Things to do in Glen Innes

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Offering a slice of real country Australia, Glen Innes is a charming mix of beautiful scenery, ornate architecture and tangible history, all amidst a thriving arts scene.

The town is a veritable showcase of bookshops, boutiques and collectables stores, all of which blend seamlessly with the more than 30 heritage-listed buildings that adorn the main street.

Beyond the city limits, natural beauty rules supreme, with two of the state’s most impressive national parks and some of the world’s richest sapphire and mineral fields at your doorstep.

The World Heritage Washpool National Park contains some of the most varied and least-disturbed forest in the country. It includes the world’s largest stand of coachwood trees and some extraordinary specimens of the giant red cedars so prized by early timber cutters. Many come to the Park in the hope of sighting some of Australia’s rarest and most unusual creatures, like the long-nosed potoroo, the pouched frog, and the beautiful, cat-like spotted-tailed quoll. 

For those keen on fishing, the Glen Innes region has some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. The area is especially well known for its Murray cod, but trout and bass are also common.

From the time sapphires were discovered in the streams around Glen Innes, it has been a popular fossicking area and there are quite a few areas where big stones are still being found. Sapphires and other gems, as well as jewellery design, are celebrated in the annual Minerama Gem and Jewellery Show, and fossicking gear can be hired in town.

The arts are thriving in Celtic Country, thanks in part to the passionate enthusiasm of dedicated voluntary organisations. The Glen Innes Arts Council, founded in 1944, is the oldest continuously operating Arts Council in Australia. Based in a 122-year-old former church, the Council stages exhibitions, with movies on the weekends and monthly art house films.

For book lovers, Glen Innes is home to several stores selling antiquarian, classic and collectable books. One has an inventory of well over 100,000 titles and the stores have regular clients around Australia and overseas.