wales, full of wonder and inspiring views. Surrounded by World Heritage national parks and filled with unique and fascinating towns rich in heritage and personality, exploring the area promises many memorable adventures. We’ve created a map in partnership with Hema maps for clubs touring our region. If you’re planning your next club adventure and would like a map please get in touch with one of our Visitor Information Centres while stocks last.
The New England Highway forms part of the major inland route connecting Sydney and Brisbane and carves its way through the spectacular New England High Country. Linking Uralla in the south to Tenterfield in the north and passing through Armidale, Guyra and Glen Innes, this scenic drive offers a variety of things to see and do, services and drive experiences for clubs. Along this drive you’ll find outstanding eateries as well as a range of breweries, wineries and distilleries. Discover unique attractions, museums and art galleries as well as an abundance of natural wonders.
Entering New England High Country from the south at Walcha, Thunderbolts Way tops the list for wide-open vistas of rolling hills and impossibly green farmlands. Beginning in the Mid-Coast hinterland near Barrington, this route climbs the Great Dividing Range passing through the delightful towns of Walcha then Uralla before continuing to Inverell and further north west. Along this journey be sure to visit Walcha’s Open Air Gallery of sculptures and artworks, the awe inspiring Apsley Falls, galleries of contemporary art and the Pioneer Cottage Museum. Further along the way, explore country charm at its finest among Uralla’s cafes and country pubs, discover the Aboriginal cave painting site at Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve and uncover the many hidden gems in Inverell.
Beginning in Port Macquarie, this epic road tightly winds its way through the tall timbered forests of the mountains to reach the lofty tablelands of the New England where the road suddenly transforms into vast prairie-like valleys to Walcha. Along the way explore the incredible Apsley Falls and when you arrive in Walcha take a break at one of the many cafes, meander through the Open Air Gallery or be self-guided by the Sculpture Soundtrail experience.
There is no hyperbole in the name of this road: travel on it and you will see waterfalls, many waterfalls. You’ll also cross the dividing range from Coffs Harbour to Armidale, a mountain pass with hairpin bends and long, steep hills. Stop at the many lookouts to enjoy incredible views over the gorges to the coastal flats beyond. The elegant regional city of Armidale is the perfect spot to stock up on supplies and rejuvenate before setting out to explore more of New England High Country.
Stretching from Grafton on the coast to Glen Innes and venturing further west to Inverell, the Gwydir Highway crosses the Great Dividing Range with tight bends and long climbs. Making your way through World Heritage listed Washpool and Gibraltar Range National Parks, take advantage of the extensive views across the gorge country. Vantage points include Raspberry Lookout. Once you arrive in Glen Innes take a break at the friendly eateries and cafes in a beautiful historic setting of the main street. As you continue along the Gwydir toward Inverell witness the remarkable wind turbines of White Rock and Sapphire Wind Farms, splayed across the rolling hills and farmland.
This more obscure but equally stunning route is an east-west link from the Northern Rivers coast to Tenterfield in the north of New England High Country, not far from the Queensland border. Explore the many unique wonders that the historic township of Tenterfield and surrounding villages have to offer, including the Tenterfield Saddler, made famous by Aussie entertainment legend, Peter Allen. For the adventurers, the impressive views from Bald Rock National Park are merely a teaser for all of the natural attractions in the area.
A 114km journey of richly contrasting landscapes steeped in the romantic history of the old mining boom days. Setting out from Glen Innes this scenic drive passes through the villages of Emmaville and Deepwater. The Emmaville Mining Museum houses over 4,000 gem and mineral specimens and replica historic buildings filled with fascinating items. Continuing along the journey from Emmaville you’ll pass the Deepwater Brewery and find a great spot to pull up along the river, you may even spot a resident platypus. The drive returns to Glen Innes where you can explore the Land of the Beardies History House Museum or gather at the Australian Standing Stones.
A 90km journey from Guyra to Inverell, travelling through the townships of Tingha and Gilgai. Starting from Guyra this drive is filled with interesting sights along the way from charming farmland to entwined native bushland. Discover the Wing Hing Long and Company Store in Tingha. A long way from Chinatown this little store has been converted into a museum to raise awareness of the contribution the Chinese made to rural communities in NSW. Green Valley Farm is another popular attraction 10km from Tingha for the young and young at heart – if you fancy an adventure slightly off the beaten track along the New Valley Road. The area has many significant Aboriginal sites, most notable is the famous Tingha Stone Woman.
Departing Inverell this 180km drive takes you past Copeton Dam, a popular inland sport and recreation attraction where you will find some impressive lookouts. The Dam wall is 1.4km long and 113 meters high and the Reflections Holiday Park – Copeton Dam has a range of facilities including accommodation and camping. Continuing along, this route passes through the township of Bingara, home of the Roxy Complex, and community of Delungra before returning to the Sapphire City, Inverell. Explore Inverell’s National Transport Museum comprising 120 vehicle exhibits, ranging from Vintage and Veteran to Classic and Motorcycles.
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We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the New England High Country region and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders – past, present and emerging – and acknowledge the important role Indigenous Peoples continue to play within the New England High Country community.