If you’re seeking a colourful road trip experience we’ve put together some stunning drives around Glen Innes Highlands centred on the highest large town in Australia. At an elevation of around 1000m, Glen Innes Highlands revels in its four distinct seasons.
Spring is full of vibrant new life both in our towns and villages as well as in the World Heritage National Parks where our very own Gibraltar Waratah comes into flower from October. The cool summers of our higher altitude give way to the spectacle of beautiful autumnal tones and picturesque views of row upon row of golden poplars set in the landscape. In the cooler months, picture yourself in one of Glen Innes’ farm stay cottages snuggled up by a fireplace with a glass of red. As a rule of thumb, mid to late April is the best time to view our autumn colours before the winter sets in with its promise of cosy log fires and maybe even a dusting of snow.
This is the time to take an Autumn Drive.
Make sure you call into the Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre (corner of the New England and Gwydir Hwy) for a Country Drives brochure to help guide you through the countryside.
Marvel at the balancing acts of the renowned rock formations of Glen Innes Highlands, some of which are at their best at Stonehenge Recreational Ground. About 11 km south of the Visitor Information Centre, this is a lovely spot to picnic or wander about the magnificent granite rocks. Just a stone’s throw south is one of the most unusual formations in Balancing Rock. The gigantic boulder of granite rests on a 300 millimetre point amongst other rock formations. During autumn the beautiful poplar trees spread out behind the rock provide the perfect photo opportunity. Balancing Rock is on private property and is about 150 metres from the highway. It is not accessible to the public, but can be viewed from the rest area which is marked with a Balancing Rock sign. The autumnal colours spread as far as the eye can see at Stonehenge including the famous avenues of Stonehenge Station featuring historic Elm trees and Blairmore with its spectacular planting of Lombardy Poplar.
Balancing Rock – located on private property can be viewed from the Highway rest area.
Glen Innes Tourist Drive 1
In Glen Innes, the tree-lined streets and avenues put on a colourful autumn show in April and May. Tourist Drive 1 takes you on a winding path around town, in which the the historic buildings can be viewed, set off by the plantings of trees that are now becoming well established. Follow the parklands along Rock Ponds Creek to see magnificent oaks, poplars and elms in rich display. Autumn drives through Glen Innes can be enjoyed in every direction. Here’s a few highlights to explore, from the southern end of town, travelling east of the highway and east to the lookout, and west through the hinterland.
Grey Street Southern End
The southern end of the main shopping street. The deep burgundy colours of Claret Ash and the spectacular hues of Golden Ash form a remarkable sight during a drive or stroll in Grey Street.
On the east side of the highway, view the fiery red Pistacia trees on a short drive or stroll through Lindsay Avenue.
Glen Innes Showgrounds
The golden colours of Chinese Elm will first strike you when visiting the Showgrounds. Take in the sights of the vibrant yellow Poplar Trees.
The deep reds and golds of the Manchurian Pear can be viewed at the eastern end of Meade Street. Young Manchurian Pears have also been planted through the town centre in Grey Street.
Martins Lookout, Centennial Parklands
Head up Watsons Drive past the Australian Standing Stones, there’s a short steep incline behind The Croft as you arise on a open park area. Continue following the road around to lookout over the township of Glen Innes (note: not suitable turning space for buses and vehicles towing caravans, we suggest you park and walk around the corner). This view extends over the town where you will be able to sight the spectacular colours dotted throughout the town.
To enjoy the autumn splendour a pleasant drive can be taken to the picturesque Furracabad Valley. Drive past the Glen Innes sale yards to see Chinese poplar and continue along Furracabad road to see a range of deciduous trees including Lombardy Poplar, Pin Oak, Claret and Golden Ash and Elm. Follow Furracabad road until it turns into Haymarket Road and continue on the loop to Cherry Tree Road and back to Furracabad Road into town.
Discover Glen Innes Highlands